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Tate hit on Lee clearly violated “blindside” block protections

Golden Tate AP

When Seahawks receiver Golden Tate applied what John Madden would call a “decleater” to Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, plenty of football fans made sounds and noises that trace back to our Neanderthalian ancestors.

But the NFL now reacts to some of those plays by removing human-made currency from the pocket of the perpetrator.

In this specific case, the hit falls within the rule that makes a player who receives a “blindside” block a “defenseless player.”

As our pal Paulie Pabst, executive producer of The Dan Patrick Show, tweeted earlier today, an NFL spokesman has provided this explanation:  “It was an illegal blindside block against a defenseless player. Page 67 of the rule book. Unnecessary contact against a defenseless player is prohibited.  That includes ‘a player who receives a ‘blindside’ block when the blocker is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and approaches the opponent form behind or from the side.'”

This year, the NFL expanded the protection to include a player who not only is moving toward his own end zone (like Lee was) but also parallel to it.  If — and only if — Lee had been moving toward the Seattle end zone at the time of the contact, he would not have been protected.

Many fans don’t like this rule, because it runs counter to the notion of keeping your head on a proverbial swivel.  In this case, the video shows that Lee was at covering Tate as quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled right to left.  Lee then peeled away from Tate as Wilson ran to the line of scrimmage.  Tate, as it turned out, had run ahead of Lee in an effort to get open, pivoting back toward Lee and applying the blindside block as Lee was running toward Wilson.

In that situation, blocking the guy is permitted.  But because Lee was regarded as “defenseless,” Tate was prohibited from hitting Lee in the helmet or neck, hitting Lee with Tate’s helmet, and/or launching into Lee.  The video shows Tate going helmet-to-chin on Lee.  If Tate had merely dropped a shoulder into Lee’s chest, there would have been no violation.

One last point.  Am I the only one who thinks it’s inconsistent to gripe about rules like this and also to gripe about the way the Buccaneers handled the final play of Sunday’s game against the Giants?

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70 Responses to “Tate hit on Lee clearly violated “blindside” block protections”
  1. jpb12 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:04 AM

    This was not a blind side hit. Tate hit Lee right in the chest. Lee could easily have seen this if he had looked straight ahead

  2. sj39 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:06 AM

    Do you mean the way the Giants handled it? They were doing all the after the whistle stuff.

  3. Max says: Sep 20, 2012 10:10 AM

    Not a blindside hit… Expect an appeal.

  4. jolink653 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:15 AM

    What did you want Tate to do? Let him run by for fear of an illegal hit and have Wilson tackled? It was a clean hit if Lee had been looking…Lee got JACKED UP

  5. tlmoon2112 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:20 AM

    There shouldnt be any griping about what the Bucs did, period. It wasnt illegal and if they had been down by more then 1 score it wouldnt have happened to begin with. Can’t blame a coach for telling his guys to do everything they can to win, especially when its LEGAL to do it. Dont like it? CHANGE THE RULE.

  6. erod22 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:26 AM

    This was amplified by the ridiculous call of late hit out of bounds on Wilson when a defender actually put his hand on his shoulder.

  7. trollhammer20 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:28 AM

    What gets me is, in the preseason, Leon Washington laid a block on Eric Berry on almost the exact same play.

    Berry was rushing back across the field to chase down Wilson, when Washington dove to block him low. Berry’s knee winds up hitting Washington in the helmet, which takes Washington out of the game with a minor concussion, and Berry winds up doing a full flip and landing on the ground grabbing at his knee.

    Berry and Washington wound up OK, thankfully, but no flag was thrown, and no fine was administered.

    The way Wilson scrambles, and the way the Seahawks have clearly been trained to look to block for him when he takes off, there’s going to be more plays where defenders are being hit from the “blindside” in weeks to come. These plays may have even more negative long-term consequences than the “illegal” Tate play, yet no fine will be administered.

  8. johnnycash19 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:28 AM

    That block was awesome!

    But how is Lee defenseless if he is running down field? If he was defenseless wouldn’t he just be standing around? Stupid fine in my eyes, great football play. If you don’t want to get blocked, don’t chase the play.

  9. allascowboys says: Sep 20, 2012 10:29 AM

    Personally, as a Cowboys fan, I thought this play in particular was pretty bad a@#. I love seeing WR’s lay some wood, especially after all of these helmet-to-helmet hits and “defenseless” player hits. Good to see some redemption. I think the hit was pretty clean, although it kind of looks like he launches upward with his head, but all-in-all an exciting play from a terrible game (from a Dallas standpoint).

