Hits Vol. 2

I wanted to put this issue to rest after addressing it in my column but it’s the only thing that’s being talked about right now so I think I should say something. Most of you have probably heard James Harrison contemplating retirement because “He doesn’t think he can play football correctly now.” Huh? I respect Harrison as a player but he is one of the dumbest in the league when it comes to making dangerous hits by saying things like this. Play football correctly? How hard is it not to lower your head and lunge at your opponent. What stuck out to me the most was this tirade ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth went on Sportcenter the other day where he bashed the NFL for “trying to take physicality out of the game.” Granted, I think he has a point with the Dunta Robinson hit since I didn’t think hit itself was that bad but I don’t know why he’s defending James Harrison for “doing what he was taught to do since he was a little kid.” I’m sure Harrison’s pee-wee coaches instructed him to run in head first into the opponents helmet with no regard to what could happen afterward. The hits on Josh Cribbs and Mohammad Massaquoi displayed poor fundamentals and dangerous tactics all around.

I don’t think that the physical part of the game should be taken out of the league but I think more needs to be done to eliminate dangerous hits like Harrison’s and Merriweather’s. What exactly will be done is beyond me but I think this rule against “devastating hits” is going to cause more problems than it fixes.

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