Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin joined Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on The SiriusXM Blitz radio show on SiriusXM NFL Radio following his Tuesday afternoon press conference, and he reacted to the NFL suspending linebacker James Harrison for one game this morning.
Tomlin said for them it was about getting the word of the suspension in a timely manner so they could go about planning and making the necessary adjustments for their upcoming game Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. He said they are disappointed for Harrison because they know the effort he has made to change the way he plays, in an attempt to play within the rules as described by the league office.
Tomlin said that obviously Harrison has not been in one of these situations since last year, but it was a foul, and the league did what they deemed necessary. Tomlin continued that it is now time for them to have the appropriate or necessary reaction to their judgement and move forward to prepare for the game this week.
Tomlin says he has talked to Harrison today and said that he is extremely disappointed. Harrison is a very emotional guy especially when it comes to football and obviously that is being taken away from him for a week. Tomlin said the more time that Harrison gets to chew on this, he will gain some perspective that will allow him to move forward productively.
Tomlin said he does not believe there is anything that they need to go over specifically with Harrison after this latest incident and that they do that continually already. Tomlin said he acknowledges there are instances that will come up and that they will have to deal with them unfortunately. Harrison has committed great effort to change the way he plays and unfortunately there are going to be instances like the one that transpired this past Thursday night. Tomlin said you had a quarterback running outside the pocket that had the ball tucked and Harrison was approaching him quickly. The quarterback got the ball out before he got there and that rendered him defenseless, so you can\’t him in the neck or head area.
As far as an appeal goes, Tomlin said he did not know what the intentions of Harrison are in regards to that at this juncture, but obviously it is his right to do so. He said Harrison would be better suited to answer that question himself. The teams needs to proceed with the assumption that Harrison will not be playing Monday night according to Tomlin and that would be the prudent thing to do in his opinion.
When Tomlin was asked if the league was targeting Harrison, Tomlin said, “No!”
You can listen to the portion of the interview below: