Steelers' Harrison: Goodell lawsuit 'win-win'
It is almost four months before the start of the NFL season, but James Harrison appears to be in midseason form when it comes to tweaking his frequent foil.
The Steelers outside linebacker took a couple of subtle swipes at Roger Goodell on Wednesday, calling the defamation lawsuit that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma brought against the NFL commissioner last week a “win-win” for the players.
“If (Vilma) loses, it shows Goodell does have too much power,” Harrison said following an offseason practice, “and if he wins, it opens up the floodgates.”
Goodell suspended Vilma for the 2012 season for the latter's role in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal. Goodell has drawn criticism, particularly from players, for not being more forthcoming about evidence he has against Vilma and others that were disciplined for their part in an illicit pay-for-play system.
“I don't know what was said in (the Saints') locker room,” said Steelers guard Willie Colon, who is close friends with New Orleans receiver Marques Colston. “To purposely go after a guy's knee, head and leg, I think that's uncalled for and totally disgusting. But to say guys are wrong after getting after another guy, that's just the game of football. So I think there's a fine line. If they crossed it in any way, then they should be handled accordingly.
“I know we don't do football like that.”
Harrison, who has been at odds with Goodell since being fined $100,000 for multiple on-field infractions in 2010, said the Vilma case is another example of the commissioner having too much power.
No player has been more critical of Goodell and his crackdown on player misconduct than Harrison.
Harrison, who was suspended for a game last season for a helmet-to-helmet hit, said the players should have done more to check Goodell's power in the collective bargaining agreement they ratified last year.
The Steelers, Harrison was quick to point out, were the only team that didn't vote in favor of the CBA. When asked if more players regret not doing the same, the five-time Pro Bowler said, “I would hope so.”
The NFL mandated at the owners meetings earlier this week that players start wearing thigh and knee pads in 2013. The league's latest safety initiative was news to Harrison.
“I don't know how many guys end their career on a thigh or a knee bruise,” Harrison said. “If they really want to do something, they should get rid of the high-low block. I thought that was illegal, but it isn't (on running plays).
“If you ask me, I think it's more dangerous in the run game. When it comes down to it, the (NFL) competition committee doesn't feel that way. Of course, a few of those guys that are on that (committee), their teams practice doing that, so they wouldn't feel that way.”
Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers submit application to play host to Super Bowl in 2023
- Steelers wide receiver Wheaton embraces move to slot position
- Steelers CB Allen working to regain form, make an impact
- QB Roethlisberger embracing teaching role with Steelers’ offense
- Steelers notebook: Best RB tandem in NFL?
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule