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T.J. Ward: If I hit Rob Gronkowski high, I would have been fined

tjward AP

Browns safety T.J. Ward hit Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in the knee on Sunday, causing Gronkowski to be carted off the field with what is feared to be a torn ACL. After the game, Ward said he felt bad about it, but hitting Gronkowski low is what the NFL wants.

“If I would’ve hit him up high, there’s a chance I was going to get a fine,” Ward said, via the Boston Globe.

Ward says NFL defensive backs are put in a tough position by the league office.

“It’s kind of being caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said. “It’s a decision you have to make, but you have to follow the rules at the same time. When they set the rule, everyone knew what was going to happen. This can happen if you have those types of situations. It’s pretty much inevitable, and they forced our hand with this one.”

Ward said he prayed for Gronkowski, but he doesn’t think he did anything wrong.

“But I’ve got to play football, man. I’ve got to play football,” Ward said.

And the way the NFL wants defensive backs to play football is to hit low.

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179 Responses to “T.J. Ward: If I hit Rob Gronkowski high, I would have been fined”
  1. charger383 says: Dec 9, 2013 9:51 AM

    Well now, Mr Goodell are you happy now?

  2. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says: Dec 9, 2013 9:53 AM

    Gronkowski is injury prone. Great player but can’t stay on the field. T.J. Ward shouldn’t feel bad at all. It’s the Patriots that should be feeling bad, or at least some buyers remorse.

  3. skinsfaninok says: Dec 9, 2013 9:54 AM

    about to.be flag football

  4. coachjohnharbaugh says: Dec 9, 2013 9:54 AM

    the cheaters from new england know who they dont wana see in the playoffs…

    ME

    *thumbs down if u agree

    #champs

  5. biscojay says: Dec 9, 2013 9:54 AM

    Ward is 100% correct…and it sucks…

  6. bucrightoff says: Dec 9, 2013 9:55 AM

    Gronk should sue the NFL for forcing guys to take out knees now to avoid penalty/fine/suspension.

  7. gayvenator says: Dec 9, 2013 9:55 AM

    The guy simply would not have been able to tackle gronk if he went high.

  8. billsboy88 says: Dec 9, 2013 9:55 AM

    This is exactly what all the players, current and former, have been saying since this nonsense started. Now one of the game’s premier players is gone for the season because of this stupid rule.

    Hey Roger, go ask Gronk where he would have liked to have been hit.

  9. atleastimnotaraidersfan says: Dec 9, 2013 9:56 AM

    Yeah T.J., there’s no space at all between the head and knee.

  10. couchbasher says: Dec 9, 2013 9:56 AM

    Ward is right…. had Ward hit Gronk in the mid-section, the 6’8″ giant would be defenseless….

  11. peytonwantsaflag says: Dec 9, 2013 9:58 AM

    within 5 years the league will be mandating knee braces and the game will become much slower.

  12. coachjohnharbaugh says: Dec 9, 2013 9:59 AM

    that noise you hear is the collective gulp from boston fans realizing their dear patriots no longer have ANY shot to win the AFC

    #HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  13. eagleswin says: Dec 9, 2013 9:59 AM

    charger383 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:51 AM
    Well now, Mr Goodell are you happy now?

    ———————–

    Most of Goodells changes are due to lawsuits of retired players. If retired players, who blow through their NFL money, and still want to be paid would stop suing the league these rule changes would stop.

    Don’t blame Goodell, blame the players who can’t manage their money and their greedy lawyers.

    The sooner fans realize lawsuits are driving the rule changes the sooner everything will make sense for them.

  14. ravenswhat says: Dec 9, 2013 10:00 AM

    What a lame cop out.

  15. wwwmattcom says: Dec 9, 2013 10:00 AM

    Goodell should make a rule, You’re not allowed to leave your feet to make a hit. Wrap and tackle or nothing. Too often players are caught out of position and resort to hits of all kinds to kill the body, stop tthe body dead in its tracks.

    “But I’ve got to play football, man. I’ve got to play football,” Ward said.

    you can do whatever you want in this sport and call it football to avoid blame.

  16. doorharp11 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:00 AM

    its too bad the nfl has come to this. with goodell and the officiating lets just call it nfl wee. ward sure had an educated answer now nfl where are your smarts if this officiating continues as a fan of the nfl i will be done watching until everything is reviewed including penalties

  17. titansbro says: Dec 9, 2013 10:00 AM

    No problem with the tackle. That would’ve never been considered a dirty tackle.

  18. thejuddstir says: Dec 9, 2013 10:01 AM

    Not even a AFC fan but Ward is right. The NFL is getting what the NFL wanted. What next, defensive players can only hit offensive players from the belt line up to the chest, and only after the offensive player has established control by running at least 10 yds. after catching the ball????

  19. jpak12 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:02 AM

    I’m a Patriots fan, and obviously upset that Gronk was hurt but that tackle was not only 100% legal but what the NFL wants. I understand wanting to avoid shots to the head as much as possible but the NFL went about it in the wrong way, hits to the head are going to happen and throwing a flag and fining players for any shot to the head will lead to low tackles because even if the go to tackle in the mid section where your supposed to, the receiver will generally lower his head to brace for contact which is what most ppl would do. The only time it should be flagged is when the shot to the head was avoidable and the tackler targeted the head specifically.

  20. rdrdrs58 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:02 AM

    Who didnt see this coming? Nothing will be done until a group of ex-players brings up a lawsuit against the league for no protecting them… then we’ll see the rules change again.

  21. dmuehlhausen says: Dec 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    @couchbasher -Actually yes, if he had hit him anywhere near the shoulders it would have been a flag. Just look at the Denver game and the call against Pollard on a hit against Decker.

    This is the future of the game low hits and shortened careers due to leg injuries, but at least they will be able to think straight I guess.

  22. gsomatt says: Dec 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    How about sticking him at the waist, wrapping up, and form tackling?

  23. jucam1 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    Whats so awful and disturbing is that TJ is 100% right. The fact that he knew had to go knees low before he threw himself at Gronk to not get penalized tells us a we need to know about where the rules have led defensive players in the league.

  24. realdealsteel says: Dec 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    Couchbasher,

    You were being statistical, but that is exactly what they would have said. Defenseless player.

    Goodall and his new wussy rules are the cause of Gronk’s injury. Goodall is directly responsible. I have no problem in what T.J. Ward did. He did what he could legally do to bring down the giant tight end.

  25. dsigrey says: Dec 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:53 AM
    Gronkowski is injury prone. Great player but can’t stay on the field. T.J. Ward shouldn’t feel bad at all. It’s the Patriots that should be feeling bad, or at least some buyers remorse.

    Show me any player that takes that hit and doesn’t get his knee blown out. This has nothing to do with being injury prone. Ward is absolutely right, he hits Gronk in the shoulder no ones talking about this today. I suppose Dustin Keller is injury prone as well???

  26. bearflagfan says: Dec 9, 2013 10:05 AM

    The NFL had to know this would happen. Every announcer, pundit and weekend experts said it would. That it happened to a high profile player who plays for an influential owner will likely hasten yet another rule change. They’ll likely create a ‘legal hit zone’ between the thighs and armpits.

  27. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Dec 9, 2013 10:06 AM

    Translation #1: if I’d have hit Gronk high, I’d have gotten trucked. Stop acting like you had any consideration of going high there.

    Translation #2: By his comments here, it can be safely inferred that Ward knew his low hit could (and may have) destroy a man’s livelihood, but Ward went ahead and did it anyway out of concern over the mere possibility of a $12,000 fine.

    Translation #3: Ward is trying to manipulate the blows to the head rule to his own benefit. He wasn’t limited to taking launching himself like a missile at Gronk’s knee. He could have hit him well above that – but Ward attacked the knee only.

    Zero respect for Ward here.

    None.

  28. red26sox says: Dec 9, 2013 10:06 AM

    “Gronkowski is injury prone. Great player but can’t stay on the field. T.J. Ward shouldn’t feel bad at all. It’s the Patriots that should be feeling bad, or at least some buyers remorse.”

    If that hit happened to any other receiver/TE in the NFL the same thing happens. It’s physics, he had the one leg planted as the hit was made. The force has to go somewhere.

    As a Pats fan it sucks but that is football. I have no ill will to Ward, if I had to tackle Gronk or anybody I would go low.

  29. trytobnimble says: Dec 9, 2013 10:07 AM

    I watch and love football for the grace and power of the game. The tactics. The chess match. I do not watch football for the hard hits. It’s like people who watch NASCAR for the crashes or Hockey for the fights.

    Personally am in favor of the rules that protect player head injuries. If they don’t, football will eventually disappear from the American landscape because parents will stop kids from playing it. Once kids stop playing it, game over.

  30. faultylogic29 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:07 AM

    It seems to me that you can lower your target point without going at the knees or thighs. I think with the NFL is too strict with flagging/fining the high hits and guys are becoming paranoid. But if not for that, the cop out that he’s afraid to get fined is ridiculous. You can tackle a guy without going at his head or legs. I just think a lot of these guys never learned how to tackle properly.

  31. rdrdrs58 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:08 AM

    atleastimnotaraidersfan says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:56 AM
    Yeah T.J., there’s no space at all between the head and knee.
    ——————————
    and how many times have we seen defensive players aim at this area, only to have the offensive player lower his head/shoulder area at the last second and the defensive player get penalized/fined? Even when the defensive player attempts to wrap up and make a form tackle, they’re still getting penalized and fined. Too many times. These are the situations that are causing defensive players to aim even lower. Until the league adjusts their rules, we’re going to continue to see offensive players with blown out knees/ankles.

  32. doe22us says: Dec 9, 2013 10:08 AM

    Such a cop out, I have to play football, there is such a huge target area below the neck and above the knees.. Sure Ward wouldn’t have been able to bring him down, but at least he wouldnt have shredded his knee and a long and painful rehab. Who knows Gronk may never the same again. And to guys who laugh at injuries shame on you.

  33. SocialStressRefuge says: Dec 9, 2013 10:08 AM

    Watching Florida State University take some nasty hits in the ACC championship, and then watching some plays like this? The rules being put into place have taken the game from being a sport played with heart and soul, to one being played in a specific pattern so that no one “breaks the rules”. These rules are coming from statistics and by the book. If I have learned anything from working in this world, is that corporate companies have no idea what they are doing anymore.

    I wish the hit was higher T.J, but do what you gotta do man, and keep playing hard.

  34. America's Team is Also God's Team says: Dec 9, 2013 10:09 AM

    He’s right.

    But its still an exuse. A history full of excuse making is why Cleveland remains behind only the Lions & of course, the Washington Redskins as one of the saddest franchises in the NFL.

    #EveryonewishestheycouldbeRomoandyouknowit

  35. dscags says: Dec 9, 2013 10:09 AM

    cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:53 AM
    Gronkowski is injury prone. Great player but can’t stay on the field. T.J. Ward shouldn’t feel bad at all. It’s the Patriots that should be feeling bad, or at least some buyers remorse.

    stupid comment. a low “legal” hit to the knee at full speed is not injury prone. you can’t call gronk injury prone from that hit. there was nothing he could do.

  36. thejuddstir says: Dec 9, 2013 10:11 AM

    I have been a die-hard football fan for 50 years but honestly have to say for the past 10-15 years my interest and zest for the game gets a little bit less every year. Never, ever thought I would lose interest in football but the game is so far removed from what it use to be……..real football. I swear there were less blown officiating calls before replay ever came about, defenses could actually play defense without having their hands tied behind their back, QB’s could be tackled like any other player, pass interference was only called if the ball was in the air and it was determined “catchable”, etc. Let’s face it, the game is no longer about sport but all about money and entertainment.

  37. zerole00 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:13 AM

    It’s funny, you guys seem to be under the impression that Goddell and the NFL in general cares about player safety and that’s why they’ve instituted these rules. They don’t. What they do care about are the lawsuits ex-players are filing against them. The rules are the way they are because at least this way, the NFL can say they tried.

    So instead of being angry at the league for making football “soft”, focus your anger on the rightful source – the players that should be well aware of what they’re signing up (and getting paid millions for).

  38. stigman2012 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:14 AM

    As someone has already pointed out, the rules have evolved from lawsuits. However, also from the NFL/players’ perspectives…if you have to quit football because of a blown knee, it sucks. But it is better than worrying about sipping your dinner in your old age because your brain is been pounded into jell-o.

  39. baltimorons says: Dec 9, 2013 10:16 AM

    TJ….you did your job. You did it very well.

  40. jburk003 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:17 AM

    I’m calling it now.

    In a couple years, the NFL males the QB hit zone (knees to the shoulders) required for everyone. In a few years, hits below the knees will be gone.

    Give it up for Roger Goodell everyone

  41. klinkenbeard says: Dec 9, 2013 10:18 AM

    call me crazy, but this hit didnt look like the one thrown on dustin keller in the preseason. the defender that tore kellers acl looked like he made a decision to try to injure him and hit him in the knee. this hit looked to me like a safety trying to take down a TE. watch any game, youll see safeties and corners tackle TEs and bigger RBs between the knee and hip area(sometimes even the ankles). i dont think it was a dirty hit, i do however think that its really unlucky for gronk. i feel for the dude, but i dont think there was any intent to injure by ward.

  42. mheffner001 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:18 AM

    If he hit Gronk high he is the one to be needing medical attention

  43. stanleyhalas says: Dec 9, 2013 10:19 AM

    Even when they aim at the mid section they risk a fine or penalty. The receivers lower their heads and shoulders when they see contact coming and then all of a sudden it’s helmet to helmet. The only place they can hit without risking a fine or penalty is the knees I don’t blame them at all, but I still hate that this is happening.

  44. packerfansarefat says: Dec 9, 2013 10:19 AM

    To all my football fan friends….let’s remember, I’m not a big fan of Goodell’s rules, but this is EVERY BIT as much the fault of the PLAYERS UNION and LAW SUITS as it is Goodell. Let’s stop the (how can I suck as much money as possible as a retired player from the NFL) law suits and we wouldn’t see these STUPID rules that are bad for football all around!

  45. myeaglescantwin says: Dec 9, 2013 10:20 AM

    Gronkowski took so much juice and growth in college, his body is a genetically altered / manufactured frame that has expended it’s warranty.

    dude falls apart running sprints.

    & yes,, his injury is Goddell’s fault.

  46. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Dec 9, 2013 10:21 AM

    This is a joke. Gronk is what, 6’6? Even from that picture you mean to tell me you couldn’t have hit him in the midsection? It looks to me like TJ was scared to get ran over by a bigger player.

  47. DocHoliday says: Dec 9, 2013 10:22 AM

    This is a cop out. It’s as if all the defensive players in the league are miffed about not being able to take heads off and agreed to target knees to prove a point.

    There is a HUGE amount of area on the body (especially such a gigantic guy like Gronk who is 6’6).

    Just look at that picture. Ward 100% aimed at the knee with his whole body. This is no mistake there. The guy targeted the knee.

    He didn’t “go low” or merely follow the rules. He went after the knee. He CHOSE to do that.

    All of this talk about clean, rules and momentum is bull crap. You can hit thigh, hip, stomach and chest. None of that is a knee and none of that is a head.

    It is extremely upsetting that people brush this off and guys keep getting taken out on these trash plays.

    It’s simple. outlaw knee hits just like head hits. people who say defenders can’t play because of that are lazy and cry babies.

    hitting knees and heads has existed forever for three reasons: you were allowed to do it, it knocked players out of games, and they’re the easiest hits to do.

    if we’re really serious about PLAYER SAFETY then it is INSANE to not do something about this.

  48. dprouse says: Dec 9, 2013 10:23 AM

    I hate to see a great player like Gronk on the shelf, but this is football, and guys get hurt sometimes. Trying to parse where and how he got hit is pointless when you consider that the Honey Badger blew his knee out just by falling awkwardly with guys on top of him. Players have been blowing out their knees in field sports of all kinds for decades now – it’s an occupational hazard. I have two big zippers up each side of my right knee from an ACL/MCL combo 25 years ago. Rehab timelines are a lot more aggressive now than they were back then, so Gronk should be good to go for main camp in 2014.

  49. patriotsarespygaters says: Dec 9, 2013 10:23 AM

    ROFLMAO
    Karma is a Biatch
    Spygate
    Cheaters
    Welker made Brady
    0-2 in superbowls without videotaping and stealing signals

  50. flaccotoboldin says: Dec 9, 2013 10:23 AM

    At some point, why doesn’t Brady get blamed here?

    You keep throwing to the TE in the seam, with a safety over the top, and he’s goign to get hit – going to get LAID out.

    I dont care if its high, low, medium – I dont care where that safety hits. Gronk and any other TE can only take that shot so many times.

    Patriots love to go to the well too often on plays that opponents “can’t” stop, but they also do so without any concern for their safety.

    IT was a throw where Gronk and Brady and Bellichick HAVE to know that hit is coming. I’m not crying for them on that.

    I’m just glad Gronk got paid.

  51. usap1 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:24 AM

    For the people expecting players to “aim at the mid-section”, you have never played the game at full speed. I was a LB and I remember pursuing a RB from a side angle and aiming right at his hip. He never saw me coming and I hit him hard … but I instantly realized how hard the hip bone structure is because I felt a jolt of electricity shoot all the way down my spine. I was lucky not to be injured, but I knew instantly that I would never be aiming for the hip bone EVER AGAIN.

  52. malab377 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:25 AM

    The hit was legal, but come on man… we are not talking about a dwarf player… there are like 5 feet of meat between the knees and the head…

    Missing the head like this against Trindon Holliday, he would have tackled the turf…

  53. Patskrieg dot com says: Dec 9, 2013 10:27 AM

    Ugh… Realistically, if Gronk hadn’t still been in the air Ward’s hit probably would have been waist high and clean. Blaming it on fines is moronic though. Players have been making good clean hits in hitable areas for decades without resorting to chopping down guys at the knees so don’t give me that crap.

    Although, I’d also be a lot more apt to believe Ward if the Browns weren’t trying to set a tone of late hits and cheap shots all game. Phil Taylor cracked Blount with a late hit helmet first. Poyer went upstairs on Edelman in the endzone. McCourty took a cheapshot early in the game. Another soft team trying to look like a bunch of toughguys.

  54. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:29 AM

    If a Patriot hit someone like this the whole league and most of the posters here would be screaming bloody murder about how dirty the hit was.

    This whole thing by defensive players that they can’t hit the head so they’ll take people’s knees out is ridiculous. There’s a strike zone, they need to stay away from the knees to.

  55. rpiotr01 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:29 AM

    Nevermind the fine or the penalty, if you hit Gronkowski high you’re just going to bounce off of him.

    Some guys are so big and powerful you have to cut them at the legs. Same thing with AP. You have a choice between making a tackle and not making a tackle, you do what you have to.

  56. jjconley says: Dec 9, 2013 10:30 AM

    Dirty players are using the rules as an excuse to continue to be dirty.

    I’ve watched the NFL for 30 years and see brutal, clean hits all the time. I’ve never enjoyed seeign a defender obviously use his helmet as a weapon (Hines Ward breaking Keith River’s jaw) and Ward’s excuse here is pitiful. He has a target of about four feet to crush, unless he’s not man enough to bring him down with an old-school thump to the mid section. He’s not, so he takes the coward’s way out and hits him in the side of the knee.

    I’m not worried about incidental helmet contact. I see plenty of games where players tackle correctly, without weakness, and no flags are thrown. Ward has a history of dirty hits, and everyone knows a handful of other players with that history, too…cry all you want, but everyone knows who’s dirty, and what hits don’t belong in the NFL. I don’t want anyone trying to end anyone’s career.

    Now, how the officials call these penalties is a different topic…that needs to be talked about. I’d love to see replay on those calls to make sure they get them right. Eventually, when players like Ward (Hines and TJ) man up and tackle correctly, no one will complain.

  57. mrv1972 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:30 AM

    Hey patriotsarespygaters come up with something original. A player got lost for the season because of a torn ACL and you bring up spygate. Totally classless by a classless fan.

    Too bad for Gronk. Hope for a speedy recovery

  58. playgroundlgnd says: Dec 9, 2013 10:30 AM

    As a browns fan.. and a football fan in general.. I was sad to see gronk destroyed like that.. I was really hoping he wouldve come out of that unscathed.. I really luke gronk.

    TJ Ward is widely known to be one of the 3 hardest hitting safeties in the league.. he is one of the hearts of our defense.. and even though the hit was legal.. I know he geniunly feels bad about it.. hes a good guy.

    The real person or thing to blame is gooddell/rule changes.. the last 2 years it seems like every week a new player tears an acl. I wish somebody could write an article and bring up the injury stats.

    Dont feel bad tj.. just doing your job..

    I wish you a fast and full recovery Gronk!!

  59. champgiff says: Dec 9, 2013 10:31 AM

    Solutions:
    1) Put on flags and watch this sport go down the drain
    2) Allow these players to sign a concussion waiver and let them PLAY FOOTBALL

    These players know what they’re getting into. Collisions at high-speeds with 250lb+ top level athletes are going to result in injuries (including concussions).

    Every job has it’s level of risk. It is up to the individual to determine if the risk is worth the reward….nobody is forcing these guys to play football, but as we can see, changing the rules is resulting in an increasing amount of ACL injuries.

  60. eatitfanboy says: Dec 9, 2013 10:31 AM

    Is there anyone on this board who ever played on a football team besides me?

    Do you ever remember being taught to tackle like that? There are at least three things fundamentally wrong with that tackle and if you don’t what they are, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  61. padraighansen says: Dec 9, 2013 10:31 AM

    Here’s the bigger issue….very few are “tackling” in the sense most of us over 35 were taught. I see more hockey checks being thrown than I do tackles. The NFL hyped the “JACKED UP!!!” part of the game until it bit them back, but guys still are not tackling. Part of this – like the Randall Cobb hit as well – is on the play, route, and throw – hitting a seam route in-between the corner / linebacker and the safety is a prescription for a violent collision.

    If the NFL truly wants to fix it, they’ll have to start eliminating the hits with no attempt to wrap up – plain and simple.

    Quite frankly, they’re running out of options.

  62. brownsclown says: Dec 9, 2013 10:32 AM

    The Browns would have been a much better team this year if TJ would have hit WE DONE both high and low in training camp and knocked him out for the year!

  63. bradygoat says: Dec 9, 2013 10:32 AM

    I’m a Pats fan and the hit was legal and was how these guys have to hit people now. As far as Karma/joy from other fans that the dude is hurt, grow up. I’m a football fan but these guys are human beings and I’ve never celebrated a player from another team getting hurt. Have a little perspective, grow up and stop acting like kids.

  64. captbuff says: Dec 9, 2013 10:33 AM

    eagleswin says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:59 AM
    charger383 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:51 AM
    Well now, Mr Goodell are you happy now?

    ———————–

    Most of Goodells changes are due to lawsuits of retired players. If retired players, who blow through their NFL money, and still want to be paid would stop suing the league these rule changes would stop.

    Don’t blame Goodell, blame the players who can’t manage their money and their greedy lawyers.

    The sooner fans realize lawsuits are driving the rule changes the sooner everything will make sense for them.

    ——————

    You do have to distinguish between the older players and the players of the last couple decades. I understand the guys who played before the 70s and helped build the league while not getting paid a ton. But I don’t have much sympathy for some retired player who would have made more money than I’ll ever make playing 5 years at league minimum salary.

  65. donnyscott says: Dec 9, 2013 10:36 AM

    This is becoming the biggest copout. “I couldn’t go high so I had to go low.” Really? Since you can’t hit somebody in the head you have to target their knee. These hits need to be illegal. The knee doesn’t bend that way. If D-backs can’t be men and target their tackles from the thigh to the shoulders runners should consider using their cleats to alter some on these players bridgework. If you know what I mean.

  66. melikefootball says: Dec 9, 2013 10:46 AM

    T.J. did exactly what God-del has pushed by the rules he feels makes the game better. Just look at all the teams and how many players that started the first game are no longer playing. Rules, rules, everywhere the rules.

  67. midtec2005 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:48 AM

    The answer is simple, the NFL just doesn’t want to hear it, they want to continue pretending to care.

    Wrap rule.

    Try to wrap up or it’s a personal foul. Sound ridiculous? It’s worked in Rugby for a long long time. Last time I checked that was still a tough sport. If Ward had to wrap up he would have grabbed an ankle, not dove into his knee.

  68. aljack88 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:51 AM

    harrisonhits2 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:29 AM
    If a Patriot hit someone like this the whole league and most of the posters here would be screaming bloody murder about how dirty the hit was.
    —————————————————

    So true. Imagine if Josh Gordon got taken out the same way yesterday.
    And another point about Ward’s “tackle” is that another Brown player was already engaged in tackling Gronk, #52 Harrison ?, up high. Gronk is big but he’s not bigger than a LB and a DB. There was no need to target the knee area. It’s a penalty for O linemen to engage a D lineman high and low at the same time; a rule made to protect D linemen’s knees.

  69. mayorrobford says: Dec 9, 2013 10:51 AM

    It amazes me how stupid NFL fans are, especially the ones that show up here crying about “Goodell”

    He’s an employee of the OWNERS you idiots, doing what he is TOLD.

    My god shut up with your ignorant yammerings and tears about “Goodell”

  70. usher716 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:52 AM

    Now players like T.J. Ward have an excuse for targeting players knees. If I’m not mistaken Ward is the player who hit E.J. Manuel in the knees and celebrated after he realized he knocked him out of the game (and the next 5). Now what Goodell?

  71. horaceivory says: Dec 9, 2013 10:53 AM

    Agree with jjconley and fanboy and a few others. I didn’t like James Harrison’s hit on Decker a couple years ago, or the hit on Justin Keller this preseason, and nor the one on Gronk. You don’t dive at a guy’s knee especially when he doesn’t have a chance to see it coming. Plenty of players say you don’t mess with a guy’s livelyhood like that. Ward’s the same guy that dove at the side of E.J. Manuel and knocked him out several weeks.

  72. daysend564 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:53 AM

    Can’t walk, but still got out of the NFL with my 13 wonderlic mentality…Thanks NFL!

  73. gayvenator says: Dec 9, 2013 10:54 AM

    coachjohnharbaugh says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:59 AM
    that noise you hear is the collective gulp from boston fans realizing their dear patriots no longer have ANY shot to win the AFC

    YES!! A non patriots fan basically admitting that injuries have been the only thing keeping them from 3-4 more championships the past few years. CUNDIFF FOR PREZ. POLLARD FOR HELL.

  74. fishfan39 says: Dec 9, 2013 10:58 AM

    I can understand where Ward is coming from. If he doesn’t bring down opponents he will be out of a job himself. How else can he possibly bring down a man of Gronks size if he doesn’t go low?

  75. fourtysixandto says: Dec 9, 2013 10:59 AM

    3 Points to make

    1) As a patriots fan, I dont blame him for the hit. Gronk is huge and you cant tackle the guy high and bring him down.

    2) This is what the league wants… you give someone a concussion and you get flagged + penalty… you hit him low tear his ACL and possibly end his career and youre fine…

    3) Gronk is not injury prone for that hit, and if you think he is youre a moron and should keep your opinion to yourself. The guy got his knee caved in… could happen to anyone, that wasnt a ticky tack injury

  76. MCxShow says: Dec 9, 2013 11:00 AM

    Why do so many users post with hashtags? Not only does it make them look ignorant, but whatever they’re saying usually has nothing to do with the article itself.

    I’m just curious because it seems like every other comment on every single article has a post like that.

  77. mannyicey says: Dec 9, 2013 11:00 AM

    Most of Goodells changes are due to lawsuits of retired players. If retired players, who blow through their NFL money, and still want to be paid would stop suing the league these rule changes would stop.

