Crushing defenceless receivers isn't football

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant (81) lands on his head after a reception as the New...

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant (81) lands on his head after a reception as the New England Patriots Kyle Arrington (24) and Antwaun Molden make a tackle during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania November 27, 2011. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

Bill Lankhof, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:37 PM ET

Saints rookie defensive back Isa Abdul-Quddus knocked Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks somewhere into last week. Meantime Mike Tomlin is playing semantics.

Tomlin says Troy Polamalu doesn’t have a concussion. Just “concussion-like symptoms” and that he should be able to play this weekend.

Which brings us to a sober second thought.

True, football is violent game with great possibility of being injured. It is also a game that has gotten away from its roots. When Abdul-Quddus levelled Nicks he was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a defenceless receiver. “It’s football, he took advantage of it. He did what he’s supposed to do, I guess. I wasn’t happy, but it’s football,” Nicks told reporters.

But is it football?

Defence has always involved some form of intimidation but where it once used to be all about making a good, solid tackle the mantra now is all about “The Hit”. Get on SportsCentre with one of those and it doesn’t seem to matter how many people slip a tackle.

It’s become more about hurting people. Defensive backs are all out there looking for the big hit instead of the sure tackle. And so we get the Steelers once again having to play fast and loose with the league’s concussion rules. “All things are positive,” for Polamalu, according to Tomlin.

Excuse me. But when someone has two “concussion-like” symptoms in six weeks, not “all things” can be well. Every week we get helmet to helmet hits. Every week someone gets knocked into fairyland.

Maybe instead of trying to run through brick walls, if guys would just go back to learning how to tackle, this issue wouldn’t come up every week.

SUH HURTS LIONS’ PLAYOFF CHANCES

Doing the Ndamukong Stomp is going to cost the Detroit Lions the services of their left tackle for two games.

The NFL has announced it is suspending Suh for two games after he stomped on the right arm of Green Bay guard Evan Dietrich-Smith in a Thanksgiving Day game.

The suspension is severe by NFL standards. Only Albert Haynesworth and now Suh have drawn suspensions of more than one game for in-game infractions. Suh will miss Sunday night’s game at New Orleans and a Dec. 11 home game against Minnesota and won’t be paid until he is reinstated Dec. 12, costing him $164,000.

The two-game suspension gives the league room to manoeuvre as Suh has already informed the NFL that he will appeal. Suh phoned commissioner Roger Goodell to personally apologize on the weekend, and there is a possibility his suspension could be reduced to one game.

Either way, this is probably Suh’s last chance to look up the definition of sportsmanship. This is his fifth violation of on-field rules in two years in the NFL. He has already been fined three times for roughing up quarterbacks and another time for unsportsmanlike conduct. Any further misconduct and he could be facing the longest suspension ever levied for an in-game infraction.

Even the Lions themselves may be growing weary of the antics. “We respect the process the league undertook in order to arrive at this decision,” the Lions said in a statement. They need Suh in the lineup, not the doghouse, because with a 7-4 record, they currently would miss the playoffs, losing tiebreakers with the Bears and Atlanta.

THE FULL MONTE

Tampa TV viewers got a behind the scenes look at their team Sunday.

With emphasis on The Behind.

A Tampa reporter and cameraman interviewed Bucs’ offensive lineman Donald Penn in the locker room. No problem. That stuff happens every day.

What they didn’t notice was another unidentified Bucs’ player undressing in the background in full camera view from the waist down. WTVT later apologized for the unscheduled showing of The Full Monte, noting: “Earlier in the Bucs’ post-game there was an inadvertent shot and we apologize for that.”

On the upside, nobody can accuse them of not getting to the bottom of the story.

It’s not the first time viewers have gotten an unexpected eyeful. Vishante Shiancoe inadvertently flashed the cameras in the Vikings’ dressing room and soccer star Martin Caceres also got caught shortchanged.

JOHNSON MAKES PEACE WITH BURRESS

Bill’s receiver Stevie Johnson says he’s sorry.

Jets’ receiver Plaxico Burress said the Bills wide receiver left a voice message on his phone and sent him a text message to apologize for mocking him during an end zone celebration.

Johnson said he regretted the touchdown dance that included a pantomime of Burress shooting himself in the thigh. The incident, at a nightclub, sent Burress to prison for 20 months. “And I think a day later he’s realized what he did,” said Burress, “and how he made himself look and embarrassed his team, organization, his players, his coaches, but those are the things you learn and being immature at times.”

Meantime, Bills’ coach Chan Gailey admitted Johnson’s actions continue to make him uncomfortable but that the club will leave any further disciple up to the league.

“If I benched everybody for every dumb mistake that was made, there wouldn’t be any coaches or players out there because we’ve all made dumb mistakes,” Gailey said. “Everybody gets happy about scoring. I don’t want him to not like it. But at the same time, you’ve got to be under control.”

QUICK HITS

The Arizona Republic reports that Bears’ offensive coordinator Mike Martz has interest in the vacant Arizona State coaching job ... Kyle Orton will be given a chance to make his debut when the Chiefs attempt to stop a four-game skid in Chicago ... The Rams are 2-9. Remember Sam Bradford? Never mind. The way these guys have been playing nobody else does either ... Seahawks Sidney Rice (concussion) will miss Thursday’s game against the Eagles ... Lions’ Kevin Smith (ankle) was held out of practice Tuesday. Safety Louis Delmas (knee) and corners Chris Houston (knee) and Brandon McDonald (knee) are also out in an injury-depleted secondary ... Eagles Vince Young is taking all the first team snaps in place of Michael Vick (ribs) Tuesday at practice ... Owner/GM Jerry Jones said Tuesday he expects Miles Austin (hamstring) to play Sunday.

 

 

 


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