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Instant Debate

Punishment a strong possibility after Harrison's hit on McCoy

Given his track record of multiple warnings and fines for questionable hits in the past, do you think the NFL should suspend Steelers OLB James Harrison for his helmet-to-helmet hit Thursday night on Colt McCoy?

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  • Jason La Canfora NFL Network
  • Suspension would be understandable consequence

My instinct here is that he receives a fine of $75,000 or more, but I wouldn't have a problem with a suspension for a repeat, seemingly habitual offender.

Harrison's track record is well established. However, I think suspension likely is reserved for instances in which intent is obvious and the action is so far outside the bounds of a football play (i.e. stomping on someone well after the play was dead). These split-second collisions are much more difficult to parse out.

Of course, with a routine, wrap-up technique, the issue can be avoided entirely. In this case, Harrison again led with his head and made direct contact with Colt McCoy's facemask. Drop the shoulder, apply it to the opponent's strike zone, and it never happens.

And regardless of the disciplinary decision, if history holds, you can bet Harrison makes plenty of headlines complaining about it.

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  • Steve Wyche
  • Hit, while violent, does not warrant suspension

The answer is no. Harrison likely will be fined -- heavily -- because of his past. However, with the way that play unfolded, Harrison, to me, was simply trying to make a play and not intentionally head hunt. Colt McCoy broke out of the pocket, scrambled and put himself in run-pass purgatory. Harrison sprang free and came after a running quarterback just like he would a running back.

The fact that he led with his head is what is going to get Harrison docked some serious ducats. Harrison still hasn't changed the head-first way he tackles and that, once again, led to a head-to-head hit -- one of the more violent I've ever seen.

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  • Bucky Brooks
  • Harrison doesn't deserve suspension or fine

James Harrison should not be fined or suspended for his hit on Colt McCoy. Although the shot appears to be violent and malicious when viewed in slow motion, the bang-bang nature of the play should be considered when handing out fines or suspension.

McCoy ventured from the pocket with the ball tucked under his arm until he made the last-minute decision to toss the ball to a teammate in the flat. Harrison had already committed to making the hit. The size disparity, force of the hit and frame-by-frame breakdown of the play has made Harrison's hit look like one of the most violent delivered in recent years.

While I certainly applaud the NFL's efforts to increase player safety, I don't think you can legislate big hits out of a game played with some of the biggest and fastest athletes on the planet.

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