    Don’t blame Goodell, blame the players who can’t manage their money and their greedy lawyers.

    The sooner fans realize lawsuits are driving the rule changes the sooner everything will make sense for them.

    ———————————————————————

    Obviously, you know very little about NFL players and the issues that confront them when they leave the NFL. You obviously don’t understand that medical issues that they deal with and pay for. You obviously do not understand that many of them are denied workers compensation. You don’t understand that many of them live in constant, unbearable pain, but can’t afford the pain medication. Remember- most NFL players don’t sign multimillion-dollar contracts, but they have multimillion-dollar medical bills.

    And that’s why many former NFL players wouldn’t want their sons to play in the NFL- because they are paid less, have less guaranteed money and suffer worse injuries than the NFL or MLB. That’s what’s happened to Gronk, not some foolish NFL players who can’t manage money.

  78. patfanken says: Dec 9, 2013 11:01 AM

    Obviously a Pats fan, but I have no problem with the hit. Later on in the game a Pats safety hit Josh Gordon with the same kind of hit and fortunately Gordon got up and went about his business.

    However some fans have a point. When I played we were taught to wrap, and throwing yourself at someones legs with your head down would be met with derision. Not only was that unsafe, it was cowardly.

    But that’s easy for me to say, I was a 205lb college DE/OLB 270lb TE’s weren’t running 4.7 40’s and most OLmen in the NFL weighed 250lbs.

    The game can be fixed IMHO simply by applying the rules as they were. No Launching. No leading with your head. No spearing. Defensive players should run through their tackles. They should stay on their feet. They would use their arms to wrap, and above all they should have to keep their damned heads UP.

  79. usap1 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:03 AM

    donnyscott says: “target from thigh to shoulders”. Donny never played the game. If you are a 5ft 10″, 185-lb DB trying to tackle a 6ft5″, 260-lb TE running full speed, there is no way your are going to stop him by trying to wrap him up around his rib cage. He will either stiff-arm you right into the dirt or run over you, or you will likely bounce right off him. Try wrapping up a full-speed Gronk around the thighs … how do you think that will turn out for you? It might work once or twice, but he isn’t a big soft pillow, you will soon be on injured reserve with either a dislocated or separated shoulder. DB’s have learned that the sensible approach is to go low. If you go too low at the ankles, he can jump over you, so the target becomes the shins to below the thighs.

  80. kastout11 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:04 AM

    Congratulations NFL and Mr. Goddell. Because of your rules, you just lost one of your most exciting players for at least the rest of this year and possibly all of next year, and you just took one team out of super bowl contention. Unfortunately, that could be Gronk’s career.

  81. walkinonwaterr says: Dec 9, 2013 11:09 AM

    Although I feel Ward has a some points, he is the same guy who went low and targeted the knees of EJ Manuel.. Manuel was even on his way out of bounds and there was no need to launch at the knees. I thought that was a very dirty hit. He even celebrated taking him out like that once he saw EJ was hurt. Thats classless. And although I understand some of this guys points he IS in fact targeting guys knees on purpose. And launching himself on top of that. What do u really think is going to happen ? U can’t try wrapping up anymore? If your to small and going to get trucked whose fault is that. I feel he is taking a cowardly approach. As well as Gronk was already being tackled there definitely was no need the launch at the knees. This isn’t the first time this guys done it and as we hear it obviously isn’t the last. Going low may be one thing, launch yourself at a guys knees is entirely different. Something needs to be done to change these defensive players aim.

  82. phillyphil005 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:10 AM

    Ask EJ Manuel if TJ Ward is a clean player…

  83. dseiler49 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:10 AM

    It’s plain and simple. Get rid of these stupid rules about hitting high. If a player gets his bell rung, then go through the concussion protocols. Don’t allow a player to get multiple concussions in a game (Merrill Hoge style). If a safety is head hunting, suspend/fine him. Don’t force players to hit low. Makes me cringe every time I see it. As a former player, hit me in the damn head.

  84. jnbnet says: Dec 9, 2013 11:10 AM

    On a guy of Gronk’s size, there has to be close to four feet between his head and his knees. Plenty of space to deliver a hit below the head and above the knees.

  85. wikidpissah says: Dec 9, 2013 11:12 AM

    I’m not saying it was a dirty hit, it wasn’t. But please, Gronkowski is 6′ 7″, 265 and Ward is 5′ 10, 200. There is no way Ward was going to hit Gronk high and bring him down. His only chance was to go for his legs.

    To try and blame this on the overemphasis on contact to the head is ridiculous.

  86. raiderufan says: Dec 9, 2013 11:13 AM

    He said he had to hit him low or it would have been a fine which means he had time to decide where to hit him. Which means he had time to aim.

    I don’t care about the size of the men involved, he had no need to hit him there. None. A proper form tackle aimed at the elbow with a rising blow at the speed Ward approached would have looked DEVASTATING and been MUCH safer.

    These are case by case issues in my opinion.

    These rules are destroying the bang bang nature of the game but in a case like this he should find himself in trouble. He admitted he chose to hit him there. Hell, he took about 6 steps while lining him up…this is not a legit “the rules made me do it” hit.

  87. raiderufan says: Dec 9, 2013 11:13 AM

    He said he had to hit him low or it would have been a fine which means he had time to decide where to hit him. Which means he had time to aim.

    I don’t care about the size of the men involved, he had no need to hit him there. None. A proper form tackle aimed at the elbow with a rising blow at the speed Ward approached would have looked DEVASTATING and been MUCH safer.

    These are case by case issues in my opinion.

    These rules are destroying the bang bang nature of the game but in a case like this he should find himself in trouble. He admitted he chose to hit him there. Hell, he took about 6 steps while lining him up…this is not a legit “the rules made me do it” hit.

  88. patriotinvasion says: Dec 9, 2013 11:18 AM

    thejuddstir says: Dec 9, 2013 10:11 AM

    Never, ever thought I would lose interest in football but the game is so far removed from what it use to be……..real football. I swear there were less blown officiating calls before replay ever came about, defenses could actually play defense without having their hands tied behind their back…
    ____

    I know what you mean, but keep in mind that 15 years ago there was no Twitter or PFT for the world to voice an opinion on instantly from their iPhones. I think if every flag and every hit was as scrutinized then as they are now, you may not feel the same.

  89. kaoticbandito says: Dec 9, 2013 11:19 AM

    It’s just a matter of time before the league puts size/weight limits on the people who can carry the ball on offense to make it possible for a 185 lbs cornerback to take down a tight end with an arm tackle around the waist. Pop Warner, here we come!

  90. ajgreenhof says: Dec 9, 2013 11:19 AM

    TJ Ward made the hit? Okay makes sense now.

  91. gallantent says: Dec 9, 2013 11:19 AM

    Why not tackle only above the knees and below the neck? I think the hit was intentionally trying to hurt Gronk.
    Teams have figured out that if they can take key players out of the game then they have a better chance to win.
    Broncos will be inviting Ward to their Super Bowl party!!

  92. ratsfoiledagain says: Dec 9, 2013 11:20 AM

    nasty hit and nasty injury.

    30 days from know gronk will be in a bar body slamming his brothers.

  93. rsmoore27 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:20 AM

    I think Ward is correct here. The league has to understand that every action they take is going to have a consequence somewhere. You simply can’t take the violence out of the sport.

    I also agree that all of the NFL rule-making of late is driven by legal liability, mainly a result of the former players class action suit involving head injuries. I think the league was actually at fault a little with regards to a lot of the players in that suit. Many of those former players were paid significantly less than current players and the league definitely tried to cover up the risks. The result of that suit doesn’t bother me much.

    However, given everything we know now about head injuries, and really injuries of any type, I would be a fan of the league simply being blatantly clear about the significant risk of playing in the league, and requiring all players to sign a complete waiver and indemnification of the league for any injury they might suffer. In the past, players weren’t as aware of the risk they were undertaking. In today’s game, they’re made very aware of the risks, and are highly compensated for taking on those risks.

    It should be simple, the league tells every incoming player,
    “Football is a high-contact sport, with repetitive, violent impacts continuously occurring in games and practices. By participating, you understand there is a substantial risk of serious injury, including death, with potentially permanent effects on an individual’s future quality of life. Each player assumes all risk for any injury they might suffer and agrees to hold harmless the NFL and each member team for any injuries they might suffer.”

    Sign it, or don’t play. Then let the rules go back to what they were.

  94. usap1 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:21 AM

    Like it or not, DB’s are faced with this question many times during every game when facing a huge stud running full speed: “How can I legally get him on the ground without injuring myself?”. The answer is clear … go low. Nobody wants to take out a knee, but nobody’s aim is 100% accurate either, especially against a constantly moving target who could change direction at any time. You take your shot in a split second … it’s not precisely calculated as many on here seem to assume.

  95. 4512dawg4512 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:28 AM

    It was a good hit, Gronk’s leg just happened to be planted so his knee buckled. Had his leg been in mid-stride it would have been a tackle and life goes on. DB’s have been going low on tight ends for years thats how you get them down. This is nothing new, its just unfortunate for Gronk and the Pats

  96. iamapatsfan says: Dec 9, 2013 11:36 AM

    This is a two stage problem:

    1. Yes, rules forbid going to the head. That means most DBs will now start to try and hit low, i.e., the legs. however…

    2. Just because you can’t hit the head doesn’t mean you can’t go and hit the body for a tackle. DBs are so looking for the big hit that they no longer know how to just tackle. Since the big hit high makes them scared of a flag, they now big hit low, taking out knees.

