Originally posted on Steel City Blitz  |  Last updated 12/21/12

Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison was on ESPN’s Mike and Mike this morning and as you would expect the conversation turned to tackling in the National Football League. Basically Harrison stated that he has “lowered his target area” for tackling opponents and now goes towards the knees rather than staying high. If you go over to profootballtalk.com and see the article on Harrison’s comments there, do yourself a favor and read the ‘user comments’ section. The overall hatred for Harrison is in full effect there and it is joined by an extremely large chorus of “football fans” who quite frankly don’t have a clue about the game of football as Harrison speaks it. First of all, you have to take anything from that website with a grain of salt. They often get more things wrong than your local weatherman but they do have their following nevertheless. Apparently, being unable to comprehend what Harrison is saying is difficult for those that commented in the negative. Harrison isn’t saying anything that several other players like the Ravens’ Ed Reed for instance hasn’t said before. In essence, tacklers would rather go low and possibly tear up a guy’s knee than go high and incur a FedEx envelope from the commissioner outlining their fine for a ‘blow to the head.’ What the ‘expert commentators’ at PFT read those comments as were those of a total ‘scumbag’ and ‘idiot’ and a ‘guy who should be banned from the league.’ Hey, there’s far more people who hate the Steelers than like them out there and I’m cool with that. What those folks must realize is that Harrison is trying to change his way of playing and in so doing is adhering to the wishes of Roger Goodell who wants to turn their favorite sport into a glorified edition of two-hand touch. When Harrison says he “targets the knees” what he is in effect saying is that he is not going high on a player because he fears being fined or suspended and why shouldn’t he be? The common retort to that from the PFT ‘experts’ was “why can’t you aim for the waist area?” or “why can’t you properly form tackle in the mid-section?” Fair questions but not well-thought ones. How many times a week do we see a defender attempt to make a perfect form tackle on a ball carrier yet still end up contacting a part of the opponent’s helmet? More often than not, the ball carrier ducks or lowers his head creating that contact and out comes the flag and in comes FedEx with the bill to be paid from the league office. What many NFL fans refuse to or cannot do is see through things for the betterment of the game. Instead they only see things through the team-colored glasses they are wearing. James Harrison has made changes to his game and that is not easy to do especially when you’ve done something the same way for so long. Try overhauling your golf swing for example after swinging the same way for 20 years. James Harrison is trying to play within the rules established by Goodell. He knows he’s a target and he recognizes that even a good tackle can result in a flag and/or fine. The armchair linebackers of America need to see the forest through the trees on his comments. He isn’t going at knees to end careers any more than he was going at heads to end careers. He’s trying to find the middle ground which is shrinking more and more under the ‘player safety’ hypocrisy of Roger Goodell. Many of these fans who criticize him will miss the days of James Harrison when they’re watching the players tie on their flags before each game. Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.       Related PostsPlenty of Blame to Go Around Following Steelers’ Loss to ‘Bolts Proposed Kickoff Changes Are ‘Typical Goodell.’ No Excuses for Roethlisberger This Week When Commenting on the Steelers, Honesty Helps Time is Now for Haley’s Offense

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Patriots to sponsor Gay Bowl in Boston this fall

Michael Irvin offers advice for Odell Beckham

Mike Golic denies report of ‘icy’ relationship with Mike Greenberg

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves ready to move on

Ben McAdoo: ‘No accuracy’ to Victor Cruz’s sabotage claims

Chip Kelly joining ESPN in analyst role

Terry Collins addresses Mets’ gag order on player injuries

LeBron never believed he could get to Jordan’s level

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker