Titans’ Brian Orakpo says hit was Joe Flacco’s fault

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Titans pass-rusher Brian Orakpo knows he and every other defender is walking a thin line.

But after seeing Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco knocked out with a concussion by Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso last week, Orakpo had a simple remedy — quarterbacks should get down sooner.

“It’s definitely unfortunate,” Orakpo said, via Jason Wolf of the Tennesseean. “But Flacco needs to get down a little earlier if you want to avoid that. I mean, just play the next down. Don’t be trying to reach for the first down. That’s what happens. Old buddy Kiko was in the situation where the guy’s still running the ball, and any defender will tell you they’ll do the same thing.

“Just get down early, play the next down, and you won’t be in that situation. That goes for any quarterback that’s out there, man. Don’t go out there running around, trying to make a play when it’s not necessary.”

While Flacco’s progress is good, it’s not certain he’ll be back to play the Titans this week. Alonso won’t be suspended for the hit, and Titans safety Kevin Byard said he’s been in similar spots.

“It was a pretty nasty hit,” Byard said. “Do I think it was legal or not legal? I don’t really think that’s up to me, but I know for a fact, playing defense, knowing it was third-and-long, he was trying to get the first down, and I’m pretty sure Kiko Alonso didn’t want him to get the first down, so it’s kind of a bang-bang type deal.

“It’s tough, because I had a situation like that in college, where I had got a flag where I hit a quarterback when he was sliding. You kind of want to get those free shots on a quarterback a lot of times, so when you’re kind of zoned in, running full speed, it’s kind of hard to put on the breaks real fast. He probably already made up in his mind five yards before that he was going to hit him, and he really couldn’t turn the switch off fast enough.”

That five-yard gap is what the Ravens have a problem with, and something Flacco will have to be mindful of, if his brain injury clears up in time to play the Titans Sunday.

8 responses to “Titans’ Brian Orakpo says hit was Joe Flacco’s fault

  1. I couldn’t agree more. These defenders are paid to hit, and when a QB suddenly slides out there, how can the NFL expect a 200-plus-pound man running full tilt to pull up within 5 yards of the runner. The only way this happens is if the defender is anticipating the slide, but then he’ll be hesitant, and the QB suddenly has a huge advantage.

    The slide just needs to go away. If you want to stop the play without getting hit, you should have to come to a complete stop and drop to a knee. That is the only way to even the playing field for defenders.

  2. At a certain point as a QB you have to protect yourself. Orakpo is right. Flacco should have slide sooner but wanted to get the 1st down and slid a beat too late. As a defender you are protecting that first down marker. The closer you get to that 1st down line without sliding the likelier you are to get hit.

  3. This whole slide thing needs to be stopped. Cross the line of scrimmage and you’re a running back.

  4. Flacco was going for the first down and slid late period. This is why Alonso was not suspended. Flacco was feeling it. His team had momentum and he wanted to keep the momentum going. He took too steps too many!!

  5. ovaw8lova says:
    November 1, 2017 at 11:11 am
    Flacco was going for the first down and slid late period. This is why Alonso was not suspended. Flacco was feeling it. His team had momentum and he wanted to keep the momentum going. He took too steps too many!!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Absolutely Correct,…. And I'll add to your point. Had Flacco taken one more step Alonso's shoulder would have been a legal hit to the midsection. Flacco wanted that 1st down and paid the price with a very late slide. Hope he's ok.

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