    As for the Giants vs Bucs, I don’t think anything was wrong there. If you don’t want to get blown up at the end, then just play football…

  10. hawkforlife says: Sep 20, 2012 10:29 AM

    This fine is utter crap. Has the NFL decided to punish Tate so as to cover up for the replacement refs?

  11. pigskin28 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:30 AM

    I guess blind side means now as long as the guy is not looking you dead in the eye you can’t touch him.

    Am all for fines and making the game safer. This was an egregious move by the league. From viewing the footage it’s almost unbelievable that Lee does not see Tate…Am sorry, I cannot agree with this fine at all!!

    There’s just no way to justify this fine and not feel that a guy can’t touch another in the open field without taking him out to dinner first.

    I guess it’s time to give players whistles so they can alert a pursuing defender about to make a tackle of an uncoming block.

  12. lesliedevereaux says: Sep 20, 2012 10:31 AM

    It’s okay, fellow Cowboy fans. That hit will be the highlight of the year for the Seattle Seahawks.

  13. hawkjuice says: Sep 20, 2012 10:33 AM

    Remember when football was fun? Now its all fines and flags. You can’t tackle hard or block hard now. Why not just play flag football? I hate the new NFL im watching college.

  14. pieromania says: Sep 20, 2012 10:33 AM

    So, because Sean Lee made an error, Tate has to pay for it?

    Let’s look at some things here;

    1.) Yes, Tate used an upward angle when making that block. That was to prevent himself from sustaining self injury if his head hit Lee’s abdomen/chest area dead on. Tate saved his own butt in this situation. Initial contact was at the CHEST.

    2.) Yes, there was helmet to helmet contact, but he didn’t target Lee’s head. The ONLY reason the helmet’s touched is due to the force of the hit itself causing Lee’s head to whip forward. Ever seen a crash test dummy? Lee was the crash test dummy.

    3.) I can see how you can call Lee “defenseless”, ONLY due to the fact that the Cowboys ENTIRE DEFENSE was defenseless that day. When it comes to that play, Tate squared himself up IN FRONT of Lee and made the play to protect his quarterback. What else was he supposed to do?!? Trip him? Shove him? If he tried to just arm shove him, he would have been trucked with Lee running full speed and having 50lbs on Tate.

    4.)The only thing I didn’t care for was the taunting/celebrating after the fact. If Tate broke a rule, then fine him. I am completely fine with that. However, trying to manipulate the language of said rule to justify taking a man’s money for making a FOOTBALL PLAY when you have nothing better to do is RIDICULOUS. Seriously, if someone can offer up a better idea of what Tate should have done (taking into account the time span to make a decision, the position of Tate and Lee, proximity Lee was to Wilson past the line of scrimmage, etc) I will gladly concede defeat. However, I just don’t see what Tate could have done differently given the circumstances.

  15. memartz63 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:36 AM

    Bull. Tate led with shoulder with his head up face first. Whats he supposed to do? Put his head in his back pocket? It’s not his fault Lee wasn’t looking his way. That’s FOOTBALL.

    The NFL is ruining the game with these nonsense rules in the name of safety. Football is not a safe sport. It is what it is. The NFL should worry more about what these scab refs are doing to their product on the field for us paying customers.

  16. samoanjungle says: Sep 20, 2012 10:36 AM

    Yet it was OK when Whines Hard did it to Kieth Rivers…

  17. righton989 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:38 AM

    That was an intentional helmet to chin hit by Tate on Lee. The intent was to knock Lee out of the game. Tate was in position block Lee in the chest; but that would have resulted in Tate absorbing more collision impact to his body which he avoided. Look at the video is slow motion.

  18. kfech says: Sep 20, 2012 10:41 AM

    Not saying I agree with the rule, but people saying that this rule means you “can’t lay a hand” on a defenseless player are wrong. On that play, even a small amount of contact to impede the defender would have effectively taken him out of the play as Wilson flew right on by. As awesome as it is to watch, you don’t need to blow somebody up to block them.

  19. tonyromosribs says: Sep 20, 2012 10:44 AM

    The crown of his helmet hit him in the chin… If you don’t remember this rule was put into place after Keith River’s jaw was busted on a hit like this, then the celebration after was down right idiotic but what do expect from a guy who breaks into doughnuts shops.

  20. gilgafresh says: Sep 20, 2012 10:44 AM

    “The video shows Tate going helmet-to-chin on Lee.”

    — Actually, the video shows Lee going chin-to-helmet on Tate. Tate’s helmet was already in Lee’s chest when the whiplash of the impact drove Lee’s head forward and down… forward and down.

    “If Tate had merely dropped a shoulder into Lee’s chest, there would have been no violation.”

    — Nor would there have been a “block”. Lee would’ve easily disposed of Tate if he tried such a weak move. Such a half-assed attempt to block someone could’ve easily resulted in Tate being injured as he really wouldn’t be the one delivering the hit (remember that one, kids?)

    “Oh, look! That 250 pound man-beast with a full head of steam is about to tackle my quarterback. I better ‘drop a shoulder into him’… just like I’ve been taught to do my whole life. I bet it stops him and it won’t hurt me a bit.”

    Golden Tate would have to turn in his cleats and his Man-Card if he did that. Any self-respecting, honest football player delivers that block EXACTLY like Tate did.

    I actually respect Lee AND Tate a lot more now. The league and the rest of the pansies? Not so much.

  21. tmac4454 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:45 AM

    I guess they need to start fining boxers when they get a good shot to the head. Just saying, that sport does not have any head gear. Here in the NFL, you have helmets, shoulder pads & mouth piece.
    Something smells from the NFL (money). Fine active players so that when the former players sue the NFL, we will have the loot to pay up. Something to think about.

    All on field fine money collected by the NFL is used for charitable purposes. These funds have been used to support retired player programs, including the NFL Player Care Foundation and NFLPA Players Assistance Trust; disaster relief initiatives; and health-related charities.

    My case exactly….

  22. tonyromosribs says: Sep 20, 2012 10:47 AM

    Here is the justification: NFL players keep suing the league for safety issues then the NFL will continue to make hits like these illegal…there is no need for a kill shot fellas, this is not Gladiator.. no one needs to die for YOUR love of football

  23. sudz28 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:50 AM

    I didn’t really think it was a blind-side or illegal hit, but even though it’s been ruled as such I just LOVE the fact that you didn’t hear Lee complaining about it later. He simply stated that hey, he got me when I wasn’t looking and that’s football and maybe next time things will be different. No whining, complaining, b!tching or anything like that. He got tagged, he acknowledged as much, and I’m sure he’ll make sure to let Tate know he’s on the field the next time they play.

  24. belgaron says: Sep 20, 2012 10:51 AM

    It was a block that applied force in the opposite direction to the direction Lee was traveling, how can that possibly be defined as the “blind side”?

    The only fault here was that Lee was not looking where he was going and was not anticipating being blocked. In this case he gets an additional penalty applied to his blocker thanks to poorly applied rules and a whiny interfering owner’s directives to the league office.

  25. romosmicrodongs says: Sep 20, 2012 10:52 AM

    I hope the NFL also plans on fining the rams for the defenseless receiver hit against Fred Davis that not only wasn’t called but left him with a concussion. he’s lucky he didn’t get paralyzed and I’m surprised the media has ignored this play.

  26. hutch119 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:52 AM

    The problem wasn’t that he blocked him, the problem was he blocked him helmet to helmet. That berry play wasn’t the same at all. Tate just needs to lower his strike zone and it is a legal play. He didn’t and got rightfully fined.

  27. mackie66 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:53 AM

    Florio, PFT is bound and determend to take the NFL to whole other level of “pansy”. Flag football, touch football, no hitting football. That rule should thrown out. If the player was in persuit of the ball carrier, how on earth is he a defenseless player? Maybe you folks at PFT should apply some thought to your statements, in order to show that you know just a little about what you speek. Your lawyer-ism just shows to much pantyhose, especially when it comes to idiotic NFL rules.

  28. battleredman says: Sep 20, 2012 10:54 AM

    Sounds like if Lee had the ball it would be a legal hit.

    The contradiction is your explanation of the rule. The quote calls it an “illegal block” and refers to “unnecessary contact”. That sounds like Tate should not have blocked Lee. Your explanation says it would have been a legal block without “contact to the head” which I’m not convinced even happened. It appears to me the force of the block is what whipped Lee’s head back and dislodged his chin strap.