    How to fix this? Re-teach actual tackling. Wrapping up and bringing to the ground rather than just body slamming yourself into someone else.

    There’s more choices than the head or the knees. DBs need to learn that rather than just overreacting to flags for hitting the head by going as low as possible.

  97. metintodd says: Dec 9, 2013 11:38 AM

    Sorry, I’m not buying his explanation . Who targets the knee like that? That was a deliberate attempt to injure and Ward should be fined, suspended and thrown out of the NFL for as long as Gronk is out. There’s no place for that in the NFL.

    The NFL has a full-blown crisis on its hands with star players going down to cheap shots like that. They need to do something or the NFL will no longer exist as we know it.

  98. jamesfield74 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:45 AM

    “atleastimnotaraidersfan says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:56 AM
    Yeah T.J., there’s no space at all between the head and knee.”

    The ignorance of your statement is profound. All tacklers have to aim below the waste. When the offensive player bends down or ducks down anticipating contact, a DB that aims at chest/stomach then gets flagged when it is the offensive player’s action that lead to the head and neck are hit. It has happened numerous times this season.

    Defensive players are at a HUGE disadvantage. The rules need to be eliminated or we will see more stars go down, some for good. These are grown-ass men. They know what they signed up for.

  99. keepingitrealdumb says: Dec 9, 2013 11:48 AM

    don’t go blaming goodel and the NFL .. this was all brought on by the ex-player’s concussion lawsuits. the NFL did not start talking about hits to the head _UNTIL_ they started getting sued by the ex-players.

    so put the blame correctly where it belongs: the ex-players suing the NFL.

  100. azcm2511 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:50 AM

    coachjohnharbaugh says:
    Dec 9, 2coachjohnharbaugh says:
    Dec 9, 2013 9:59 AM
    that noise you hear is the collective gulp from boston fans realizing their dear patriots no longer have ANY shot to win the AFC

    #HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Your right, the only difference is that it was about 7 or 8 weeks later in the season to realize it then it was for the sorry excuse of a football team you put on the field every week.

  101. aljack88 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:51 AM

    patriotinvasion says:
    Dec 9, 2013 11:18 AM
    thejuddstir says: Dec 9, 2013 10:11 AM

    Never, ever thought I would lose interest in football but the game is so far removed from what it use to be……..real football. I swear there were less blown officiating calls before replay ever came about, defenses could actually play defense without having their hands tied behind their back…
    ____

    I know what you mean, but keep in mind that 15 years ago there was no Twitter or PFT for the world to voice an opinion on instantly from their iPhones. I think if every flag and every hit was as scrutinized then as they are now, you may not feel the same.

    —————————

    Imagine how it would have been if today’s media was around when the Pats played the Raiders in the 1976 Ben Dreith rip off playoff game?

  102. aljack88 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:53 AM

    let’s not forget the fact that Ward wasn’t making an open field tackle without any support; Gronk was already engaged in a tackle from a Brown LB.

  103. azcm2511 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:54 AM

    no problem with the “tackle” by todays standards but when did the league outlaw the use of arms in tackling? seems to me that all the DB’s and LB’s look for the big hit with the shoulder or helmet and forget that they have arms and are supposed to wrap up the offensive player. Doubt me….take a look at Dwayne Bowe’s TD yesterday, that farce that the deadskins call a CB (Dangelo Hall) tried to cut Bowe at the knees instead of wrapping his arms around him and taking him down. Maybe the NFL needs to mandate that tackling has to be done with arms and body and not just head and shoulders. That would weed out a lot of the headhunters like Pollard pretty quick.

  104. footballchic777 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:55 AM

    He hit him in the only place that would take him down. you can hit high…….just don’t lower your head or target…..you can hit in that huge area of the body called the TORSO…..or you can hit low and possibly ruin a guys career. its all good for Ward to say until someone hits him this way, then let’s see what he says. he has had trouble targeting guys in the past, so he is trying to make Goodell let him do it again!

  105. barbeaux says: Dec 9, 2013 11:58 AM

    No. It’s not that hard. You don’t aim for the knees. You don’t aim for the neck. That leaves the midsection. There’s a lot of body between the knees and neck. I’m tired of hearing some players complaining that they can’t hit people. They have 90% of the body to legally hit.

  106. larryfinfan says: Dec 9, 2013 11:58 AM

    Ward, if you’d hit Gronk higher, you’d have knocked yourself out….what a cop out players now have with the “rules about hitting high, wah wah wah…be a man, and a better player and aim at the midsection of the guy your tackling. That’s the way you were taught, you weren’t taught to take the guys head out nor to take out the guys knees…

    excuses, excuses, excuses for poor playing…

  107. azcm2511 says: Dec 9, 2013 11:59 AM

    todays NFL is nothing more that an offshoot of the WWF. I can’t stand to watch all the posing and dancing and other nonsense anymore. The idiot of the year hands down is the DE from Minny who does some stupid a$$ fishing thing after he makes his one positive play a game. Watch any play and there is sure to be some goofball get out of the pile run 10 yards down the field and do some stupid pose. Might as well get Hulk Hogan to be the ref.

  108. baltimorons says: Dec 9, 2013 12:02 PM

    Gronk career over. Gronk go bye bye now. Gronk more time to teach girls. Gronk like girls.

  109. derekgorgonstar says: Dec 9, 2013 12:04 PM

    Hey, commissioner, check the thumbs up vs thumbs done in the very first comment. Fans are going to leave the game, you halfwit.

    Stop acting like a lawyer, and start acting like a commissioner.

  110. nebbrownsfan says: Dec 9, 2013 12:05 PM

    All you haters that are blaming Ward for the hit on Manuel don’t have a freakin’ clue. Try not being blinded (and maybe use google) to learn the truth before bashing a player.

  111. patsfan1213 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:06 PM

    Was it a legal hit? Sure. Was it dirty? Absolutely. I’m sorry, but using the fact that you can’t target the upper 12″ of the body to go after the lower 12″ isn’t really a solid argument. As others said, there’s a wide range of area to hit above the knee and below the head.

    People commenting that “Gronks big! TJ’s small!”, so that somehow justifies taking out a guys knees and possibly ending his career: how about he just starts kicking people in the nuts? Hey, he can’t man up and do a proper tackle, and he’s so small- there’s nothing in there about winding up and trying to sail those chestnuts between the uprights, right? Just because you’re a smaller player doesn’t give you carte blanc to make dirty plays.

    The league should really do the reasonable thing: ban launching/spearing at the knees AND head. You want to launch yourself like a weapon? Fine, but you better be sure that you’re going to come in above the knees and below the head. Otherwise, maybe try wrapping up and making a proper tackle?

    The NFL needs to treat serial offenders of low hits like those that hit high. And yes, TJ has a record. See: EJ Manuel.

  112. kindbass says: Dec 9, 2013 12:13 PM

    You people act like Gronkowski is completely impossible to tackle. Dude’s been tackled hundreds of times without someone diving helmet-first at his knees.

  113. lawyermalloy says: Dec 9, 2013 12:17 PM

    Why not go back to the way it was, with the exception of helmet to helmet, and have each player at the beginning of the season sign an injury waiver for concussions?

  114. 1historian says: Dec 9, 2013 12:19 PM

    Gronk’s year is obviously over, and I fear his career may be over at the tender age of 24.

    But it was a legal hit. Ward is 5’10” 200 lbs and Gronk is 6’7 265 lbs and is running full speed at him.

    Many of you Pats haters are happy now because it looks as if the Pats’ playoff chances are pretty much done. They’ll get in the playoffs but it will be a first round knockout and that’s pretty much it.

    Wanna know how great Brady is? You’ll find that out over the next 8 weeks.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  115. tim8450 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:21 PM

    Yeah, it was a cheap and dirty hit. Guy is being dragged down by a linebacker and you dive at his knees.

    as far as:

    coachjohnharbaugh says: Dec 9, 2013 9:59 AM

    that noise you hear is the collective gulp from boston fans realizing their dear patriots no longer have ANY shot to win the AFC

    #HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Well, your paper champion team is doing real great too. Wait to two weeks from now when Tom Brady shreds you with a bunch of back ups. The Pats are a lot closer to the Superbowl than your seven win team. What are they, 3rd or fourth place in your own division?

    The Pats have consecutive 10+ win seasons for the past what, 11 years? The dirty birds are unlikely to hit 10 wins again this season or any time soon.

  116. mark0226 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:22 PM

    Seriously? So, it’s either the knees or the head? There is no in between? Gronk is a tall player, so there is plenty of in between. But I guess if the intent is to hurt the player, then the head and the knees are the only options and taking out the knees are still legal.

  117. granadafan says: Dec 9, 2013 12:30 PM

    Yup, The National Football LAWYERS run by Emperor Goodell have really hurt the game and are jeopardizing players’ careers.

    That said, all football players and many fans need to watch/ play rugby. Ruggers know how to tackle which is at the waist or thighs. They NEVER go high because it’s illegal.

  118. lolo376 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:30 PM

    So Ward is saying he couldn’t aim for thigh , hip, or cheat area?

  119. lolo376 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:30 PM

    So Ward is saying he couldn’t aim for thigh , hip, or cheat area?

  120. niles6590 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:34 PM

    I would love to hear Goodell’s comments on this hit.

