Harbaugh: NFL rule on hits needs fine-tuning

Harbaugh: NFL rule on hits needs fine-tuning
December 28, 2012, 3:15 pm
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Now that Ed Reed has been fined for a second time this season for what the NFL has determined to be illegal, helmet-to-helmet hits -- though he has avoided suspension -- Ravens coach John Harbaugh emphasizes that more must be done to balance the playing field on both sides.

Reed was fined $55,000 for hitting Victor Cruz of the New York Giants last week on a play that was flagged as a personal foul.

Reed was driving his shoulder into the chest of Cruz, but their helmets also clashed which drew the flag.  Apparently, Reed hasn't been suspended because it doesn't appear that he's going for the opponent's head as Cruz dipped to evade contact.

He initially faced a one-game suspension last month for a similar hit on Emmanuel Sanders of the Pittsburgh Steelers because it would've been his third offense in three seasons. That was overturned on appeal and Reed avoided losing one week's salary ($423,000).

Reed will be available to play in Sunday's finale at the Cincinnati Bengals.

"Although the motivation is correct and the idea is right, it's still a work in progress," Harbaugh said Friday. "Like I said before, our guys are doing everything they can. I'm really proud of our guys (with) the way that they've responded to try to play within the rules and respect player safety.

"Sometimes it's easier said than done, but they are doing their best."

Harbaugh said after the Giants game that the NFL needs to review its process of fining players and distinguishing between intentional and unintentional blows to the head.