    By the way discussing the legality of something and common etiquette or sportsmanship are two totally different things. As a lawyer, you should understand that. The Giants could refuse to snap the ball and be penalized 5 yards over and over eventually tuning into half the distance to the goal line to infinity. I’m not aware of any way, in the rules, to prevent this but I expect everyone would agree this would not be appropriate.

  29. FinFan68 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:00 AM

    I wish they would get rid of this “defenseless ______” crap. If you step on the field and are playing the game, you are not defenseless. The issue is that the definition itself is vague and it is a judgment call most of the time. That means it will be called differently throughout the league and even under different circumstances throughout the same game. In an effort to make the game safer and at times prevent certain circumstances from happening again the league has written some ridiculous rules. Nobody knows what constitutes a catch, TD, fumble, etc. anymore. Make the rules simpler and there will be less judgment calls that can be debated. Harshly enforce the safety rules and the frequency will be reduced. You should not need a flow chart to figure out if a hit was legal or not.

  30. billhicks666 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:00 AM

    lesliedevereaux says:

    “It’s okay, fellow Cowboy fans. That hit will be the highlight of the year for the Seattle Seahawks.”

    Better hope it’s not the highlight of the year for the Cowboys.

  31. spicymudbugs says: Sep 20, 2012 11:02 AM

    By the year 2019, players will be fined for intentional scratching. Goodell is killing this league.

  32. discohang says: Sep 20, 2012 11:06 AM

    C’mon people.

    The “illegal” part of the block was Tate aiming for Lee’s head, not that Tate blocked Lee. Florio even explained the legal way to block in this situation. Which is basically, hit Lee anywhere below the neck.

    “Tate was prohibited from hitting Lee in the helmet or neck, hitting Lee with Tate’s helmet, and/or launching into Lee. The video shows Tate going helmet-to-chin on Lee. If Tate had merely dropped a shoulder into Lee’s chest, there would have been no violation.”

  33. Stiller43 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:07 AM

    How do you blindside somebody in the chest?

  34. eepobee says: Sep 20, 2012 11:10 AM

    btw, i don’t know what florio’s getting at with the giants, but what the bucs did was completely legal and justified. giants don’t like it then either don’t kneel down (the bigger bush league move IMO) or block; it’s that simple.

  35. weedman8693 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:12 AM

    U people are morons, u guys like seeing a person defenseless getting hit??? He was clearly hit in the helmet and chest but vicious. Thats how they end up retarded later on in life.. I seen the hit and man it was a horrible one.. He wasnt even running full speed when lee got cracked by tate.

  36. thejimius says: Sep 20, 2012 11:14 AM

    The issue is not that he blocked Lee, the issue is he lead with his helmet while Lee met the definition of being a “defenseless player,” so even if their helmets didn’t contact, he still was in violation of the rule. I don’t think anybody is saying he shouldn’t of blocked him. Anyways, based on the angle both players took, it wouldn’t have taken much of a block to prevent Lee from making the tackle.

  37. dontgooffwondering says: Sep 20, 2012 11:16 AM

    If the Bucs had have forced a fumble and got the ball back, nobody would have even mentioned player safety at all and everybody would be calling Schiano a genius. I don’t see why anyone should have to lay down and accept defeat if the rules provide them with an avenue to make a play for the ball. If anyone thinks that the victory formation puts players at risk because they’re not in a position to prepare themselves for impact, I can only see one team who is at fault for that; the team who is taking the victory formation. If you’re going to criticize the Bucs, then criticize every team who has ever gone for a QB sneak, because it’s essentially the same play in reverse. Bottom line is, if you’re afraid of getting hurt, then either be prepared or get off the football field.

  38. theflyingtad says: Sep 20, 2012 11:18 AM

    “approaches the opponent form behind or from the side”….

    Clearly this wording covers approaching from the front and getting hit square in the chest.

  39. thesportsguy52 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:21 AM

    But If Hines Ward did it you would all praise him in the media.

  40. paulsmith107 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:24 AM

    I’m a cowboy fan and I loved te hit. It’s football but the rule is the rule the nfl deemed it a blind side hit well that’s what it was. As far as what Tampa did I loved that also you play to win the game if Tampa had walked off the field and into te locker room and gave up everyone would have been pissed off

  41. bolts0621 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:28 AM

    Actually – the Tate hit did not “Clearly” violate the rule. As with all NFL rules – there is always room for a BS interpretation.

