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Rodgers-Cromartie: Hit on Leftwich was clean, “no question”

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Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie launched at Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich in last week’s preseason game and was flagged for unnecessary roughness, but Rodgers-Cromartie doesn’t think he did anything wrong.

Rodgers-Cromartie told Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com that he doesn’t think he’ll be fined, and that there’s “no question” in his mind that his hit on Leftwich was clean. He also said he has no regrets about his hit on Leftwich.

Regrets? We’re playing football, man,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “The Bible said don’t live a life of regret.”

Rodgers-Cromartie may have the Bible on his side, but he doesn’t have the rulebook on his side. It’s a foul if a player leaves both feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent and uses any part of his helmet to initiate contact. It’s also a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against an opponent in the act of throwing a pass or just after throwing a pass. That’s what Rodgers-Cromartie did to Leftwich, and that’s why he’ll be fined.

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73 Responses to “Rodgers-Cromartie: Hit on Leftwich was clean, “no question””
  1. pftcensorssuck says: Aug 13, 2012 11:29 AM

    How can any defender NOT know by now that you cannot leave your feet to hit an opponent?

    No excuse.

  2. gcsuk says: Aug 13, 2012 11:31 AM

    What did you expect him to say?

  3. floriosfuglykid says: Aug 13, 2012 11:32 AM

    Sounds like someone is taking pre-season a bit too seriously.

  4. steelerdynasty2010 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:34 AM

    thought you couldnt launch at the head/neck area of the qb…period…anywhere on the field, for any reason

  5. mistersmith22 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:35 AM

    “It’s also a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against an opponent in the act of throwing a pass”

    RIP Football: 11/6/1869 – 2012. Shot dead in the head by ownership greed and a megalomaniac commissioner.

  6. steelerssmack4u says: Aug 13, 2012 11:36 AM

    Hit on Leftwich was clean, “no question”” and so was Chadd Johnson’s hit on his wife. These guys need birth control

  7. redguy12588 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:37 AM

    No one ever accused DRC of being smart.

  8. realitypolice says: Aug 13, 2012 11:38 AM

    Wow.

    I am amazed that at this juncture, there are players in the league who still don’t know the rules.

    Not a very good idea to say something like this BEFORE Goodell decides his penalty.

    All this is going to do is make Rog say “well, I guess they still don’t get it”, and hit DRC even harder than he had planned.

  9. lew24 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:39 AM

    Are you saying the refs got one right?

  10. nmking26 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:40 AM

    No part of his helmet hit Leftwich. He hit Leftwich shoulder first which is fine.

    There shouldn’t be a penalty/fine on launching UNLESS there is helmet to helmet to helmet contact. I don’t see. why he should be fined for leading with his shoulders.

  11. blacknole08 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:42 AM

    He launched his body at Leftwich. Nothing about that hit was legal.

  12. thraiderskin says: Aug 13, 2012 11:42 AM

    Oh… Well it looked like he lunged upwards at his head, guess I didn’t watch it happen like I thought. Fricken moron.
    How does he site a single passage/excerpt from the bible and act like that was all it said. I’m pretty sure it says something to the affect of not living life with regret by not doing regretful things.

  13. cruuuzcontrol says: Aug 13, 2012 11:44 AM

    I’m sure he’ll be getting a lengthy letter from league HQ that will describe to him in detail all the things he did wrong on that play. Perhaps then he will understand.

  14. northernwisc says: Aug 13, 2012 11:47 AM

    The Bible also say an eye for an eye. So how about you let Leftwich take and give you a hit like that.

    This guy is a clown. Has he not been paying attention to the NFL lately? If he thinks he isn’t going to get fined – he should be tested for drugs right away as well.

  15. therealdmuls says: Aug 13, 2012 11:47 AM

    “Regrets? We’re playing football, man.” Best quote I’ve heard in a while.

  16. gmen1987 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:51 AM

    Good for Sheriff Goodell for cracking down on the criminal element in the NFL.

  17. nitty32 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:53 AM

    Fine or no fine, it was a good hit and he caught him wit his shoulder not his helmet .if he would of gone for his knees and blew out his knee it wouldve been worse but that’s ok tho ,they mite as well change it to flag football …

  18. frankfordyellowjackets says: Aug 13, 2012 11:56 AM

    Unless RC has another head coming out of his right shoulder it was a legal hit.

  19. Patriot42 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:56 AM

    I think the league should do away with the defensive team entirely and allow the offense to be on the field all by themselves. That way they could do away with illegal hits and those that love to watch the prima donna WR’s catch and run for TD’s would be in heaven.

  20. johnnybgood19 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:56 AM

    Yeah, clean and Poland won the Gold medal for beach volleyball….

  21. hystoracle says: Aug 13, 2012 11:57 AM

    And if the NFL says other wise, Rodgers-Cromartie can just sue them for defamation of character and get the Louisiana judge to overturn it.

  22. wethog66 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:58 AM

    Not sure how anyone can say that was a clean hit. He made a 1 on 1 tackle on a player, never mind a QB, in the open field by launching himself at the players head. No wrap up, nothing.

    Launched his body like a missle at the guys head. It was cheap, and considering it happened in a pre-season game, I still don’t understand why a Steeler, or two, didn’t come out on the field and beat the turd down. Fine/suspension be damned. Clear intent to knock someone out in a pre-season game. Beat down worth.

  23. alphaq2 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:59 AM

    Can’t help but feel bad for these defesive players. You can’t hit a QB below the waist. You can’t hit a QB in the head. It can be considered unnecessary contact if you hit a QB in the act of throwing or just after throwing. It’s almost impossible to touch a QB and not get flagged, and eventually fined.

  24. citizenstrange says: Aug 13, 2012 12:00 PM

    That is a textbook example of illegally launching and headhunting.

    If Rodgers-Cromartie is not fined and suspended then Goodell should refund every penny plus a 29.9 APR that James Harrison has ever been fined along with a full page apology in at least 25 major newspapers.

    It’ not James Harrison who did it and it happened to a Steeler quarterback so it will probably be a case of “he was just trying to tackle him” like the ref described the dirty, cheap shot when Ngata illegally and savagely clubbed Roethlisberger’s nose all over his face.

  25. eagles83 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:00 PM

    Well, it wasn’t. But I don’t care because you actually tried to hit someone and we’re not used to our Left CB trying to do anything other than get intentionally blocked so he doesn’t have to tackle.

  26. norseyapper says: Aug 13, 2012 12:01 PM

    I think that if he’s going to lean on the Bible for support he may need to consider that living without regret only applies after repentance, which begins with taking responsibility for your actions.

    He needs to look at the replay video of the hit. It was text book, brand x, what the league would use to teach players NOT to do.

  27. meytonpanning says: Aug 13, 2012 12:03 PM

    he should be fortunate he didn’t get ejected… that was a dirty hit if I’ve ever seen one. Helmet to helmet when he was already being sacked.

    Eagles really don’t need head shots from a CB with their DLine.

  28. baddegg says: Aug 13, 2012 12:03 PM

    “Regrets? We’re playing football, man,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “The Bible said don’t live a life of regret.”

    Tim Tebow demands an explanation.

  29. omniscient48 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:04 PM

    Fine and suspension, no question.

  30. vincentbojackson says: Aug 13, 2012 12:05 PM

    The league’s response: We’ll see you week 2.

  31. pens5829 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:08 PM

    Dominique. The commish’s office is calling. bring your checkbook.

  32. champ1118 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:09 PM

    No way Cromartie thinks that hit was ok, especially for a pre-season game. However, and I’m a little ashamed to admit, I found it slightly entertaining. Byron Leftwich had that Apollo Creed reaction to the hit…”This is supposed to be an exhibition!!!” Haaaaa No one told Cromartie.

  33. txbossman says: Aug 13, 2012 12:10 PM

    No sir. You are not “Playing football, man”. Not anymore. Your own union has seen to that. You know, the people you pay to represent you and speak for you? They have seen to it, along with bitter, broken men that need one more ride on the gravy train.

  34. hisgirlgotburrelled says: Aug 13, 2012 12:10 PM

    “…and uses any part of his helmet to initiate contact.”

    His shoulder pad initiated contact.

    “… unnecessary contact against an opponent in the act of throwing a pass or just after throwing a pass.”

    First Leftwich ran out of the pocket and was running towards the line of scrimmage. He was not defenseless. Then he made a weak pass attempt, turning himself in a defenseless player right before he knew he was going to get hit. The rules were changed for the safety of players, right? Is it OK for the players to stop protecting themselves moments before impact, just to avoid a 3 yard loss?

  35. dudicle says: Aug 13, 2012 12:13 PM

    That hit was much more malicious than either of Dunta Robinson’s hits on the Philly receivers. Dunta never launched himself (his feet never the ground).

  36. sogymath says: Aug 13, 2012 12:20 PM

    “Regrets? We’re playing football, man,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “The Bible said don’t live a life of regret.”

    OK? Do not think you got the whole picture there. back to Sunday School… How about do not fill your life with things you might regret… It does not mean you can run around doing what you please not caring about the consequences. You do not go and punch someone and then just say “no regret, Bible says so”.

    Come on man!

  37. holeinone09 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:21 PM

    Can you imagine what the league would do if James Harrison delivered a similar hit to a QB? LOL!

    Hey DRC, you have to play the Steelers again this year, in Pittsburgh. You had a chance to be real about it, now you are on the record.

  38. joetorious says: Aug 13, 2012 12:22 PM

    I’m a Steelers fan and was totally fine with that hit. The NFL is lame now.

  39. lilrob10201 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:25 PM

    I know this generation of the NFL that hit is now illegal but back in the day people would laugh at you for saying that hit was illegal.

  40. mmmpierogi says: Aug 13, 2012 12:39 PM

    hisgirlgotburrelled says: Aug 13, 2012 12:10 PM

    “…and uses any part of his helmet to initiate contact.”

    His shoulder pad initiated contact.

    “… unnecessary contact against an opponent in the act of throwing a pass or just after throwing a pass.”

    First Leftwich ran out of the pocket and was running towards the line of scrimmage. He was not defenseless. Then he made a weak pass attempt, turning himself in a defenseless player right before he knew he was going to get hit. The rules were changed for the safety of players, right? Is it OK for the players to stop protecting themselves moments before impact, just to avoid a 3 yard loss?

    ******************************************************************

    “First Leftwich ran out of the pocket and was running towards the line of scrimmage. He was not defenseless.”

    NFL Rulebook — Example of roughing the passing: “Quarterback A1 rolls out of the pocket, and while moving, throws a pass to A2 who runs out of bounds at the B12. Just after A1 released the ball, B1 launches and hits A1 in the chest area with the forehead part of the helmet …”

    Leftwich rolled out of the pocket and threw to Pope, who was open. He overthrew Pope, but the rulebook doesn’t say that the pass has to be good, presumably as long as its directed toward an eligible receiver (which this was). Further, if you watch the video closely, DRC led with both his helmet and his shoulder, nevermind the fact that he launched at Leftwich. What are you arguing about.

    “Is it OK for the players to stop protecting themselves moments before impact, just to avoid a 3 yard loss?”

    What does this even mean? Players in the situation that Leftwich was in *are* going to do whatever they can to avoid a 3-yard-loss, even if it means putting themselves in a position where they cannot defend themselves as they otherwise might. Why? Because it’s a competitive sport, and people want to win. That is precisely why it’s incumbent open defensive players to not apply tackling methods that might cause a concussion or other serious injury in that situation. You see a guy who’s trying to keep a play going and can’t defend himself — you don’t go launching at his head or upper body. There wasn’t even an attempt to wrap up on DRC’s part, so it’s not like he was trying to hide it.

    I doubt DRC had intent to injure, but he should know that he’s going to get called for that. It’s a double loss for him because now refs are going to be looking out for him in the future to do something similar. Not exactly worth it given that it was a preseason game of no consequence.

  41. sirsupersouthern says: Aug 13, 2012 12:42 PM

    A fine? He should get a reward for knocking a scrub like Leftwich out of the game…

  42. stairwayto7 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:53 PM

    There was a reason the Cards traded him. He was a HORRIBLE on coverage, he COULD NOT make a tackle, he GAVE UP on plays and he DOES NOT GET IT! He will be out of Philly in 2 years.

  43. eagleswin says: Aug 13, 2012 12:53 PM

    gcsuk says:
    Aug 13, 2012 11:31 AM
    What did you expect him to say?

    ——————————–

    That the replacement refs suck and that the regular refs would’ve been fine with him launching himself into Leftwich. Everyone knows that nothing is ever the player’s fault.

  44. garryjercia says: Aug 13, 2012 12:54 PM

    1st: I’d like someone, preferably DRC, to send me the location of said philosophy in the Bible.
    2nd: I hope he keeps the idiotic play up in the regular season as it will cost his team 15 yards every time –even the scab refs can see that one.
    3rd: I thought he got to Philly after McNabb left. Who’s teaching the rules up there?

  45. davekva72 says: Aug 13, 2012 12:57 PM

    Of course he said it was a legal hit, what else is he gonna say? I mean, if you do a superman head first into a QB, you know it’s an illegal hit, and you know you’re gonna get a penalty and fine.

  46. comeonnowguys says: Aug 13, 2012 1:03 PM

    I love that people pronouncing a league with an impact so big one of the major parties asks it to move their season opener, so people won’t ignore an incumbent presidents keynote speech, as dead.

    Change happens. Increase awareness in player safety happens. Get over it. If you don’t like it, pull your old-school lawn darts out of the garage and play one-man catch straight up in the air.

  47. icewalker946 says: Aug 13, 2012 1:09 PM

    gcsuk says:
    Aug 13, 2012 11:31 AM
    What did you expect him to say?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Shee, man, Imma just playin’ my game, you know, and this ain’t practice….this is real damn football, man, know what I’m sayin’ and he would do the same thing to me, you know, I gots my family to protect and I need to ball so I can makes my money, you know.

    I will rot in hel| for this……..

  48. tmar1961 says: Aug 13, 2012 1:09 PM

    he didnt go helmet to helmet, and other than the launching, was a good hit in 2012. NO QUESTION that he launched himself and that alone was worthy of the flag and will get him a visit to the principals office. Good OLD SCHOOL hit, too bad its not legal in 2012 where you cant breathe on a QB.

  49. realitypolice says: Aug 13, 2012 1:16 PM

    People, please.

    Stop it with the no helmet to helmet. It doesn’t matter. You cannot leave your feet and hit the QB in the head. Period. And that is NOT a new rule.

    It doesn’t matter if he was in or out of the pocket, or even that he is a QB. If DRC had left his feet downfield and stuck his shoulder in the grill of an RB or WR, it would still be a penalty.

  50. jdfrox says: Aug 13, 2012 1:20 PM

    Big Ben tore his Achilles on that play. He will just play through it though.

  51. nfceastfan says: Aug 13, 2012 1:25 PM

    I am interested in hearing this outcome. I thought it was illegal without question until after looking at it. He didn’t lead with his head, nor did he hit Lefties head. If there is a fine it would be for the launch “shoulder to chest”. Then again Lefty broke the pocket and became fair game. Still I come back to the launch.

  52. twenty6power says: Aug 13, 2012 1:48 PM

    Under the new rules the hit was illegal no matter who it was against, QB, James Harrison or Hines Ward.

  53. jpb12 says: Aug 13, 2012 2:13 PM

    Glad to see his coaches have cleared this up for him.

  54. steelersforlife says: Aug 13, 2012 2:25 PM

    This Rogers-Cromarte character needs to play some O and come across the middle and meet James Harrison or Ray Lewis and lets see how fast he’ll start crying about illegal hits. Man up dude and admit that it was a cheap shot.

  55. briank1ne says: Aug 13, 2012 2:34 PM

    the cromartie hit did leave both his feet. but he used his shoulder to chest of leftwich. it was illegal but not that bad of a hit. alex smith got a helmet to helmet hit last year against the bounty saints and noone said a thing.

  56. kleppnasty says: Aug 13, 2012 2:46 PM

    Seems like most people get the issue, but for those confused by the article, here is why it was illegal:
    he launched himself at the QB’s head.

    That’s it, that was never allowed, and the only thing I am confused with is why the Steeler’s OLine didn’t take out Cromartie right then and there.

    If Cromartie had run full speed into Leftwich, there isn’t an issue, even if his shoulder pad hit Leftwich’s head. The issue is that he JUMPED into Leftwich’s head, which is about the cheapest thing shy of spearing that you could do. Cromartie is a wuss, and even when he through his whole body at the weakest part of Leftwich, I think Leftwich probably hit Cromartie harder. What a waste of flesh Cromartie is (though Eagles sadly got a better player in that trade).

  57. theboysofdallas says: Aug 13, 2012 2:52 PM

    Has he watched the tape, does he know what it feels like to jump

  58. melikefootball says: Aug 13, 2012 2:57 PM

    Rodgers…must need glasses or was a sleep during film meeting. Two wrongs don’t make a right, launch off ground both feet and leading with helmet on a QB. Fine time!!!

  59. monsterright says: Aug 13, 2012 3:03 PM

    I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t say act like an idiot and don’t regret it. The intent is not to act like an idiot in the 1st place. This guy turned one stupid move into 2 with that quote.

  60. texasbornlsufan says: Aug 13, 2012 3:03 PM

    Why shouldn’t Godnell suspend his coach for a year!!!!!!!! No control absolutely no control!

  61. jupitersteel says: Aug 13, 2012 3:17 PM

    if that would have happened to brady or rogers he would he sitting out the year and fined

  62. fmwarner says: Aug 13, 2012 3:21 PM

    He launched, so it’s a penalty. But people calling it a head shot are hallucinating. It was a shoulder to shoulder hit, and the impact caused Leftwich’s head to snap FORWARD. Basic physics.

  63. thetokyosandblaster says: Aug 13, 2012 3:51 PM

    It’s ok. It was vs a steeler, a team known for dirty hits. I say allow it and then when “can’t play a clean game” Harrison complains, say “see? Sucks when it’s against your guy, right?”

  64. bleedgreen11 says: Aug 13, 2012 4:18 PM

    It was a beautiful hit. Legal or not, I hope to see it again.

    WEAPON X!

  65. pop562 says: Aug 13, 2012 4:38 PM

    This guy is playing like it was a regular season game like its a must win game. That was clearly an illegal hit…

  66. c0rona55 says: Aug 13, 2012 4:51 PM

    What is it with Eagles and not knowing the rules of the game they play???

  67. dannythebisforbeast says: Aug 13, 2012 5:09 PM

    2002- yes would make Brian Dawkins proud

    2012- in the new touch football league. You just can’t do it

    How come it seems the more talent one has the less brains sometimes

  68. fmwarner says: Aug 13, 2012 6:23 PM

    kleppnasty says: Aug 13, 2012 2:46 PM

    That’s it, that was never allowed, and the only thing I am confused with is why the Steeler’s OLine didn’t take out Cromartie right then and there.
    ===============================

    Because even the Steelers’ offensive line has too strong a sense of irony to do that.

  69. nflfairness says: Aug 14, 2012 12:42 PM

    If this were a Steeler’s Defensive Player they would not only be fined they would most likely be suspended. Given the recent push by the NFL to enhance player safety and eliminate blows to the head, how is this not a punishable action by Cromartie?
    IF the NFL doesn’t apply any disciplinary action to Cromartie from this play then I can see the Steeler’s Players trying to use this video footage to their advantage for all future hard hitting plays in which recourse is being demanded by opposing teams.

  70. gethel says: Aug 15, 2012 10:45 PM

    Football is becoming like frigging powderpuff! They need to go back to the rules they had back when Jack Tatum was still playing! All these stupid rules which make these quarterbacks like primadonnas! While I agree with trying to protect the QBs from unnecessary hits like after the whistle has blown or outright illegal stuff like punching a guy or something, but football is a contact sport and the way they make it sound nowadays is that the ‘leatherheads’ should all be dead because they didn’t play with the latest protective equipment or under all these ticky-tack rules? There were big, fast guys back then, maybe not as many as today but nonetheless there were guys who were naturally huge! The leatherheads survived and todays players would be just fine without all the ridiculous rules!

  71. gethel says: Aug 15, 2012 10:55 PM

    Since the NFL has become flag football without the flags, maybe it’s time to start another league where they let the players actually hit each other like football used to be played? Kind of like how we have ultimate fighting instead of just boxing. I would buy a season ticket……..

  72. bornsteel62 says: Aug 18, 2012 11:00 PM

    James Harrison would have been suspended the 1st 3 regular season games by now…

  73. eaglesw00t says: Aug 20, 2012 12:18 PM

    steelersforlife says:
    Aug 13, 2012 2:25 PM
    This Rogers-Cromarte character needs to play some O and come across the middle and meet James Harrison or Ray Lewis and lets see how fast he’ll start crying about illegal hits. Man up dude and admit that it was a cheap shot.

    ————————-

    Seriously? You need to man up yourself, and quit your crying.

    He hit him with his shoulderpad in his chest. If you think that was a terribly cheap shot, you MUST be under 20.

    Even 10 years ago, that hit would have been legal. The only thing that made it illegal was launching himself, which I am fine with the league hitting him for.

    But there was no helmet to helmet contact. If you think he did, youre watching the wrong play.

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