NFL: Harrison questions if Ravens targeted him
AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been fined four times this season for dangerous hits. Now, he thinks an opposing player should be disciplined for supposedly going after him.
Harrison believes Baltimore Ravens guard Chris Chester deliberately went after him while being called for a false-start penalty during an extra-point attempt Sunday. Chester came off the line of scrimmage and drove at Harrison, an unusual blocking technique because offensive linemen generally try to remain packed to avoid potential blocked kicks.
Harrison, a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, said it was the perfect time to target him because such an infraction draws only a 5-yard penalty. He also believes Chester may have been trying to hurt him.
“It was uncalled for and cheap,” Harrison said Thursday.
Chester’s block occurred after the Ravens’ only touchdown, Joe Flacco’s 14-yard pass to Anquan Boldin during the first quarter of Pittsburgh’s 13-10 victory. Harrison acknowledges he ran over Chester on a play sometime during that drive, but he said it was a legal hit.
Steelers linebacker James Farrior said Chester’s block on Harrison was anything but clean.
“That was pretty dirty,” Farrior said. “I think it was definitely planned and just one of the dirty things that they did in the game. But he (Harrison) was a smart guy. He didn’t retaliate, and that’s what I think they wanted him to do to get him out of the game. But he held it down pretty good.”
Harrison rarely hides his emotions, and he has been especially displeased lately after paying $125,00 in fines for hits on the Browns’ Mohamed Massaquoi, Titans quarterback Vince Young, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“It was a very emotional game, and he’s certainly an emotional guy,” Farrior said. “So, I definitely was pleased with the way he responded. I definitely think I saw a little bit of growth in James with how he dealt with that situation. It was the right thing for him not to retaliate.”
Right tackle Flozell Adams returned to practice Thursday as the Steelers (9-3) concluded their heavy practice work before Sunday’s home game against AFC North rival Cincinnati (2-10). The Bengals have lost nine in a row and are one loss away from equaling the longest same-season losing streak in their history.
With the Steelers coming off a difficult overtime victory in Buffalo followed by the pivotal win at Baltimore, the Bengals – who nearly upset Pittsburgh last month at home – might be catching them at an ideal time.
Or maybe not.
“Whether they’re 10-2 or 2-10, they’re going to come out swinging this week,” defensive end Ziggy Hood said. “I’m sure of that. … We feel like some of these teams that we play the rest of the season, even though they might now have good records – Cincinnati, Carolina and Cleveland – this is the NFL. They’re all good teams with an opportunity to make their season by beating the Steelers. So it’s our job to not let that happen.”