    The rule clearly states – “Unnecessary contact”…the facts in this case are that Tate stepped from the side of Lee to his front – applied a block/hit – in order to protect his QB from being hit/tackled. By definition, that is neccesary.

    Sooo tired of the NFL working to take football out of football….

  42. richndc says: Sep 20, 2012 11:37 AM

    Lee was rumored to have gone back to the defensive huddle and said “if you guys hold him, I will break him open like a shotgun and slip a shell in him” weird.

  43. usmutts says: Sep 20, 2012 11:42 AM

    I’ve watched this hit several times – at both game speed and slow motion. Lee was running full speed in one direction while looking in another direction, always a bad idea. Tate hit him in the upper chest and very near the chin and face mask, not the best idea either. Whether it was legal is a close call. Given that, it was not something that should call for a fine, but an admonition.

  44. ripster65 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:47 AM

    I find it interesting that a linebacker chasing a runner with the sole intent on tackling said runner could be considered defenseless when he gets clocked face to face by a smaller wide receiver.

  45. mn2long says: Sep 20, 2012 11:49 AM

    The biggest problem was the result of the “entire play”. There was one call that could have went against the Seahawks that didn’t, and one call that went against the Cowboys that shouldn’t have. Anyone arguing that the league is making the game soft, also has to argue that a simple push when going out of bounds is not worthy of a flag. So, the result of the play should have been off-setting penalties due to flags being thrown on both Carter and Tate, or no flags being thrown at all. The problem was that the entire play went against the Cowboys and it was a critical time in the game where the Cowboys absolutely had to have a stop and the refs effectively took the opportunity away on this play. Either let them all play or penalize them all. You can’t have it both ways.

  46. mn2long says: Sep 20, 2012 11:52 AM

    And whether the hit was a blindside hit or not, it resulted in helmet to helmet contact which is illegal…PERIOD. There also could have been an unsportsman-like conduct flag thrown on Tate that was not.

  47. myhornispurple says: Sep 20, 2012 12:05 PM

    Great block. Lee shoulda looked. He wil next time.

  48. steelerdynasty2010 says: Sep 20, 2012 12:06 PM

    exhibit #37389557373636 that Roger is ruining the game. if you’re chasing the ball carrier, you’re fair game period. if lee were stationary or not pursuing the ball carrier, or making any attempt to be involved in the play, then i’m all for the rule. but if the defender is chasing the ball carrier, he should be eligible to be blocked. looking or not.
    the only part of the rule i can understand is the not leading with the head.

  49. oreo51 says: Sep 20, 2012 12:22 PM

    Wrong on many levels.

    Lee had clearly turned up field at the 26 yard line to get an angle on Wilson. He was no longer running parrallel to the goal line. He was looking back over his left shoulder following Wilson with his eyes. Tate hit Lee with his shoulder right on the 5 on the number 50. Incidental contact with the helmet is allowed in that situation.

  50. gmenfan1982 says: Sep 20, 2012 12:24 PM

    Dangerous hit but the only part Tate did wrong was to high. And the only part of the giants bucs fiasco that is BS I that Schiano talks about playing out every play but the bucs didn’t blow threw the giants kneel down before the half.

  51. uschawk says: Sep 20, 2012 12:25 PM

    lesliedevereaux says: Sep 20, 2012 10:31 AM

    It’s okay, fellow Cowboy fans. That hit will be the highlight of the year for the Seattle Seahawks.

    No I think the utter domination of the Cowboys would be the highlight of that game for Seattle Seahawks. Face it Cowboy fans your team is all hype and just not that good.

  52. bluebongzilla says: Sep 20, 2012 12:29 PM

    “I’ve watched this hit several times – at both game speed and slow motion. Lee was running full speed in one direction while looking in another direction, always a bad idea. Tate hit him in the upper chest and very near the chin and face mask, not the best idea either. Whether it was legal is a close call.”

    No it’s not. It’s in the books, the hit was illegal. As far as running one direction and looking another goes, happens several times in every game ever played since football was invented. I would say that virtually every time a pass has been completed since the dawn of football history, it was completed to a receiver that was running one way and looking another. If not, then it was just pure dumb luck that the guy caught the ball. I take it you never played the game at any level.

