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Give Harrison credit for not backing down

James Harrison doesn't always criticize NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a tasteful manner, but you have to give the Steelers linebacker some credit for standing up to him again and again.

Other players would have gone silent after receiving more than $100,000 in fines from the NFL and becoming the first player suspended under the league's stricter guidelines for player safety. Not Harrison. He goes after Goodell harder than he does Joe Flacco.

Harrison doesn't take shots at Goodell simply out of bitterness. His beef is with Goodell's power, which goes unchecked in certain situations.

That's why Harrison is applauding Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against Goodell. "It is really a win-win, whether he wins the case or if he loses it," Harrison said Wednesday. "If he loses it, it shows that Goodell does have too much power and if he wins it, it opens up the floodgates."

You can dislike Harrison for his controversial hits. You can think Harrison is disrespectful and crossed the line with Goodell last year when he said, "If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it. I hate him and will never respect him."

Still, you have to be impressed how Harrison doesn't care that he puts a bigger target on his back every time he speaks out like this. He's been fined. He's been suspended. But Harrison won't be muted when it comes to Goodell.