Joe Looney knows what it looks like, which is why he wanted to try to clear his name.
The 49ers backup guard, who dove at the knee of Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams Sunday night, said he meant no harm.
“I tried to find him after the game to apologize, to let him know I’m not that kind of player who’s trying to hurt guys and maliciously take violent hits at people” Looney said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “I’ve been injured myself. I know what it’s like. . . .
“I didn’t try to take a dirty cheap shot at him,” Looney said. “I was just trying to finish my block. I meant no harm by the block at all.”
Williams escaped without any ligament damage, though he could still miss some time. Looney’s block might not have been illegal, but it was far enough from the play to be completely unnecessary.
“I’ve always been taught to play to the whistle,” Looney said. “I’m not out on the field trying to hurt anybody. I hope Kevin is all right. I was just trying to do what I was coached, and play 100 percent to the whistle. I’m just trying to make the football team.”
And that’s the tacit admission from a second-year player who spent his rookie season on IR. He’s trying to make a roster, while a six-time Pro Bowler is trying to survive another preseason. That leads young players to do things they might not otherwise, in hopes of making a name for themselves, or showing up on film.
Unfortunately for Looney, the film shows him making a bad decision.