  121. mark0226 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:38 PM

    jamesfield74 says:
    “The ignorance of your statement is profound. All tacklers have to aim below the waste. When the offensive player bends down or ducks down anticipating contact, a DB that aims at chest/stomach then gets flagged when it is the offensive player’s action that lead to the head and neck are hit. It has happened numerous times this season.”

    Pot, meet Kettle. It is not against the rules to hit a player in the head when he ducks down, unless you use your own helmet as a weapon. If a player is ducking down anticipating contact, then he is not defenseless. However, helmet to helmet is always illegal. Learn the Rules. That goes for YOU and TJ Ward.

  122. jonnydapat says: Dec 9, 2013 12:42 PM

    To all these people who say that wasn’t a dirty hit. I disagree, I played safety for years and if I wanted to hurt a receiver or tight end it was easy. I could easily time the hit and attack the guys knees, and his day, week, and possibly months are spent on cruches. These guys trying to make the catch are defenceless. I equate it to a sucker punch, its easy to punch someone who doesn’t see it coming, that’s when you can really hurt someone if you are a sissy, you know a coward.

  123. bnn52 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:43 PM

    patsfan1213 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 12:06 PM
    Was it a legal hit? Sure. Was it dirty? Absolutely. I’m sorry, but using the fact that you can’t target the upper 12″ of the body to go after the lower 12″ isn’t really a solid argument. As others said, there’s a wide range of area to hit above the knee and below the head.

    People commenting that “Gronks big! TJ’s small!”, so that somehow justifies taking out a guys knees and possibly ending his career: how about he just starts kicking people in the nuts? Hey, he can’t man up and do a proper tackle, and he’s so small- there’s nothing in there about winding up and trying to sail those chestnuts between the uprights, right? Just because you’re a smaller player doesn’t give you carte blanc to make dirty plays.

    The league should really do the reasonable thing: ban launching/spearing at the knees AND head. You want to launch yourself like a weapon? Fine, but you better be sure that you’re going to come in above the knees and below the head. Otherwise, maybe try wrapping up and making a proper tackle?

    The NFL needs to treat serial offenders of low hits like those that hit high. And yes, TJ has a record. See: EJ Manuel.
    ___________________________________

    Patsfan, how bout you research the facts before you speak. TJ was not the player who hit EJ Manuel, it was Gipson. And the refs made it up to you by handing you the win.

    That being said, this is getting a little ridiculous. These are professional football players, this is a physical game and you all know the risks you take when playing the game and signing your contract. It is horrible what happens to these guys, I would never wish for anyone to get hurt, but you know its a possibility.Nobody should be able to sue the league over concussions, torn ACL’s etc. The current rules put DB’s in a crappy situation, you hit high you get fined and penalized, you hit low, you take the chance of hurting someone, you go right for the mid-section, you take the chance of getting run over, missing the tackle and you lose your starting spot. Just let the guys play, injuries happen.

  124. dualprime says: Dec 9, 2013 12:47 PM

    Prior to Lott, Atwater and others making the big hit popular defensive players hit you in the chest, wrapped up and dragged you to the ground. It was plain old tackling. I think of Singletary and Bill Bates. They wern’t big but guys went down when they tackled you.

  125. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 9, 2013 12:51 PM

    Reasons To Hit Low:

    1) T.J. Ward-190 lbs./Rob Gronkowski-260 lbs.

    2) Fines for not hitting low

  126. rob471773 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:52 PM

    This was a “legal” hit, but a very dirty one.

    I’m so sick of hearing these morons saying “this is what Goodell wants” or “Well you can’t hit high so you have to go low”

    Please save it, you sound like Brandon Meriweather who basically has a 2nd grade education.

    No one tackles anymore. Players should be driving there shoulder into the gut, hip, or thighs of a player, wrapping them up and taking them to the ground.

    The problem is these DBs are scared to man up and actually tackle, they are looking for the easy way out (headshots or dirty low blows).

    Gronk is 6′ 7″, there’s plenty of real estate between his head and knees. Ward had plenty of time to line up his hit too, he choose to go low because he’s a coward.

  127. trg728774 says: Dec 9, 2013 12:52 PM

    First and foremost ANY player injured to the point where they can’t play is horrible and anyone who mocks the player or team is an absolute as*hole. For the people who respond to any patriots story with *cheaters or *spygate needs to get a life and move on. It shows your lack of intelligence for football. If you are that consumed by a team that you hate that is extremely concerning.

  128. dasmol says: Dec 9, 2013 12:53 PM

    Am I missing the controversy or something? A football player got hit in the legs and injured. It was a good, legal hit.

    Whether the defender could have gone higher doesn’t matter. The best way to stop someone from running is to take out their legs.

  129. patsfan1820 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:00 PM

    I was not happy about that hit but unfortunately TJ is right. Gronk is a casualty of Goodell’s rules and the concussion lawsuits. It’s sad what the NFL has become.

  130. hmpennypacker says: Dec 9, 2013 1:01 PM

    Sadly this is the price receivers pay for the NFL changes to the rules to enhance the passing game. Defenders no longer know where to “tackle”. It doesn’t help that receivers also lower their heads & sometimes bring the helmet/helmet hits on themselves. If you want to lessen these injuries mandate that all defenses have to perform proper tackling and ban hitting.
    Also what people don’t take into account/choose to ignore is that players now are bigger, stronger & faster than 10 or 15 years ago. This also increases the possibility of injuries as the collisions on the field have more impact.
    Get a proper HGH testing mandated and clear out the juicers( I’m looking and you Seaderrall). Game will be slower but more pure. Personally I’d prefer that.

  131. coachbeck says: Dec 9, 2013 1:06 PM

    This rule is not Goodell’s fault.

    The ones to ultimately blame are greedy former players who claim concussion issues and are looking for a quick buck to supplement retirement. They knew the risk of playing football. We all do. But you get paid for that risk as well.

    Because if a frivolous lawsuit this rule was made.

  132. jpb12 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:08 PM

    Anyone ever heard of TJ Ward before this?

  133. bigredscouting says: Dec 9, 2013 1:18 PM

    What a ridiculous response by TJ Ward. Gronk was standing straight up when Ward hit him. he didn’t have to choose high or low in that situation. Ward could have tackled him in the midsection like a football player is supposed to. I laugh at guys like this. Hit like fundamental football players instead of human darts and you won’t have to choose low or high. But fundamentals is so far gone from the NFL today, why would I be surprised? I hope they start fining guys for low shots too. I know that unpopular, but until people realize you have from just below the neck to the mid thigh to hit someone, there is no reason to have to hit high or low. At times runners do crunch and there is nothing you can do, I get situations like that, but this is a prime example of a player just using a tagline of today’s NFL tacklers when the situation is so vastly different than most people who are forced to choose head or knee.

  134. pats1stfan1 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:18 PM

    I’ve just finished watching the replay of Ward’s hit on Gronkowski(8 times)…IMO it would have been a legal hit, BUT, and I know the thumbs down are coming, TJ Ward left his feet…He “launched” himself…Can’t miss it, live HD, and in living color.

  135. junglerat524 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:19 PM

    Gotta agree. The NFL has dictated going low or losing a paycheck. Guess it’s better to lose a year or a career with a blown out knee & then spending the rest of your life having surgeries to keep replacing that knee. Drooling all over yourself in retirement is much more painful.

  136. azcm2511 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:21 PM

    “Ward should have aimed for the thigh or midsection”…..SERIOUSLY??? DB’s and LB’s have to AIM where they tackle? by the time they size the runner or receiver up and “AIM” the runner/receiver is gone bye bye and doing one of those STUPID celebrations in the end zone. The only problem I have with the “tackle” was the lack of arms….he just threw his shoulder at Gronks lower body. If the league outlawed that action and required a tackler to wrap up the runner/reciever then there would be a lot less of these type of injuries.

  137. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:33 PM

    Patriots fans took THIS to mean that he was trying to injure Gronk? Goodness you people are miserable.

  138. antalicus says: Dec 9, 2013 1:34 PM

    He realizes he was tackling Gronk who is like 6′-6″ and he was standing straight up?

    I get what players are saying that because they cant go high they have to go low, but there is plenty of middle.

    Problem is if they go middle they wont make the tackle or will get jacked up themself.

  139. dstroi says: Dec 9, 2013 1:34 PM

    If someone smaller (Edelman) had caught that ball and ran down the field with a tackler already behind him, do you think TJ Ward would have tackled that low? Ward was launching no doubt, so why couldn’t he launch towards the chest to waist area and knock Gronkowski out of bounds? I hate to see someone get injured that way for a tackle that could have been avoided. I personally think these “tackle” rules are an excuse to just hit low. Gronkowski is freaking 6’7, with a lot of realstate to do a fundamental tackle. Even if Ward hit him at thigh level at that speed would have been enough to knock him off balance for a tackle. None the less, it was a legal hit especially with the Goodell rules in place nowadays. I still think it was dirty (my opinion) but obviously legal.
    *******************************************
    baltimorons says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:16 AM
    TJ….you did your job. You did it very well.
    *******************************************
    Question for you if I may? If this was TJ Ward tackling Pitta/Clark or even Brandon Merriweather tackling Pitta/Clark, would you condone this the same way? Or is it a mask for your hatred towards one team?

  140. tved12 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:35 PM

    How is this even controversial? So let’s say the league doesn’t have this rule in place, you really think a DB is going to hit Gronk up high? If you do that you’re giving the guy 5 extra yards, it was a smart play by Ward.

