In Sunday’s AFC Championship Game which featured the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, Patriot quarterback Tom Brady kicked Ravens safety Ed Reed in the thigh as he slid after scrambling out of the pocket avoiding a sack, a play that preceded, the last three points the Pats scored on Sunday.
Reed stayed on the field not falling to the turf, the reaction of many other players, but did appear hobbled and a little bruised as he walked into the locker-room. Reed tried to jump over Brady, but Brady slid cleat high and hit Reed point blank in the leg.
Today Ravens safety Bernard Pollard commented on the play saying, if you want to keep this going in the right direction, everyone should be penalized for their actions.” And went on to say that if Brady, knew what he was doing. It has to go both ways. Hopefully the NFL will do something about it. If they don’t, that’s fine. If they do, then that’s fine.
Pollard himself is a violent football player, dragging tight end Rob Gronkowski to the ground in last seasons AFC championship game, injuring his hip and crippling him in the SuperBowl and this season crushed Patriot running-back Stevan Ridley, which concussed him and caused a fumble.
Many Patriot fans do not like Pollard for good reason, he is incredibly physical and violent football player, but much to many Patriot fan’s chagrin he is correct in his assessment of this situation.
Earlier this season Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin, which warranted a $30,000 fine. This was the second time Suh kicked a player, as he kicked Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving 2011, which warranted a hefty penalty.
If Brady did kick Reed in the leg on purpose than he does deserve a fine, but it did not appear that he meant too. Being a quarterback Brady obviously does not have a history of being a violent player, which will make this incident go un-noticed. Brady does not deserve a fine and should not be penalized at all, but the NFL should re-asses how it dishes out penalties and make sure to give them both ways. This season an offensive player was fined 33 times this season and an defensive player 108 times this season.
Defensive players do have a disadvantage and deserve to play on an equal playing field both physically on Sundays and off the field during the week.