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James Harrison: I hit opponents in the knees now, even though it’s no safer

James Harrison has had an extremely quiet season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, by James Harrison’s standards. His sack numbers are down, but he has also kept his name free of talk about concussions and illegal hits. The Pro Bowl linebacker says that is because he has been aiming a lot lower.

“I’ve really lowered my target area to where it’s down around the knees,” Harrison told Mike and Mike on Friday morning, via Pro Football Talk. “Situations come along where you could tackle the guy high. I don’t do that anymore. I tackle the guy low.”

Of course, Harrison didn’t have an epiphany and wake up one morning seeing things Roger Goodell’s way. Instead, it sounds like he had an agenda in explaining his new style of tackling. He then went into a discussion about how he strained Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker’s MCL in the playoffs last year.

“I could have tackled him high, but if I had hit him high, I probably would have gotten a helmet-to-helmet or something and gotten fined,” Harrison said. “So I hit him low and strained his MCL. … They’re saying it’s a life-threatening injury to hit a guy in the head and he gets a concussion and so on and so forth, but I think a life-threatening injury is to go low on a guy and blow out his ACL or whatever, and he’s not able to come back the way he was before. Now he can’t make a living, he can’t feed his family, he can’t do what he does. That’s life-threatening to me.”

You can certainly make the argument that targeting an opponent’s knees is just as dangerous for their career, and I understand where Harrison is coming from. However, the NFL is trying to avoid lawsuits from players who suffer from long-term brain damage. A player’s quality of life after football is less likely to be affected by a leg injury than a head injury.

All we can do now is wait and see if hits like this one and this one have been put in Harrison’s past.


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  • SpinMax

    Might as well, Polamalu goes helmet to knee and he’s a hero class act, right?

    Wasn’t it Harrison a year ago who was defending helmet led hits by saying that’s how he was always coached. As if there are coaches out there in training camps teaching guys to lower their head and launch themselves helmet first at players?  I mean, what sane coach would actually preach ‘see what you hit’ and ‘wrap up’…coaches are all about dangerous hits.  Cmon James, tell us which coaches teach you that, specially in the NFL, I’m sure the league would like to know about that.

    I’ll believe that’s how he’s taught to hit when I see Steelers in training camp, lining up, and launching themselves headfirst at tackling sleds. 

  • furymfs

    do they or dont they teach to lower their heads…your comment does not  say witch way you are argueing. First you say ‘as if’ like you do not think coaches teach to lower your head. Then you ask ‘what sane coach would actually preach “see what you hit” and “wrap up”…coaches are all about dangerous hits’ like  you know they teach dangerous manuvers like lowering your head. Make up your mind!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Luciano-Miceli/100003132977419 Luciano Miceli

    Helmet to knee should also be banned including helmet to back. In other words ban the goons! Sports is about sportsmanship and any hit that is willfully meant to injure a player should should face suspension and if it leads to injury that player wages should go to the injured player payed by the team of the offending player and be suspended for has long as the injury persists the suspension should become for life.

  • SpinMax

     you need a sarcasm translator fury

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.coleman.58152 Dave Coleman

    what a douche!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SOYAAMK37K4PGZZJKBGSR7HOUU Sheila Mancini

    i guess just making a normal tackle is not enough for this dumb monkey. hes gotta go for a body part. what a dumb knee grow.

    .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1434582356 Janet Holmes

    Monkey?well lets see. Strong as hell,(would kiss your ass coming and going)Smart,one of the most intelligent creatures,yet full of compassion,and this is just a chip off the ice berg,but my question to u SHEILA M, whats your excuse for being so DAMN stupid and IGNORANT,after all these years of being on this planet with your pasty trailer trash ass,WHY are u soo effing stupid and ignorant..BTW,being a monkey has it perks…EFFING PARASITE.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_APWTWDRBVCUXXYAY356DLRSKRU the_Game's_the_thing

    Convicted by his own words, if Harrison, injures a player by these intentional tactics then the player should be allowed to sue Mr. Idiot(harrison) for work lost or even career lost as the case maybe.  By his own word Harrison has said that he doesnt  play football to win   but to hurt opponents.   Next time he earns a fine instead of money make him  go up against an MMA heavy  in the top 5.   Then he will learn what its like to be a target rather than an athlete.   This guy is dirty and the Steelers wont do anything about it.    As classless as the old Raider defenders wtiht the same attitude. and he needs to be out of the game.

  • goldenrulejoe

    if you stupid people did not see the interview why not quiet down on the negativity, clearly Harrison ment to go low (knees ,thighs and waist). I think he met low.  Mike and Mike who did the interview knew what he ment and were not up in arms like you hypocrites.

  • goldenrulejoe

    the douchess are you and steve delvelchio for jumping to conclusion and not posting  the video for people to see! He clearly meant by knee going low (towards knee,thighs and waist area). Sometimes we dont use the correct words we should. Also during the interview he stated he did not hate anyone or wish to hurt anyone so they could not support thier family.

  • furymfs

    noty sarcasm if you play both sides

  • unkyjack

    Like Harrison says,….he’s not really into “Roger Goodell’s flag football”.

  • http://twitter.com/BruceHoop TP MAN 10101

    Now this is Football and not PC.  Ahhhhhh, the old days.

  • http://twitter.com/BruceHoop TP MAN 10101

    Right

  • http://twitter.com/BruceHoop TP MAN 10101

    You are to PC.  Play football like they use to.  You need to go support Golf.