This past weekend in the Falcons-Eagles game there was a huge hit by Dunta Robinson on DeSean Jackson that left Jackson unconscious for a little bit and left both players with concussions. The end result of what happened to Jackson, who was on the receiving end of that hit, was very sad and it was unfortunate. Hard hits in the NFL are very excingti and they are mesmerizing, but as a fan it is really upsetting to see a player unable to get up after a violent collision. However, big hits are a part of the game. Football isn’t for the weak. It’s a very violent sport that sometimes leads to injuries.
I saw nothing wrong with the hit that Robinson put on Jackson. It was very scary, but it was legal, it wasn’t late, and it was clean. As a defensive back, it is your job to make sure the receiver doesn’t catch the football and if that means separating him from the ball with a huge hit, then that’s what it means. Robinson didn’t lead with his head. He led with his shoulder and prevented Jackson from catching the football which was very catchable. To me, Robinson wasn’t aiming for Jackson’s head and he wasn’t looking to injure him. He was looking to make a football play and keep Jackson from catching the ball. What was Robinson supposed to do? Was he supposed to wait till he caught the ball and then tackle him? Was he supposed to pull back and let him catch the ball? Was he supposed to stop himself in mid-air? The reality is Robinson did what he was taught to do and he did his job as a defensive back. It was a good football play.
As unfortunate as it is that Jackson was injured and will more than likely miss this weekend’s game, there was nothing wrong with the hit that Robinson put on him and for him to be fined $50,00 for a legal hit is absolutely ridiculous. Brandon Meriweather deserved his fine because his play crossed the line, but Robinson did not.
Ellis Hobbs joined WIP in Philly with Howard Eskin and Ike Reese to talk about whether or not his style of play will change based on the NFL enforcing these rules more, what he considers a fineable hit, and what he thought about the hit that his teammate DeSean Jackson received.
On whether or not this will change the way the game is played:
“I guess you play the game the same way you have always played it and let the chips fall where they may. I think to go out there and guard yourself and put caution out there may actually get you hurt worse than going out there and playing. It’s hard to go out there and play the game when they put such a severe penalty on you. On the other hand, it’s a violent sport and we all knew that from a young age. You just have to go out there and play the game.”
On what he thinks a fineable hit is:
“Your definition might be just as good as mine and the next man’s. Like I said this is a violent sport. As we progress in this sport year after year, guys are getting bigger and faster, taking the supplements, all the stuff that we’re doing in the offseason to basically prepare for these violent hits, we’re still going to see them. To sit here and say that you can prevent them by calling them a flagrant foul or an extreme foul or whatever you want to call it, I don’t really see that helping. I think its going to, for lack of a better word, get worse. At the same time this is what the fans are paying for and this is what they want. It just so happens that when you finally see it it’s something more than what you can handle.”
On whether or not he saw the hit on Jackson:
“I saw it in person, on tape, and numerous times.”
On what he thought about that hit:
“Here’s the disadvantage in looking at it like that. You’re talking about something that is happening in milliseconds. You’re slowing it down, you’re replaying it constantly and now you have the aspect of looking at it from all angles. Basically you’re telling everyone out there in TV land and reminding everyone of how bad this is. I think any human being and any person out there will tell you, I think (James) Harrison put a good point on it from the Steelers, you want to go out there and punish and hurt your opponent, but to sit there and do any permanent damage, you never want to do that. I don’t think Dunta Robinson had it in his mind to sit here and say I’m literally trying to kill this guy or knock him unconscious or something like that. Maybe so, but I personally don’t think that. I think he was just playing the game and if it was the other way around and DeSean had to hit him I think it would’ve been the same thing. We all know what we’re signing up for when we’re going out there.”
On whether or not he will put a knockout hit on a receiver when he comes over the middle despite the new enforcement of the rule:
“Most definitely. My job is to go out there and make sure that guy doesn’t catch the ball, make sure I take the ball away, or make the tackle. My coach coaches me in the right direction. He doesn’t tell me anything that’s within the rule of dirty play, but we are taught to go out there and be a physical defense. The fans, the media, talk about that every day. Are you a physical defense or are you a weak defense? You’re only going to get that by going out there and getting the respect. How do you do that? You go out there, you hit hard, and you play the game violent.”