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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison must adapt

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 19, 2011
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison (92) warms up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(By Marla Ridenour subbing for Nate Ulrich)

In an interview with James Brown of CBS Sports that aired Sunday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was suspended one game for his helmet-to-facemask hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy Dec. 8 at Pittsburgh. Harrison, who's pictured above, has been repeatedly fined by the league, but the McCoy play was his first incident in 2011.

“James Harrison is a great football player, but our rules apply to all 2,000 players and all 32 teams,” Goodell said. “I think he has the ability to adapt to the game. … We’ve always had changes in our rules. We’ve identified techniques that need to be removed from the game because we think they are unsafe for player safety. That has been changed and players have adapted.”

Asked if he’s convinced a player can change his style, Goodell said, “Individuals are going to have to adapt as they can. Some may not be able to adapt. … We’re not going to adapt those rules to individuals.”

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