James Harrison believes the NFL's crackdown on dangerous hits is cramping his style. And, unless Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin can convince him otherwise, the 32-year-old linebacker claimed Tuesday night that he might consider retirement.
Hours after the league fined him $75,000 for his concussion-causing hit on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, Harrison appeared on Fox Sports Radio's "Into The Night with Tony Bruno" and told guest host Jody McDonald that his first stop Wednesday morning will be in Tomlin's office.
"I'm going to sit down and have a serious conversation with my coach tomorrow and see if I can actually play by NFL rules and still be effective," Harrison said. "If not, I may have to give up playing football."
Here's the problem - We're always talking about "hits" in relation to headshots and concussions. What you're never actually seeing is an attempt by the defensive player to tackle the receiver. If the NFL were to make the rule to force guys to make a tackle (arms out, attempt to wrap vs arms in, hockey-style "hit") I think a ton of these would go away. You can still make huge, bone and ball-jarring hits on receivers and others while attempting to tackle someone, and most tackles happen across the body.
The fundamental skill of tackling has been lost, in favour of guys trying to get on the Primetime "Jacked up" segment.
They need to be really educated as to what concsussions do to their brain. They need to know that the average life span of an NFL player is 55 years old (!!!) (52 for linemen) - 77 is he average lifespan of an American male, and brain injury is a contributing factor.