clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

League Says Vicious Spearing Legal

NFL Defends Ingram's Hit on Brady
League 'Looking Into' Del Rio's Comment

According to The Boston Globe's Mike Reiss, the NFL says Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Clint Ingram's hit on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was legal.

Here is what it says in Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g) of the Official NFL Playing Rules:

"...using any part of a player's helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/hairline parts) or facemask to violently and unnecessarily butt, spear or ram an opponent; although such violent and unnecessary use of the helmet and facemask is impermissible against any opponent, game officials will give special attention in administering this rule to protecting those players who are in virtually defenseless postures (e.g., a player in the act of or just after throwing a pass, a receiver catching or attempting to catch a pass...)."
Here is the league's "reasoning" as provided by NFL vice president of public relations Greg Aiello, according to Reiss:
Aiello explained that because Brady was running on the play in question -- and was diving headfirst -- he wasn't in a defenseless position that a receiver catching a pass or a quarterback throwing a pass might find himself in. Had Brady been on the ground and then Ingram hit him, the result could have been different.
Exactly, that's why "defenseless position" is not a requirement to call the penalty. The rule says that a player in a "defenseless position" will be given "special attention in administering the rule." Even so, how can someone going to the ground and hit in he back not be defenseless. "He wasn't on the ground already." What a crock.

The sole requirement of the rule is satisfied: "... using any part of a player's helmet ... to violently and unnecessarily butt, spear or ram an opponent."

How much simpler can it get?

The only "defenseless position" is the league's.

Every commentator, including those in markets outside New England, who has even mentioned the play has called it a spear. How can the league not? Do they have a replay that shows it was something other than Ingram's helmet that he buried in Brady's back?

This, if nothing else, is proof positive that the Patriots are not treated fairly and equally by the league.

According to Aiello, the league is "looking into" Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio's comments encouraging his players to spear opponents. (That alone should be proof that it was a spear. Del Rio said it was.) Apparently, the league is "aware" of Del Rio's comment, and they're "concerned."

They're less concerned about Brady. He's not entitled to "special consideration" under any circumstances. Only players like Poster Boy are entitled to "special consideration".

I've read several forums where fans have said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick should turn loose Rodney Harrison and Rosevelt Colvin and Mike Vrabel. Do exactly what Ingram did. Of course, we all know that there would be penalties, fines and suspensions for such actions by Patriots players. Anything to get Poster Boy his championship. Besides, that's not Patriots football.

By the way, if anyone know of a link to a video of the hit, please post it. Thanks.