    It sucks he got injured, but if you’re hitting a guy who’s got 80 pounds on you the legs are where you go.

  141. kenny328usa says: Dec 9, 2013 1:39 PM

    He’s right and he didn’t do anything wrong.

  142. CKL says: Dec 9, 2013 1:45 PM

    flaccotoboldin says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:23 AM
    At some point, why doesn’t Brady get blamed here?

    You keep throwing to the TE in the seam, with a safety over the top, and he’s goign to get hit – going to get LAID out.
    ___________________________

    I really needed a good laugh, thanks! TB has his faults but throwing medicine balls isn’t one of them. Along with the fact that Ward came flying in from the right side of the field to try to get Gronk down (someone else was already tackling him), so he was either out of position or trying to help when it wasn’t his assignment.

    And count me in with agreeing that the lawsuits drove this. Amazing, isn’t it that all these lawsuit winners’ concussions were definitely a result only of their NFL careers, isn’t it?

    But the fact is we can’t wish this away,it just has to be worked around. So I am on board with Aikman’s idea of removing helmets completely, and I am also in favor of altering PI so that it isn’t as punitive. Defensive players need SOME means of being able to stop guys other than hurling themselves at them like armless missiles.

  143. cpr5050 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:49 PM

    Funny how all these comments are about launching or aiming. TJ ward successfully tackled a player(doesn’t matter size) legally by rules. Sucks that he got hurt and if you watched the game or the replay you see him going over to Gronk as well as other browns defenders. Most players in the NFL are not out to end careers but careers do hang in the balance on every play. Getting out played or having an injury are just a couple of ways it can end. As for targeting there were two calls at the end of this game were one was called and the other wasn’t. I am sorry but if you want to complain about launching look at the last catch by cameron to set up the field goal try. It was not helmet to helmet and it wasn’t defenseless but rather launching. I am not calling for a penalty for it bc to me that is a good football play. But if TJ launched then DB for the pats on that play did far worse. But complaining saying it was dirty has no value to this play. Ignorant officiating and fans have made it almost impossible to watch the game and enjoy it.

  144. tved12 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:50 PM

    dstroi says:
    Dec 9, 2013 1:34 PM
    If someone smaller (Edelman) had caught that ball and ran down the field with a tackler already behind him, do you think TJ Ward would have tackled that low? Ward was launching no doubt, so why couldn’t he launch towards the chest to waist area and knock Gronkowski out of bounds? I hate to see someone get injured that way for a tackle that could have been avoided. I personally think these “tackle” rules are an excuse to just hit low. Gronkowski is freaking 6’7, with a lot of realstate to do a fundamental tackle. Even if Ward hit him at thigh level at that speed would have been enough to knock him off balance for a tackle. None the less, it was a legal hit especially with the Goodell rules in place nowadays. I still think it was dirty (my opinion) but obviously legal.
    *******************************************
    baltimorons says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:16 AM
    TJ….you did your job. You did it very well.
    *******************************************
    Question for you if I may? If this was TJ Ward tackling Pitta/Clark or even Brandon Merriweather tackling Pitta/Clark, would you condone this the same way? Or is it a mask for your hatred towards one team?
    *******************************************

    As a Vikings fan I’ll speak to this as if it was a hit on AP. I wouldn’t be happy about the injury, but I certainly wouldn’t be calling for Ward’s head. It was a clean tackle. Hopefully Ward tries to go a bit higher next time, but it’s hard to be mad that he hit a 6′ 7″ guy in the legs.

  145. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:50 PM

    jpb12 says: Dec 9, 2013 1:08 PM

    Anyone ever heard of TJ Ward before this?
    ———–

    If you took your nose out of Brady’s rec. cavity long enough, you’d realize that he was highly touted coming into the league, and most people who follow the NFL outside of their own team have known who he was since he entered the league.

  146. boonevol says: Dec 9, 2013 1:55 PM

    For those of you complaining about the high hit rule enforcement bringing this about, it goes deeper than that.
    It is the balance between offense and defense being tilted due to everyone wanting to see touchdowns and endzone dances and firework displays.

    Little speedy DB’s are now required to give some form of pass coverage. Throw in a big monster like Gronk or Graham and they can romp like a bull through the Pampas. They are going to inevitably make the catch and this be brought down by a body ill-suited to do so.

    I’m not for mugging receivers all over the field but some balance needs to be returned to the defense.

    Sorry for Gronk but that’s how it goes.

  147. bushwoodcc says: Dec 9, 2013 1:58 PM

    Absolutely a legal hit…but at the same time a dirty hit by old school standards.

    He dove at the knees and turned his head. Not saying I expect a DB to go try and tackle a TE up high, but you go in head up, mid section to thigh and wrap up. The problem is form tackling is a lost art among DB’s and it is a lost art because DB’s need to be burners and cover guys instead of tacklers. And it’s because of all the bogus PI and 5 yard contact rules put in over the years to drive more offense.

    Let these guys bump and play real football a little more beyond 5 yards and you can get back to having more physical corners and safeties that can tackle properly in the open field.

    Personally, I’d love to see DB’s have a bit more freedom jamming guys up 7-10 yards down the field, and a little more freedom in hand checking during the routes.

  148. bigcid10 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:08 PM

    clear heads and wheelchairs
    that’s whats in the future for nfl players

  149. bengalsfan20 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:10 PM

    The sad this is that he is right. Pretty much what the NFL has come to. You can’t hit high so you have to hit ACL’s and end seasons.

  150. usdcoyotesfan says: Dec 9, 2013 2:11 PM

    Stop buying merchandise. Stop going to games. Turn your TVs off at commercial breaks and halftime. The only way Goodell and the owners will change the league for the better is if we hit them where it hurts most: the wallet.

  151. painsyndicate says: Dec 9, 2013 2:13 PM

    I bet he would have hit Jimmie Graham or Antonio Gates high just to make sure he didn’t injure them.

  152. allsport1980 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:16 PM

    There is honestly know good reason to target a players knee and the excuse of a fine is not acceptable. Ward could have wrapped up Gronk around the feet, waist, chest. Instead he launched himself and no longer controlled the outcome of the play.

  153. taintedsaints2009 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:19 PM

    In one play, tj ward guaranteed a broncos Super Bowl appearance.

  154. bugsbomb says: Dec 9, 2013 2:36 PM

    If it’s not early enouph, it’s late
    If the player is not ready for your hit, it’s defenseless
    If it’s too high, it’s head contact
    If it’s too hard, it’s unessesary
    If it’s around the neck, its horse collar
    If play slides, it’s late
    If player changes level at last minute, it’s still head contact
    If I’m a Defensive Back, it’s confusing, might as well aim for the knees.

  155. usdcoyotesfan says: Dec 9, 2013 2:41 PM

    This wouldn’t be a problem if defenders would wrap up ball carriers by the midsection and go for a sure tackle.

  156. bigbamboom1 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:41 PM

    One thing the NFL can do to eliminate vicious hits is simple. Eliminate the main reason for it. The need for contact that is too precise. Get rid of all the pass interference junk that is ruining the game. Allow DBs to compete for the ball more aggressively without being flagged on tick tack stuff. Do that and those guys will become ball hawks instead of body hawks. Get rid of any penalty over 15 yards unless it occurs in the end zone. Pass interference should be just 10 or 15 yards period! The integrity of the game has been completely compromised. Because now offensive teams have programmed officials/PI calls as part of the offensive scheme. And train players on how to “sell it and create it”. That’s Bad Ball! That rule change alone would allow defensive players to back off trying to time those dislodging hits.

  157. thebirdofprey2 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:47 PM

    When TJ Ward came in the NFL, sure he’s a hard hitter but I remember the player he reminded me or is Brandon Merriweather. I remember at one point I couldn’t tell you who was the bigger head hunter.

    Gronkowski is a big man about 6’6 – you can’t hit him in the thigh, hip, chest, torso? Its either head or knees to make a tackle? Give me a break. Browns fans will defend you, the rest of us think you’re dirty.

  158. foosballisthedevil says: Dec 9, 2013 2:48 PM

    aljack88 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:51 AM

    (clip)
    And another point about Ward’s “tackle” is that another Brown player was already engaged in tackling Gronk, #52 Harrison ?, up high. Gronk is big but he’s not bigger than a LB and a DB. There was no need to target the knee area. It’s a penalty for O linemen to engage a D lineman high and low at the same time; a rule made to protect D linemen’s knees.
    —————————————-

    You’re blind. #52 Jackson was not engaged. First contact for the tackle came from Ward. Go watch the video again

  159. billyjay92 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:49 PM

    So, there is no way he could have hit gronk in the thigh or possibly go for the ankle? Or even go for the grab-on-a-for-a-ride waist tackle? Or maybe hit him in the shoulders? I find it funny all these hits come from players trying to be bad asses over the middle. When does anyone get their knees taken out at the LOS?

  160. foosballisthedevil says: Dec 9, 2013 2:53 PM

    allsport1980 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 2:16 PM

    There is honestly know good reason to target a players knee and the excuse of a fine is not acceptable. Ward could have wrapped up Gronk around the feet, waist, chest. Instead he launched himself and no longer controlled the outcome of the play.
    _____________

    Your definition of ‘launch’ is flawed. Ward aimed low but still had a foot on the ground when the tackle was made.

