McClain Will Be Fined For Hit

Head Coach John Harbaugh feels Jameel McClain was intending a clean hit.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Ryan Mink, Week 13 vs Steelers

UPDATE: Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain’s hit on Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller will cost him $40,000,¬†according to league spokesman Greg Aiello.

Aiello called it a “blow to the head of defenseless players.”

McClain hit Miller after an incompletion during the third quarter. McClain was in the process of going to hit Miller, and as the tight end fell McClain’s careened into Miller’s helmet, it bent the tight end’s head backwards.

Miller left the game with a concussion, walking off under his own power, and never returned. There was no penalty called, but NFL Director of Officiating Carl Johnson said it should have been flagged.

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh defended the hit.

“I think the big issue, from our perspective, is what Jameel is capable of doing and what he’s not capable of doing,” Harbaugh said. “Jameel tried to go low. He tried to go low to make the tackle, and Heath Miller fell. So he’s going down, and as Jameel is trying to go low to make the tackle in that strike-zone area, [Miller's] head ends up in that area. So there’s nothing that Jameel could have done that was humanly possible to avoid that kind of contact.

“Now if they’re going to call that a penalty because they can’t tell that it’s a duck-and-hit type of situation, that’s up to them. But from a fine perspective, to me, it’s clear that Jameel was trying to go low.”

Harbaugh said his feelings are based on conversations he’s had about the rule with the NFL. He felt it was a similar play to last year’s Divisional playoff game when linebacker Ray Lewis was called for a penalty against Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie in the end zone.

The Ravens’ head coach said McClain’s hit should “absolutely not” warrant a suspension. He doesn’t think it deserves a fine either.

“I don’t think it should be a fine based on the way it’s been explained to me time and time again by [NFL Executive Director of Football Operations] Ray Anderson and others in the league,” Harbaugh said. “And I’m not afraid to go on record and say that because that’s the way it’s been explained. They may say differently and I may learn something from it. But to take it to the next level, there would be absolutely no chance of that.”

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