PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — James Harrison and the Pittsburgh Steelers thrive on physicality in a league that is forcefully penalizing, fining and rebuking players who cross an imaginary line that appears to get redefined from week to week.
Harrison and the Steelers are confused about how to play in this new, no-dangerous-hits-allowed NFL.
The Steelers were penalized the most in their 77-year history on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers were called for 163 yards of penalties.
The Steelers say the answer is easy. If it costs them more flags, more fines, that’s just part of doing business their way as they will continue to play Steelers football and it doesn’t cost them a championship.
“If you start letting penalties affect the way we play, we’re not going to be the aggressive team that we’ve always been,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley said.
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has been outspoken about the NFL’s new policy and wants more current player input on fines and suspensions, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that is not an option and they already have input from former players.
Ryan Clark said the NFL officials are as confused as the players are on what constitutes an illegal hit and that showed on Sunday.