James Harrison misses practice as he mulls retirement
Updated at 1:13 p.m.
James Harrison has been excused from the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice today as he considers retirement in the wake of the NFL's crackdown on dangerous and illegal hits. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Harrison's absence.
"We wouldn't joke about this," Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, told Schefter. "This is a very serious issue. James is very concerned about how to play football. If James is going to be fined $75,000 for making a legal tackle, then how do you go play football? It's quite frustrating to James, to coach [Mike] Tomlin, to me, to everybody."
Tomlin met with Harrison this morning and "knowing how emotional he is, figured it best he wasn't around answering questions, fanning his fire all day," Fox's Jay Glazer tweeted.
Filed at 10:31 a.m.
James Harrison, fined $75,000 Tuesday for two hits in the Pittsburgh Steelers' game against the Cleveland Browns, says he's contemplating retirement after the NFL's crackdown on dangerous and illegal hits.
Harrison may just talking a good game at this point or perhaps he has, as Mike Florio says, dethroned Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh's new drama queen). Either way, he seemed sincere.
"I'm going to sit down and have a serious conversation with my coach [Wednesday] and see if I can actually play by NFL rules and still be effective," Harrison said in a Fox Sports Radio interview. "If not, I may have to give up playing football. . . . I really truly hope it's something that can be done. But the way that things were being explained to me [Tuesday] and the reasoning for it, I don't feel I can continue to play and be effective and, like I say, not have to worry about injuring someone else or risking injury to myself."
There's been plenty of reaction by players to the crackdown and there figures to be more with players returning from Tuesday's off-day. Phillip Daniels and Clinton Portis have weighed in. And, boy, so has Brian Urlacher, who says the NFL might as well rename itself the NFFL. (The second "F" stands for "flag," btw.)
"It's freaking football. There are going to be big hits,'' Urlacher said. "I don't understand how they can do this after one weekend of hitting. And I can't understand how they can suspend us for it. I think it's a bunch of bull [bleep].
"You know what we should do? We should just put flags on everybody. Let's make it the NFFL -- the National Flag Football League. It's unbelievable.''
Josh Cribbs, who absorbed Harrison's hit, said via Twitter:
I have no bad will towards LB James Harrison. That's what he's suppose to do knock people out, it's what makes him one of the best....I don't believe he intentionally wants to injure anyone, but it is apart of the game..He has been hitting people like that as my teammate at Kent State & now as my rival he still hits people like that... He is still my boy...
It is unfortunate, but our sport is brutal we will both bounce back & compete again real soon... Oh yeah & we play each other twice!!!
Harrison's Steelers teammate, Ryan Clark:
Taking suggestions can someone explain to me how to separate the ball from man over the middle w/o sacrificing 75k! Please I need help!
LaRon Landry, in the Redskins' locker room, said, "Hell, no, I'm not going to change."
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: "It's a dangerous game but it's what we signed up for."
Karlos Dansby: "We'll be counting to five Mississippi before 2012."
What's your take?
| October 20, 2010; 10:31 AM ET
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