When Tom Brady went into a feet-first slide with 20 seconds remaining in the first half of the AFC Championship Game, most people focused on the way Brady bungled the clock management on the play, preventing the Patriots from running another offensive play before halftime. But Ravens safety Bernard Pollard focused on something else.
According to Pollard, Brady intentionally lifted his right leg because he wanted to kick Ravens safety Ed Reed, who was pulling up to avoid hitting Brady on his slide.
“You’ve got to keep them legs down,” Pollard said, via CSNNE.com. “You’ve go to keep the legs down. We all know and understand what’s going on there. And as a quarterback, when you go to slide, we’re taught . . . we can’t do anything. When you come sliding, and your leg is up in the air trying to kick somebody, that’s bull crap.”
It’s impossible to get inside Brady’s brain and say whether he was trying to kick Reed or whether his foot just came up awkwardly as he was sliding. In the same way, it’s impossible to get inside Ndamukong Suh’s brain and say whether he intentionally kicked Matt Schaub on Thanksgiving, or whether Suh’s foot just happened to go in the wrong place as he was falling near Schaub.
But the NFL saw enough on the Suh-Schaub kick to fine Suh $30,000. Now Pollard, the man who ended Brady’s 2008 season with a shot to his knee, thinks it’s time for the NFL to take a look at Brady.