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Wade Phillips calls allegations of dirty play “ridiculous”

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08:  Cornerback Chris Harris #25 of the Denver Broncos celebrates as he intercepts a pass thrown by quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers in the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 8, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

Throughout much of the past week, the Denver defense has faced accusations of being dirty. The man who runs the unit takes exception to that claim, #asexpected.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Wade Phillips told reporters on Thursday. “We’ve never taught that. It’s never happened before. We actually — if there’s penalties that should’ve been called in the game, we get on our players even if they weren’t called. We get on our players because we don’t want penalties. Nobody wants penalties. Penalties can cost you games, so whether it’s a holding penalty or illegal chuck or any of those things, you’ve got to play the game penalty-free if you can, because it gives you a better chance to win. There’s no way that you would want those things to happen. And it almost cost us in the game because there was an intentional grounding play that would’ve put them [out of range] — the game would’ve been over again. We had one on a fourth-and-21. We had another where they had an intentional grounding. In both those situations, the game would’ve been over, so we teach against those things, certainly.”

But they’re also teaching aggressive play. And while no one has claimed that the Broncos were twisting ankles, gouging eyes, and/or burying their fists into the bowl for a handful of mixed nuts, playing with reckless or conscious disregard to the rules that protect quarterbacks against illegal hits eventually becomes dirty, if it’s happening over and over again under circumstances that suggest it was part of the game plan.

Consider these comments of safety T.J. Ward from after Denver’s win over Carolina and Cam Newton: “We wanted to make sure it got to him, so every time he ran, we wanted to put a helmet or shoulder pad on him, and if he’s not going to slide, then we’re really going to put something on you. We’ve seen him limping throughout the game. That running stuff, you can’t do that all game with your quarterback.”

While Ward wisely steered clear of suggesting it was open season on Cam when he was acting as a passer, it’s clear that the goal was to apply what Bountygate godfather Gregg Williams has called “remember me” hits when Cam ran. The defense’s collective actions suggest they hoped to do the same thing when they had a clean shot at him when he was passing.

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11 Responses to “Wade Phillips calls allegations of dirty play “ridiculous””
  1. maiphatdong says: Sep 15, 2016 8:34 PM

    its always open season on QBs, thats the whole point of playing FOOTBALL

  2. dadsource says: Sep 15, 2016 9:08 PM

    I can’t stand the whiny Panthers, but Denver has always cut/chop blocked on offense and helmet-hit on D plus practically fleecing receivers. Maybe I’d be a fan of that style of play if it we’re team, but….

  3. newencinitasnetwork says: Sep 15, 2016 9:38 PM

    Not since Bret Favre was beaten up after the whistle blew in the N.O. Vrs Vikings Playoff Game in 2005 (?) has there been such a flagrant plan for hurting a QB: AND I don’t even like the Fig Newton. C’mon Wade, last time this happened the Coach got banned from football for a year. Watch out, you may be next…

  4. playthedamngame says: Sep 15, 2016 9:57 PM

    Denver clearly was playing a different style of football in the second half. Wether it was intentional hits on Cam to hurt him,or just overly aggressive “D”. It was without a doubt coached.

  5. slick50ks says: Sep 15, 2016 10:53 PM

    Bum would not be proud of this display of dirty football if he were alive.

    You joined a culture of low character play Wade. It was bound to rub off on you. Just accept it like the rest of the franchise. They don’t care.

  6. sc5000 says: Sep 16, 2016 12:20 AM

    How are the Panthers and more importantly Cam protecting him by having him lower his head on QB counter traps and read option plays?

    Only 2 hits were saddled with fines. One of those was called by the refs. 99% of this is overreaction from watching the same 2 hits over and over.

  7. morbidtaint says: Sep 16, 2016 12:52 AM

    I’m a Panthers fan, I don’t believe Stewart or Marshall are career dirty players or anything. Certainly not on Vontaze Berfict or NDamukong Suh’s level. But those were dirty plays and they know better, and Wade Phillips knows they were too, regardless of whether he taught them to do that or not. I just hope they avoid defenseless player’s head from now on. Either way, onto San Francisco.

  8. orangeandbluethroughandthrough says: Sep 16, 2016 1:10 AM

    Why is everyone blaming the refs and the Broncos defense for Cam getting beat up? NOBODY is blaming the offensive line or the Carolina coaches. Cam is perhaps the most valuable player to his team of anyone in the NFL. The Pats can still win without Brady. If I was in any way a fan of Carolina I would hope the coaches would think differently about ever going out with the same game plan as they came out with in Week 1.

  9. codysmart says: Sep 16, 2016 1:41 AM

    Hard to believe how much time is being devoted to this topic. Players, coaches, and people who have played the sport before wouldn’t call Denver’s hits dirty. Marshall’s hit was a penalty no doubt. But this game is always going to have helmets hitting each other. There is a difference when it is and isn’t used as the primary point of force. I think the people who can’t let this subject go have never played before.

  10. cb28031 says: Sep 16, 2016 7:39 AM

    Talk is cheap…..just look at the tapes…..

  11. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Sep 16, 2016 11:03 AM

    the whole idea of defensive football is to deliver “remember me” hits. and since there was only one uncalled foul (from my view and the league”s), to declare the defensive game plan as out of the ordinary is overplaying what happened. associating wade phillips as you did with bountygate is a little cheap as well….

    week one headlines are always over the top. look at the coverage of carson wentz, or kaepernick, or prescott, or josh norman playing only one side of the field or dez catching one ball for 8 yards. since there is a sample of one, no one keeps any perspective…..

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