Steelers continue NFL assault

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are not bashful this week about bashing the NFL.

With the football world watching, Steelers players continue their full-on assault on the league concerning many key issues such as a pending lockout, increased fines and player safety.

Pittsburgh Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison has been leading the charge. "It's not about player safety," Harrison said. "It's about money."

Harrison believes the owners will lock out the players in March when the current collective bargaining agreement expires. This could impact free agency but the draft would go on as scheduled in April.

Steelers veteran safety Ryan Clark also was critical of this week's special masters ruling not to stop millions in guaranteed money from television networks going to the owners if there is a lockout.

"If no football is played next year, the networks will have no games to show but are going to pay [the NFL] still," Clark said. "You don't put a contingency plan like that into place if you don't plan on using it. If someone told you this week, 'I will pay you a million dollars to not go to work, what incentive do you have to go to work?'"

The Steelers are arguably the NFL's most successful franchise with six Super Bowl titles. But they have developed a strong "Us against the world mentality" this season for various issues in which the team felt targeted.

Pittsburgh overcame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's four-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy and made it to the Super Bowl. Harrison was the NFL's most-fined player this season with penalties totaling $125,000, and there have been several examples of questionable or uneven officiating.

At Super Bowl media day, Harrison joke about the increased fines, suggesting that the NFL "lay a pillow" on the ground where Harrison will make tackles Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

What will the Steelers say next about the league? Stay tuned.