  53. offthelows says: Sep 20, 2012 12:38 PM

    From what I saw, Tate did crouch low for the block and raised up as he braced for impact, when the top of his helmet hit the chin of Lee. This aspect of the game is pretty tough to take, though I guess it’s not my money. People were whining in KC when Leon Washington went low on Eric Berry (who was injured on a similar play last year) and caused him to do a full flip in the preseason, and you go a few inches too high and Cowboys fans moan. It’s like there are league office pencil pushers who think the game is played in super slow-mo like the Matrix and Tate can see Lee and immediately gauge his/Lee’s height, whether Lee can see him, and where the top of his helmet will hit Lee on impact

  54. bigd9484 says: Sep 20, 2012 12:57 PM

    I find it exciting to think about what all of you sportswriters would be saying had the Buc’s D caused a fumble. Because then the Giants and their fans would REALLY be complaining about it (had it cost them the game). And, a good percentage of the sportswriters instead of calling this out and making it to be some sort of crazy notion, would be praising Schiano for such a gutsy call. The facts are that it was perfectly legal to do, and if the Giants and the sportswriters don’t like it… tough. I agreed with another post I read at a different site. The kneeldown should not be allowed in 8 pt or closer game. hand the ball off, or kneel from punt formation. Running 2:00 off the clock in a 1 score game is absurd. The score loving public would love that change.

  55. slugbaitspace says: Sep 20, 2012 1:02 PM

    You all realize that they’re going to be talking this play to death on MNF, right? I’m looking forward to hearing what Gruden has to say about it, and seeing how wide his smile will be.

    Legion of Boom: coming soon to national television.

  56. sterlingsaint says: Sep 20, 2012 1:10 PM

    How the hell can he be defenseless when he was covering Tate a split second before that. HE KNEW TATE WAS THERE and chose to ignore a wimpy wideout — or so he thought wimpy.

    If I were Tate, I’d fine Jerry Jones for lobbying for this fine. Talk about league influence.

    Jerry Jones has been running a mediocre franchise for the last 15 years yet still has the same power as the Maras, Rooneys, and Krafts of this league.

    Goodell needs to investigate. He’s good at that…

  57. eyeh8goodell says: Sep 20, 2012 1:14 PM

    And you notice how none of these NFL rule changes trickle down to the High School and College level? As much as the NFL tries to be the definition of the sport itself…..it isn’t. High school and collegiate football were around long before the NFL and big dollars. And they’ll be around long after the NFL is a memory.

  58. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 20, 2012 1:21 PM

    The video very clearly shows Lee was not going parallel, but he in fact was going towards the SEA goalline. He also was a threat to tackle Wilson because he was moving on an angle towards the goal and in pursuit. He had a fair chance to see Tate since he was traveling in that direction and according to the language of the rule then this is clearly a legal hit.

  59. tbpdog says: Sep 20, 2012 2:41 PM

    As a Cowboys fan I thought the block by Tate was bad a$$, what I thought was crazy was that on the same play they called a personal foul on Dallas because a defender shoved the QB in the back to knock him out of bounds when he was running down the sideline, not even hard enough to knock him down, so basically something you see in two hand touch football was flagged as a personal foul.

  60. allidoiswin55 says: Sep 20, 2012 2:41 PM

    If Tate doesnt lung into Lee he would absorb all of the impact. Being Outweighed by about 50lbs means he very easily could have been hurt. He just missed the previous week with an Injury. The celebration was childish. But as a former college football player you dream of those hits. This wasnt a kick return blindside.. this was an offensive player blocking his defensive counterpart on this play.
    Lee deserves credit for his comments of it being a legal hit. Lee knew he was covering Tate and that Tate would be right there to block him. He chose to ignore that and Pursue Wilson. Lee is the accountable one for not anticipating a hit, if he turns his head(which hes been taught his whole life to do) then he see’s Tate and theres no penalty and or fine!

  61. coolhanddal says: Sep 20, 2012 3:05 PM

    What about the helmet to chin Fred Davis took in the Rams game?Did Robert Quinn get fined?Or is he not going to get fined to help cover for some cleary horrible officating?

  62. chitownborn5434 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:09 PM

    This is a good block, he hit him in the chest and raised up after he already made contact, wasn’t a forearm shiver the the dome. Lee needs to mind his surroundings, can’t have tunnel vision like that. There shouldn’t be a fine and there shouldn’t have been a penalty. Stop babying the game.

  63. lionhammer says: Sep 20, 2012 3:17 PM

    Its was close… I think if Tate throws his shoulder into Lee’s chest its an amazing block, the fact that Tate led with the crown of his helmet and put it right on Lee’s chin, that makes it pretty nasty. I think it is fineable, but call it what it is, a Helmet to Helmet hit and leave it at that.