  161. jamesfield74 says: Dec 9, 2013 2:59 PM

    mark0226 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 12:38 PM
    jamesfield74 says:
    “The ignorance of your statement is profound. All tacklers have to aim below the waste. When the offensive player bends down or ducks down anticipating contact, a DB that aims at chest/stomach then gets flagged when it is the offensive player’s action that lead to the head and neck are hit. It has happened numerous times this season.”

    Pot, meet Kettle. It is not against the rules to hit a player in the head when he ducks down, unless you use your own helmet as a weapon. If a player is ducking down anticipating contact, then he is not defenseless. However, helmet to helmet is always illegal. Learn the Rules. That goes for YOU and TJ Ward.”

    Kettle meet my foot. While you are correct that it isn’t illegal, you are false in that it isn’t called that way. There have been at least 6 plays this year that I have watched where the offensive player tucks and the defender makes contact with their head and the flags have flown and yardage has been awarded for a clean play.

    Additionally, all these morons calling out Ward as a dirty player need to remove their heads from their arses. Tashaun Gipson was the safety who hit Manuel, not WARD. IF you intend on accusing a player of being dirty at least have some evidence to support it.

    Ward is attempting to hit a moving target and while I know all of the physicists on here understand that a player’s trajectory will decline towards the ground due to the gravitational pull of the Earth…Ward should have been able to float through the air and hit Gronk on his belly. But then there would be people blaming Ward for Gronk having a tummy ache and being unable to giggle.

    It’s football, it is a collision sport. SHUT UP.

  162. akboot says: Dec 9, 2013 3:15 PM

    He dove at his knee!! It was a dirty, rotten play without question. No other way you can look at it and say otherwise. I’m not a pats fan, but I hope karma comes around for you tj.

  163. rugolin says: Dec 9, 2013 3:17 PM

    It is a legal hit but it is also a dirty hit. The player had only one goal was to launch himself low like a missile he went to for the most vulnerable part of the body instead of the chest,midsection or hip. Please note the defenders hand and arms are by his side with no intention of “tackling”. Then he openly admitted to only targeting the knee with his well prepared alibi to deflect blame. Hopefully Tyler will not run into a chop block next week from an opposing team’s tight end when he is not looking. I hope he will think that was a clean block when they are carrying him into the locker room. Kind of doubt he will think that.

  164. rushmatic says: Dec 9, 2013 3:34 PM

    How as 5’10” TJ Ward going to hit a bounding 6’6″ Gronkowski in the head? Why couldn’t he have wrapped him up at the thigh/waist? There are a lot of safeties in this league (who are better than Ward) that don’t end careers. Does anyone here think Devin McCourty will be apologizing for ending someone’s career anytime soon? Not me.

  165. tved12 says: Dec 9, 2013 3:40 PM

    So first everybody complains about helmet to helmet hits. Then when a guy goes low against this mammoth Gronk, they’re pissed at him for a dirty hit. My question to the Pats fans upset today, do you want to disallow low tackles too? Then we’ll all be b-tching about the league being soft…

    There’s no way to win. Just because somebody got hurt doesn’t make it dirty. It was an unfortunate play. Good hit though, better than letting Gronk carry you 5-10 extra yards down the field.

  166. vccove says: Dec 9, 2013 4:00 PM

    How is that dirty non-tackle, with missiling straight at below the thighs in mind, legal?? If we, if we’re honest, all know it’s dirty, how should it possibly be allowed? I know I never dove for legs to tackle. I’d wrap up and throw down. Really- is that really really too much to ask for, for players’ healths’ sake??? Business-wise and entertainment-wise, fewer players would have to be carted off the field, and everyone’s favorite players would have much better chance of playing and entertaining on the field, where they ought to be. Let’s have real repurcussions for what we all in our hearts know to be dirty. Put yourself in the victim’s shoes. Yeah- Golden Rule, y’all..

  167. ytownjoe says: Dec 9, 2013 4:07 PM

    No flag. No penalty. No concussion. Good defense. Good play. Follow the rules.

  168. varnbo says: Dec 9, 2013 4:22 PM

    I am a huge Browns fan. Now that the laughter has subsided I will continue with my point.

    I thought Ward’s “tackle” was a cheap shot. What happened to head up, wrap up, drive through the ball carrier?

    Those cheap shot, dive at the knees “tackle” are seen in every game, and it sucks.

    If it wasn’t BS then why the explanation on how the league forced that type of hit?

    The NFL has idiotic refs subjectively enforcing idiotic rules.

  169. aljack88 says: Dec 9, 2013 5:59 PM

    foosballisthedevil says:
    Dec 9, 2013 2:48 PM
    aljack88 says:
    Dec 9, 2013 10:51 AM

    (clip)
    And another point about Ward’s “tackle” is that another Brown player was already engaged in tackling Gronk, #52 Harrison ?, up high. Gronk is big but he’s not bigger than a LB and a DB. There was no need to target the knee area. It’s a penalty for O linemen to engage a D lineman high and low at the same time; a rule made to protect D linemen’s knees.
    —————————————-
    You’re blind. #52 Jackson was not engaged. First contact for the tackle came from Ward. Go watch the video again
    —————————————————
    well, devil, just watched a video about 20 times with the play going from the right to left, and it still appears to me that Harrison had an arm on Gronks shoulder before wart made his dive. He surely was going to grabbing hold of him without Ward being there. I will search for another video from another angle but I tell you, my opinion on ward is lower after seeing this so many repeated times. His intent was not to stop the runner, it was to make sure he didn’t make any more plays against his team. There was no reason for him going that low with Harrison already there. Watching the video, there was no way he was going to make a high hit on Gronk without also hitting his own player.
    ‘worried about getting fined? you kidding me? He was thinking about that as that play unfolded?
    It was a “legal hit” with the rules as they exist today; still a hit with nasty intentions. Hopefully players who choose to play this way get the justified pay back some day down the road.

  170. greenmtnboy31 says: Dec 9, 2013 6:00 PM

    POS playah on a POS team making a dirty play and then immediately blaming the league. Despicable.

  171. rushmatic says: Dec 9, 2013 6:51 PM

    tved12 says:

    So first everybody complains about helmet to helmet hits. Then when a guy goes low against this mammoth Gronk, they’re pissed at him for a dirty hit. My question to the Pats fans upset today, do you want to disallow low tackles too? Then we’ll all be b-tching about the league being soft…

    There’s no way to win. Just because somebody got hurt doesn’t make it dirty. It was an unfortunate play. Good hit though, better than letting Gronk carry you 5-10 extra yards down the field.

    ______________

    Unfortunately, it was a legal, but probably not dirty hit. At least from my perspective. In the end, though, why the knees? That’s the part I can’t get around. My point was that there are a lot of safeties in the league who make tackles. These guys make a lot of tackles. There’s plenty of real estate on the “massive” Gronk where a thigh or waist-wrap-up tackle can be made. This wasn’t a case where he had too little time to react, from what I saw. He claimed after that he hit where he wanted to, per league rules.

  172. i10east says: Dec 9, 2013 11:35 PM

    I’m not a Browns fan, but how Cleveland got screwed multiple times vs New England is worse than the Fail Mary and the Gronk hold in Carolina put together. But Cleveland isn’t a bandwagon team, so the national media does a collective hush. SMH…

  173. whispersd says: Dec 9, 2013 11:39 PM

    Given that Ward would need a ladder to make a blow to Gronkowski’s helmet, it’s really hard to take this rationalization seriously.

  174. rushmatic says: Dec 10, 2013 4:16 PM

    i10east says:

    I’m not a Browns fan, but how Cleveland got screwed multiple times vs New England is worse than the Fail Mary and the Gronk hold in Carolina put together. But Cleveland isn’t a bandwagon team, so the national media does a collective hush. SMH…

    ______________

    Good thing your opinion is really pretty meaningless. I think a lot of other people disagree with the idea of your the “screwed scale”.

  175. basedrum777 says: Dec 10, 2013 5:45 PM

    I love how people above think they were aiming at his knees and not rather just aiming at his lower half… This is a split second in the 2nd fastest game in the US. He aimed low, not at the knees. It just so happened when he made contact it was with the knees. He could have just as easily hit thighs.

  176. lanman11 says: Dec 11, 2013 1:51 AM

    The hit was unethical, and political. The man chose to make up for being late to the play by diving perpendicular to the knee rather than actually make a “tackle.” He chose to make a political statement. Perhaps someone will block him from the side, at the knees, when he is not looking. Then we’ll hear what he has to say…..

  177. bunkerhillbob says: Dec 13, 2013 8:45 AM

    Ward’s real reason for giving him a cheap shot to the side of the knee was that, if he tried to hit him higher, he would have been stomped into the turf like a bug. That was just plain dirty and I can’t wait until he’s carted away with a broken body part, as well.

  178. ericsmendoza74 says: Dec 15, 2013 11:52 AM

    The flagged hit by Jordon Hoyer on Edelman is exactly why guys hit low. Hit him with his shoulder in the chest area and still got a flag. I cant blame Ward for that hit. He is a HARD hitter. He’d have no problem bringing down anybody in the league. I’d like to see all these tough guys who trash talk Ward try to bring down a high school tight end much less a pro.

  179. drednot says: Dec 15, 2013 7:38 PM

    Everyone can say what they want, but I’m convinced that whoever plays against the Patriots PURPOSELY tries to hurt them.

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