That defender was Browns defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah, who was perplexed as to why Big Ben was diving for his ankles. Not only did Roethlisberger go after him, but he then latched on to Ogbah’s foot and wouldn’t let go until an official pulled him off.
Even though these acts were done in front of the official, Roethlisberger went unpunished. The play was scrutinized by fans, and the Browns weren’t happy about it. Monday morning, fellow Browns defensive lineman Danny Shelton voiced his thoughts on Twitter by criticizing the NFL.
His “QBsLeague” hashtag is a fair point, because the league has a lot of rules in place to protect quarterbacks. Several years ago the “Brady rule” was put in place. It says: “A rushing defender is prohibited from forcibly hitting in the knee area or below a passer who has one or both feet on the ground, even if the initial contact is above the knee.”
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Colin Kaepernick’s stand against racial inequality and injustice has been a lightning rod, both in the NFL and politically speaking. A number of progressives support his right to sit during the national anthem as a demonstration of free speech and a call to action following a series of controversial police shootings. Many conservatives, however, have criticized his protest as disparaging commentary on the men and women who serve the United States and a distraction from the sport of football.
Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry made it clear on which side of the fence he stands.
The Golden State Warriors superstar and Charlotte native attended Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers, posting a “#FreeKaep” message on social media in support of the former Niners quarterback, who remains without an NFL job after becoming a free agent in March.
The Charlotte Observer also caught up with Curry, a longtime Panthers fan, before his original hometown football team beat his adopted home’s 49ers 23-3 on Sunday. Here’s what he had to say:
“He definitely should be in the NFL. If you’ve been around the NFL, the top 64 quarterbacks, and he’s not one of them? Then I don’t know what game I’m watching.
“Obviously his stance and his peaceful protest when he was playing here kind of shook up the world,” Curry said, “and I think for the better. But hopefully he gets back in the league — because he deserves to be here and he deserves an opportunity to play. He’s in his prime and can make a team better.”
Curry said, though, that he hoped most of all that from Kaepernick’s protests that “all that he’s gone through in the past year actually leads to some awakening.”
There is widespread debate over whether Kaepernick’s absence from a league that started the likes of Tom Savage and Scott Tolzien on Sunday is the result of a form of blackballing by owners or a talent issue. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, with many teams likely believing, accurately or not, that Kaepernick is not good enough to start and draws too much attention as a backup.
Kaepernick has made his share of mistakes in his quest for racial equality and criminal justice reform, most notably in his defense of Fidel Castro and failure to vote in the 2016 election, but those errors in judgment are far outweighed by the good that he’s done, from sparking a nationwide conversation on injustice to following through on a pledge to donate $1 million to causes aligned with his beliefs.
Likewise, Kaepernick’s quarterback rating of 90.7 last season ranked squarely in the middle of the league’s starters. With a Super Bowl and two NFC championship appearances also on his record, he is certainly more qualified than a number of QBs who are currently employed. Kaepernick also made it known that he would stand for the national anthem if he were signed for the 2017 season, so it’s hard to imagine his presence being a distraction beyond a few questions at each stop on the schedule.
That Curry said everything he did about Kaepernick is not groundbreaking. It is all fairly obvious, and it’s not all that different from what the Warriors point guard offered on the subject to CNBC in 2016:
“I love that there’s freedom of speech and he can stand up for what he believes in. There’s going to be people that disagree with him and there’s going to be people that agree with him, which is what I think our country stands for, which hopefully will drive the conversation to bettering the equal rights and treatment of African Americans and people of color.
“So I applaud him for taking a stand, and hopefully the conversation is about what his message was and not, ‘Is he going to stand or is he going to sit for the national anthem?’ The conversation is started and should continue.”
That Curry reiterated those comments now that Kaepernick is unemployed is no less important, though, because it is more than what many prominent NFL figures have offered on the matter.
“None of us operates in a vacuum,” a letter co-signed by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Michel Roberts reportedly said. “Critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly. Fortunately, you are not only the world’s greatest basketball players — you have real power to make a difference in the world, and we want you know that the Players Association and the League are always available to help you figure out the most meaningful way to make that difference.”
Curry’s comments also came just days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told FS1 of Kaepernick’s continued unemployment: “I’m not a football expert. I’m a huge fan. I have a role as commissioner also, but for me I watch the games and enjoy and let the football people make those decisions.”
No one really expected that the NFL might move Miami’s “home game” in London against the Saints back home to make up for the Dolphins’ weather-related hardship.
But owner Stephen Ross at least had to ask.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Ross’s request was quickly rejected.
“I asked,” Ross said via email. “It will be played in London.”
Of course, the suggestion always seemed like the kind of thing that made sense but had no chance, but Ross deserves credit for asking, since his team is in the midst of an incredible journey because of Hurricane Irma.
Their opener against the Buccaneers was postponed to their Week 11 bye. The Dolphins headed to Los Angeles in stages beginning Friday, and will practice there prior to next Sunday’s game against the Chargers. If their facility isn’t usable the following week, they’ve made plans to practice in West Virginia before their game at the Jets in Week Three. They’re planning on going back to Miami after that one before flying to London for the Oct. 1 game against the Saints.
They finally play in Hard Rock Stadium Oct. 8.
And while their lack of a bye week and just seven home games in Florida seems unfair, well, that’s also how life is sometimes.
It turns out Tony Romo can predict the future with ease.
The ex-Dallas Cowboys QB made his broadcast debut on Sunday during the Week 1 Raiders-Titans tilt and got rave reviews, particularly because he could tell the audience what was about to happen before the snap:
We’ve seen a few color commentators use a telestrator to, say, circle a player before a snap. But I’d say it’s ultra rare to hear someone saying exactly what play you’re about to see and why. There’s a video that shows how Romo did that in his first game:
Diagnosing blitzes, telling viewers which way runs were going … that’s why you hire Romo with zero booth experience.