Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was on The Dan Patrick Show this past Friday and he was asked about the fourth quarter hit that he took from Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison during the week 14 game.
Patrick first asked McCoy if he remembered the hit and the quarterback replied, “Well, I’ve seen it several times. I don’t remember it.” Patrick later asked McCoy if he thought it was a cheap shot. “No, I don’t think so,” said McCoy. When pressed further if he thought it was a football hit, McCoy replied, “In all the rules, I’m outside the pocket, I’m trying to make a play. I’ve seen the hit. I’ve watched it. Again, I don’t remember it, so I don’t know.”
Harrison was penalized on the play for roughing the passer for a helmet-to-facemask hit and was subsequently suspended for one game without pay for what was deemed his fifth illegal hit on a quarterback in the past three seasons. Harrison appealed the suspension, but it was denied by appeals officer Ted Cottrell, and Harrison was forced to miss the week 14 game against the San Francisco 49ers as a result.
The league showed their hypocrisy and was temporarily selling pictures of a concussed McCoy sitting on the ground being attended by the Browns medical staff, until I called them out on it.
McCoy ended up missing the final three games of the season because of lingering concussion symptoms, but the team doctors allowed him to return to the game against the Steelers without testing the second year quarterback properly for a concussion. In fact, the Browns didn\’t even give the standard SCAT2 concussion test to McCoy until the next morning. The fallout from that was significant, especially in light of the recent suicide of Junior Seau.
So while many still dub Harrison a dirty player, it was his hit on McCoy that exposed an even dirtier flaw in player safety, something that commissioner Roger Goodell claimed to be cracking down on. Several months later McCoy might not remember the play, but he does not think it was a cheap shot, he is just not sure if it was a football hit.