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Derrick Morgan fined $7,500, tells NFL: I can’t stop in mid-air

Derrick Morgan, Jim Washburn AP

Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan was flagged for unnecessary roughness on Sunday for jumping on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco after Flacco had recovered a fumble. Now Morgan has been fined, but he’s telling the NFL that his hit on Flacco was a simple matter of the laws of physics, not an attempt to injure.

Morgan said that when he left the ground he was diving to try to recover the fumble, not to try to jump on Flacco.

“I saw the ball loose, so I am going toward the ball to get it. I couldn’t stop myself in the air,” Morgan said. “If I really wanted to take a dirty shot on him, I would’ve made it count. It wasn’t anything malicious. He’s not a quarterback when he is trying to get the ball.

Morgan said he plans to appeal the fine because he doesn’t think he did anything wrong — something he said one Ravens offensive lineman agreed with him about.

“I don’t have a problem paying the fine if I feel like I am wrong,” Morgan said. “Even one of the offensive linemen looked at the replay and said, ‘That’s a tough call.’”

But it’s a call that the league office reviewed, and said was correct.

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21 Responses to “Derrick Morgan fined $7,500, tells NFL: I can’t stop in mid-air”
  1. jliskiew says: Sep 21, 2011 6:11 PM

    Looks like you need an updated picture on Derrick Morgan – that picture had to be from mini-camps his rookie year, as he wears #90 now! As long as he keeps playing like he did last Sunday, this will not be a problem…

  2. gtorlone says: Sep 21, 2011 6:11 PM

    He does make a good point. Stopping in the air.. that’d be a hell of a feat.

  3. hoosierhandicapper says: Sep 21, 2011 6:24 PM

    It’s my main beef with Goodells’ cronies and their unbridled stupidity with some of these fines. Some things just can’t be avoided.

    It is physically impossible for defenders to change their trajectory in the time it takes an offensive player to lower his head. What may have started out as a legal blow becomes an illegal one because the offensive player changes his body positioning.

    I called it stupidity but it’s probably not that. They probably recognize the problem but they’re erring on the side of penalizing defensive players.

    It’s not about safety whatsoever. It’s about limitation of liability. Always has been.

  4. occamssabre says: Sep 21, 2011 6:48 PM

    BS…Flacco was on the ground covering the ball for almost 2 seconds when Morgan lunged at the back of his ribs. Flacco wasn’t making any attempt at trying to get up either.

  5. serr8d says: Sep 21, 2011 6:54 PM

    What the league wants is free-roam quarterbacks.

    Just put a red jersey on ‘em and make all QB touches illegal. If that’s the way these pansies want players to play the game, what other option is there?

  6. favreforever says: Sep 21, 2011 7:00 PM

    That was one of the weaknesses listed on his scouting report. “Does not stop in midair well.”.

  7. drew05 says: Sep 21, 2011 7:34 PM

    BS…Flacco was on the ground covering the ball for almost 2 seconds when Morgan lunged at the back of his ribs. Flacco wasn’t making any attempt at trying to get up either.

    Obviously an un-biased opinion…

    the only thing B.S. was the penalty/fine.

    They will retract the fine via the appeal.

    It’s a good thing they whooped ‘em anyway.

    Go Eagles.

  8. bucks12965 says: Sep 21, 2011 7:55 PM

    Anyone know where we can see the play in question?

  9. marshmont says: Sep 21, 2011 8:01 PM

    morgan is a liar. his hit was real late.

  10. unbiased8383 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:15 PM

    Are they ever going to recognize the fact that some of these hits aren’t preventable? Look at the tape! If he’s in the air already-No Fine!!! Quit making this game soccer for God’s sake.

  11. z0inks says: Sep 21, 2011 8:34 PM

    BS…Flacco was on the ground covering the ball for almost 2 seconds when Morgan lunged at the back of his ribs. Flacco wasn’t making any attempt at trying to get up either.

    Agreed. Flacco clearly had possession and was not attempting to advance the ball.

    That being said…the whistle didn’t blow until after Morgan hit Flacco; in fact, Morgan was already starting to get up when the whistle blew. Watch the replay.

    If the league wants to fine Morgan for the hit on Flacco, they also need to fine the referee for exposing the QB to injury by not whistling the play dead in a timely manner.

    Players are taught to play until the whistle blows….and that’s exactly what Morgan did. If anyone screwed up here, it was the referee.

  12. stephen031 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:46 PM

    Flacco was down, but the play wasn’t dead yet since he wasn’t touched. Morgan and the DT both lunged at him to make the tackle and Morgan fell on him less than 0.1 seconds after the DT.. and that’s worth of not only a killer penalty, but also a 4 figure fine?

  13. nesuperfan says: Sep 21, 2011 9:00 PM

    hoosierhandicapper says:Sep 21, 2011 6:24 PM

    It’s my main beef with Goodells’ cronies and their unbridled stupidity with some of these fines. Some things just can’t be avoided.
    __________________________________

    My favorite one: When the defensive player is coming in low, and at the last second, the offensive player lowers his head and causes the helmet-to-helmet contact. FLAG: 15 yards on the defensive guy every time.

  14. frydade says: Sep 21, 2011 9:11 PM

    Just give the QB’S flags now and change the name of the league to the National Flag Football League

  15. FinFan68 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:14 PM

    Remember the good ol’ days when only the blatantly atrocious safety violations drew a fine?

  16. kevo126 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:37 PM

    that was definitely a dirty play. flacco was on the ball for like 3 seconds, then another titan fell on him legally and then morgan fell on flacco the hardest way he could.

    morgan hit flacco much harder than the first titan and much later. so the penalty was fine…idk about a fine. it wasnt really a dangerous play or anything

  17. cdngolfer says: Sep 21, 2011 10:06 PM

    I’m a Titans fan and although it was not a huge hit, it was unnecessary.

  18. ninjapleazee says: Sep 21, 2011 10:08 PM

    Tim Tebow can stop in mid air

  19. Nikhil Balakumar says: Sep 21, 2011 10:11 PM

    the NFL is slowing down football way too much with unecessary flags, the kickoff rule and the new review every TD policy.

    we should be able to trust the refs to make the decision and if the coach doesnt agree he can challenge. takes the fun out of the game

  20. guada1265 says: Sep 22, 2011 1:09 AM

    The NFL is overthinking EVERYTHING! IT’S F-ING FOOTBALL! THEY MAKE LOTSA MONEY IN THEIR CHOSEN(!) PROFESSON! (They all went to college! LEARN a different living if you don’t want to play!!!) PEOPLE DO MORE DANGEROUS JOBS FOR LOTS LESS MONEY!!! WTF IS EVERYBODY UP IN ARMS ABOUT (NFL office)? Be a fricken accountant if you don’t want to take the risk! Farmers, crab fisherman, under water welders, …many other professions that I can’t think of right now, take the risk of health and even their own mortality, just to make what they consider “good” money ! SUCK IT UP and take the risk you’re paid to take!

  21. steelersmichele says: Sep 22, 2011 12:01 PM

    Derrick, I remember you had a chance to change the discipline policy, but you didn’t. You and your teammates voted for the new CBA.

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