James Harrison talks fines, safety

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison used the biggest stage of them all -- media day at the Super Bowl -- to make a statement about NFL's increased amount of fines and issues with player safety.

Harrison on Tuesday made some serious comments and also joked about his situation. Harrison has been the poster child as the league's most heavily fined player for big hits he made during the season.

Among some of the statements, Harrison said his meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was a waste of time and he questioned if the league really cared about protecting its players. Harrison explained that he's had concussions before at the professional level but didn't come out of the game.

With Harrison's trademark scowl, it's sometimes hard to tell when he's joking and when he's serious. But some of his statements also were pretty entertaining.

"I just want to tackle them softly on the ground," Harrison joked, prompting laughter from the media. "If you can, can you lay a pillow down where I'm going to tackle them so they don't hit the ground too hard ... Mr. Goodell?"

Harrison briefly considered retiring after being fined $75,000 for a hit on Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. His total amount of fines reached $125,000 by the end of the season.

"At the time, it was something that was really serious for me. Stepping back and having time to look at it and evaluate the whole situation, it was a heat-of-the-moment decision, not well thought out, not planned out," he told reporters.

Harrison says he made the right decision to return to the Steelers, who will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. But he made it no secret that he felt like he was targeted this season.

"I don't think they need to do anything to provide clarity," Harrison explained. "I just think they need to [fine players] evenly across the board. That's all."

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.