I could at least understand why a flag was thrown during the game because at full speed the hit did look vicious. But after being able to watch film and clearly see that all Suh did was ferociously push Cutler in the shoulders, how in the hell can the NFL make the decision to fine him?
Going back to the preseason, Suh was fined $7,500 for essentially trying to rip Jake Delhomme's head off. I was surprised that Suh wasn't fined more because he so blatantly went after a quarterback's head. Now, though, the NFL has fined him twice as much for a play where Cutler's head was not involved at all. If you strictly go off the call made by Hochuli then you might see a need to fine Suh, but watching video of the play clearly shows that there was no "forearm shiver" and Suh certainly did not hit Cutler's head.
I don't know how the NFL can fine Suh this much for a play you would see in two-hand touch. It's beyond ridiculous. I know some see it as the NFL protecting quarterbacks, but Cutler was a runner when the hit happened. I'm sure the thought is that a quarterback is a quarterback no matter where he is on the field, but the NFL needs to get real with this crap. I understand fining helmet-to-helmet hits and I can even see why quarterbacks receive so much protection in the pocket. But Suh's hit was nowhere near worthy of a fine, let alone one for $15,000. The fact that he was penalized was bad enough, but to fine him is beyond outrageous. For me personally, it is yet another incident that makes me despise the NFL and everything it stands for under Roger Goodell.
After the jump, you can find various reactions to the play.
- Referee Ed Hochuli was asked about the call after the game by Tom Kowalski and said that he "felt it was an unnecessary non-football act — a blow to the back of the runner’s helmet in the process of him going down." Hochuli added that while quarterbacks receive more protection, on this play that was not why the call was made. He also added this:
"When you tackle people, you come in, and you wrap up and come with your arms and things like that. I felt he delivered a blow to the back (of the) runner that happened to be the quarterback. That is why I was down there following it. He’s my responsibility."All I can say is what a joke.
- Jim Schwartz seemed very confused by why the call was made, saying this:
"'Non-football act,' we really don't know what the definition of that is," Schwartz said. "I've not seen a definition of 'non-football act' before."
- Ndamukong Suh said this about the call:
"I don’t judge calls," Suh said. "It’s not my job. My job is to go out there and play, get the ball out. It was a great opportunity to attack the ball. It just happened. Whatever. I was going for the ball, so that’s all that matters."Cliff Avril was not as diplomatic, saying the call was "bogus."
- Bears center Olin Kreutz wasn't upset by the hit and didn't think it was cheap or dirty by any means.
- Bears GM Jerry Angelo said the hit was a "poor sign of a football player in the National Football League, given all that our game stands for." He also said the right call was made and that his players know better. Once again, all I can say is what a joke.
- Jay Cutler wasn't surprised that Suh was fined.
- If you haven't seen the play yet, a video of it is below.