Brian Urlacher no fan of hits policy

Updated: December 2, 2010, 8:11 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher criticized the NFL's disciplinary system for dangerous hits and suggested the league change the way it fines its players.

"I think it's bull the way they are doing it," Urlacher said Wednesday on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" on ESPN Radio. "The thing I don't like about it is, if they say it, you pay the fine, that's all there is to it. I don't know who makes the decision. I don't know if it's one guy, two guys, but I don't think it's fair.

"I think we should have a panel of guys who look at those hits and go over them. And I think the money is outrageous. Why can't there be different levels of fines? A league minimum guy getting fined $50,000? That's a lot of money for a guy making $300,000 a year. ... It frustrates me every week when I see these hits and guys getting fined."

The NFL already has a panel in place to review questionable hits. Director of football operations Merton Hanks -- a nine-year NFL veteran -- and his staff go through the videos of the hits and make a recommendation to NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson on whether the player should be disciplined.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said last month that current players and team officials should be involved in deciding punishments. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league has been opposed to it.

"There are league executives involved and there are former players involved," Goodell said on Nov. 12. "I think having active players and active front office executives is something the competition committee has always frowned on."

Appeals are heard and decided by Art Shell, a Hall of Fame player with the Raiders, and former NFL coach Ted Cottrell. They are paid jointly by the NFL and NFLPA.

Urlacher empathized with Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was fined $25,000 by the NFL on Tuesday for his helmet-first hit on Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Harrison has been fined four times totaling $125,000 this season.

"It hasn't changed what I do, it hasn't changed what our defense does," Urlacher said of the league's stricter enforcement of dangerous hits. "We still fly around, we still have big hits. You've got to be a little more aware I guess. We don't want to be aware of how we hit someone or where we can hit them or the timing."

ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright contributed to this report. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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