James Harrison Wonders Why Richard Seymour Wasn't Suspended

Tim PetersonCorrespondent INovember 23, 2010

Did Richard Seymour let down his teammates by being ejected?
Did Richard Seymour let down his teammates by being ejected?Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Richard Seymour’s open-handed facial of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will go down in Raiders lore as another reason to either love or hate the Silver and Black.

On Monday the NFL made it clear that Seymour’s transgression would cost him, although the $25,000 fine that the NFL slapped the Raiders’ best defensive tackle with may have been money well spent in the eyes of the fans.

Consider the apparent trash talk coming from Roethlisberger’s mouth after the Steelers QB connected with Emmanuel Sanders for a 22-yard touchdown that put Pittsburgh up 21-3 in the second quarter of Sunday’s game.

Was that not taunting? Therefore a flag should have been thrown.

Really, any NFL player with an ounce of pride would have done the same thing.

In a very chippy contest, Seymour—who was ejected from the game—had this to say about the altercation. “It was a lot of ongoing [stuff], and you’re out there to protect yourself. It’s still no excuse. I’m not sure what happened on the play. I just turned around, and he ran up on me quick, it was a natural reaction,” he told the Contra Costa Times.

When questioned about the fight in the post-game news conference, Roethlisberger laughingly told reporters this: “It is what it is. ... I wasn’t expecting that from him.” And what did Ben say that sparked the incident? “Ah, just, ‘let’s get ready for the extra point.’”

“I hadn’t seen a quarterback get punched—since I’ve been in the league—like that. ... It was unfortunate,” said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. “I got big time respect for Richard Seymour the football player. That guy’s got an 11-year resume that’s pretty impressive and that guy’s a professional. It got away from us all today.”

Of course bloggers, fans and Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison are crying for more than a fine; they want Seymour to be suspended. (Just for the record, ESPN senior analyst Chris Mortensen explained that the NFL did not suspend Seymour because it was only his second offense for fighting.) Nevertheless, here’s what Harrison told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"I don't see why [he shouldn't be suspended]. ... They're trying to suspend guys for hits when that's within the whistles, some hits that guys can't even stop from doing. It's an adjustment that a receiver makes to what you are about to do to him, and you end up hitting helmet to helmet. You're talking about suspending a guy for that? You tell me what the next step is for a guy who blatantly, outside the play, it's already thrown, and a guy is going to celebrate with his teammates and you punch him in the face."

OK, first of all, James Harrison is the last guy in the world we need to hear from when it comes to the artistry of “the cheap shot.” He’s a multiple offender of illegal and dirty hits, and we all know it.

The Steelers linebacker has been fined thousands of dollars by the league for trying to hurt and knock out opposing players (or at least make sure they become candidates for spoon-fed applesauce). Harrison needs to worry more about his own conduct on the field, and that of his quarterback, before he makes any comments towards Big Rich’s’ pop shot.

Yes, the Raiders got whipped by Pittsburgh 35-3, but not before Seymour officially added his name to the Silver-N-Black's storied roll call of fabled tough guys.