  64. bluebongzilla says: Sep 20, 2012 3:31 PM

    “Jerry Jones has been running a mediocre franchise for the last 15 years yet still has the same power as the Maras, Rooneys, and Krafts of this league.”

    John Mara and Robert Kraft have been in the NFL less time than Jerry Jones has. The Rooneys have been allowed to break rules regarding ownership for years and I believe they only own 30% of the team anymore.

  65. cool37 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:35 PM

    What the Bucs did was a sucker punch. I agree with what Phil Simms said on Inside the NFL though. Both lines should have agreed before the snap that it was going to be a simple knee, or not. But obviously the Bucs hit someone with their guard down. If you’re OK with what the Bucs did, then you’re OK with what Floyd Mayweather did to Victor Ortiz.

  66. cool37 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:40 PM

    I don’t know what the NFL expected Golden to do different. He hit Lee square in the chest, head on. As for the chin to helmet, the main force of Golden’s impact was pretty low on the chest, seemingly trying to avoid the helmet. It was the whiplash of the hit that sent Lee’s chin into the top of Golden’s helmet.

  67. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 20, 2012 8:42 PM

    The definition of “defenseless” is starting to get a little silly. They’re all wearing pads and helmets right?

  68. savannahrose44 says: Sep 20, 2012 9:53 PM

    Sean Lee was not by definition of the rules a defenseless player, and that in fact is not what the league fined Tate for. They said the fine was because of the helmet to chin contact. The fact is the helmet to chin contact was unavoidable due to Golden Tate’s height.

    Tate executed that hit as good or better than the video the league sent out to show players the types of hits they wanted them to make. He approached Lee from the front (Not his fault Lee locked onto Wilson and quit paying attention to his surroundings), lead with his shoulder, his feet never left the ground, he hit shoulder to numbers in the chest. What more can they ask for? The helmet chin contact was a result of pure physics. Tate is shorter than Lee so when he impacted Lee, Lee’s head tilted backwards and then like a crash dummy came forward to hit Tate’s helmet. This was completely incidental contact and not a result of anything Tate did wrong. It was a text book block. The fine is out of line. Next thing you know they will be banning short players from the NFL all together.

  69. savannahrose44 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:16 PM

    thejimius says:
    Sep 20, 2012 11:14 AM
    The issue is not that he blocked Lee, the issue is he lead with his helmet while Lee met the definition of being a “defenseless player,” so even if their helmets didn’t contact, he still was in violation of the rule. I don’t think anybody is saying he shouldn’t of blocked him. Anyways, based on the angle both players took, it wouldn’t have taken much of a block to prevent Lee from making the tackle.

    I think you should revisit the definition of defenseless player. Here let me help you out…straight from the NFL rule book a defenseless player is:

    (1) A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass;
    (2) A receiver attempting to catch a pass; or who has completed a catch and has not had time to
    protect himself or has not clearly become a runner. If the receiver/runner is capable of avoiding or
    warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player;
    (3) A runner already in the grasp of a tackler and whose forward progress has been stopped;
    (4) A kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air;
    (5) A player on the ground at the end of a play;
    (6) A kicker/punter during the kick or during the return;
    (7) A quarterback at any time after a change of possession, and
    (8) A player who receives a “blindside” block when the blocker is moving toward his own endline and
    approaches the opponent from behind or from the side.

    Tate’s hit on Lee does not meet ANY of those guidelines.

  70. philgrek says: Sep 22, 2012 1:00 PM

    The problem I have with this hit is that Golden Tate went for it because he saw that Sean Lee wasn’t looking. I’ve watched this play so many times. Golden Tate looks back, realizes Sean Lee has his head turned to the left following Wilson, Tate immediately stops and launches himself (yes, both feet come off the turf), crown first, right under Lee’s chin. Sean Lee was never going to catch Wilson. Tate merely needed to put two hands on Lee, but he took the opportunity to try to lay out someone who clearly wasn’t prepared to defend himself. Then Golden Tate is gonna showboat about it? Thats the ONLY way you’d ever get that kind of block on Sean Lee. But here everyone is praising this guy.

    According to this guy above me laying out the rules for a defenseless player, it sounds like #8 describes this situation perfectly. Tate is moving towards his own endline and hits Sean lee from the side.

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