Bengals' Burfict deserved penalty for late-game helmet hit, Steelers' James Harrison says
January 10, 2016 3:01 PM
The Steelers' Antonio Brown is attended to after taking a hard hit against the Bengals in the fourth quarter in the AFC Wild Card game Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium.
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Linebacker James Harrison, who played for one season in Cincinnati before returning to the Steelers, said Vontaze Burfict has been known to play out of control and deserved a penalty for his late helmet hit on Antonio Brown that helped cost the Bengals a playoff victory Saturday night.
But none of the Steelers were surprised it was Burfict, who, according to several players, even spit on one of the offensive linemen following a play in the second half.
“There are times where he’s out of control, but there are times where he’s out of control but he’s calculated with it,” said Harrison, who played with Burfict during the 2013 season and has been penalized several times by the NFL for what have been deemed as illegal hits. “There’s a fine line.”
Boswell’s winning field goal from 35 yards was set up when Burfict hit Brown in the helmet with his shoulder and forearm following an incomplete pass from the Bengals’ 47, drawing a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. While Brown was being helped from the field, cornerback Adam Jones was given a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for an incident with Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter, who was on the field.
The back-to-back penalties moved the ball to the Bengals’ 17, allowing Boswell to convert the winning kick.
Harrison said he didn’t see Burfict’s hit until after the game on television, but, without hesitation, said, “It’s a penalty.”
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