SI – Goat of the Week: Philadelphia CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, for his irresponsible launching and shoulder/upper arm cheap shot of a defenseless Byron Leftwich, the Pittsburgh quarterback, in the preseason game at Philadelphia. Rodgers-Cromartie is in line for a significant fine — maybe six figures. I think it’s worthy of a suspension. That’s one of the most egregious hits I’ve seen in the league in the last couple of years — worse than James Harrison on Colt McCoy, because you could argue that Harrison thought McCoy was a runner when he lined him up to hit him. Rodgers-Cromartie launched himself in violation of a well-publicized rule, and then hit Leftwich in the head in violation of a well-publicized rule. Luckily, Leftwich walked away, seemingly fine. The next victim may not be so lucky.
There are certain fat opinionated sportswriters among us who believe DRC’s hit was “one of the most egregious hits…seen in the league in the last couple of years” and unquestionably deserves to be suspended and/or fined SIX FIGURES for this hit on Byron Leftwich. Where do I even begin?
First of all — it’s Byron Leftwich. The man is 300lbs of slow worthlessness. Like I’m fairly confident he’s not even really on the Steelers and Tomlin just called him up and put him out there to take the shots that Roethlisberger can’t. Does anybody remember that time dude played through a broken leg at Marshall? Had to be carried by his lineman up to the new line of scrimmage after every play. The man’s probably already been concussed back into the fourth grade. I doubt a shoulderpad from a corner is going to hurt him.
Also, how can you suspend a guy for a regular season game for something that happened in preseason? It’s like Vegas: what happens in preseason stays in preseason. These games don’t mean anything.
And what’s the point of having backup quarterbacks of opposing defenses can’t tee off on them? The NFL can’t protect EVERYBODY on the field. They’ve already made it illegal to so much as stare too hard at a starting QB, the least they can do is throw defenses a bone and give them the green light on second-string kill shots. If this were Vick getting hit I probably would have gathered the townspeople with torches and pitchforks and marched to this corner’s house. Not denying that. But as far as I’m concerned Kafka can take shots like this every day and twice on Sunday. It’s part of the job of being a backup. In exchange for collecting millions of dollars by simply wearing a uniform and looking interested on the sidelines, you gotta accept a lost memory or two on account of a headhunting corner getting overly aggressive in preseason. Part of the game.
UPDATE: via PhillyMag After today’s morning practice, DRC had this to say:
Has he received any notification about a fine from the league?
Does he expect to receive a fine?
Does he believe it was a clean hit?
“Yes sir, no question.”
Any regrets? Maybe wish he would have tackled Leftwich differently?
“Regrets? We’re playing football, man,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “The Bible said don’t live a life of regret.”
Boom. Gotta love him. What do you think?
Vote 1 for Suspended and 10 for Not Suspended.