Rahim Moore defends his hit


Broncos rookie safety Rahim Moore knocked Bills receiver Donald Jones out of Saturday night’s preseason game with a hard hit that drew a 15-yard penalty and some angry responses from the Bills. But Moore says he was just playing the game the way he thinks it’s meant to be played.

I was being a football player,” Moore said. “I couldn’t really get to the ball to pick it off, which is what I really wanted to do. But my intention was just to hit him. Our coaches want us to be physical, so I’m going to do what I do.”

The hit (video here) functions as something of a Rorschach test: Some see it as a textbook example of the kind of dangerous play that the NFL needs to eliminate, while others see it as a textbook example of good, hard, physical football. The officials who threw the flag viewed it as a hit to the head area of a defenseless receiver, and Bills receiver Stevie Johnson was so angry that he had to be restrained from going after Moore. But Moore insists that he was just trying to hit Jones as the ball arrived so that Jones couldn’t catch it.

“I didn’t even know I was flagged until I ran to the sideline,” Moore said. “If it was the wrong thing to do, I apologize, but at the end of the day, I mean no harm to nobody.”

Broncos coach John Fox defended his player.

“I’m not going to fault him. I don’t think it was helmet to helmet,” Fox said.

Moore seemed to be under the impression that he was doing what his coaches and teammates wanted him to do.

“That’s what they’re looking for,” Moore said. “They’re looking for a guy who can come in and patrol the back end — and a lot of guys were excited.”

Fox called the hit “a pretty hefty collision.” Moore should be ready for a pretty hefty fine.

95 responses to “Rahim Moore defends his hit

  1. Sure he might be fined for it, but I think that’s exactly what a young player on a rebuilding team needs to do. Plus 10 years ago that hit would have been celebrated, not criticized

  2. He didn’t throw himself or lead with his helmet. He didn’t talk trash afterward or bow up to Stevie Johnson after Stevie went after him. Both DJ and Dawkins patted him after the hit, whereas both are veterans who would be all over a rookie if they felt he had done something wrong. I don’t think it should have been flagged, just a big hit. Wasn’t a head hunting, “I’m going to kill you” type hit that the defender lead with his helmet or something like that.

  3. Comments will probably fall along party lines (Broncos fans defending, Bills fans complaining). As someone who is neutral …

    I know the league wants to protect “defenseless” receivers, but it was a clean hit. He lead with his shoulder. It was a high speed collision, and that’s always going to be a little ugly.

  4. I’m sure the league will fine him for that hard hit with his shoulder into the chest of the receiver.

    What a nasty, dirty, horrible tackle.(/sarcasm)

  5. No, he lead with his helmet and hit the Bills player in the head, that’s not a new rule. That flag was justified, and he’ll most likely get a fine.

  6. If his coach doesn’t think that was head to head he either hasn’t watched the video or stupid. If the guy went for the mid section it would have had the same impact. When will the league figure out that suspending guys for games(i.e. taking game checks) and not fining them “chump change” (to them) is what will deter them?

  7. I also thought it was a clean it. The impact of his helmet with Jones’ face mask didn’t cause Jones to lay on the turf, it was the contact of Jones helmet with the turf….if Moore hits him a little lower, Jones head probably still slams into the turn hard.

    Do people want players to start aiming for the legs instead on such plays? That will probably increase the likelihood of injury as the players head will probably still hit the turf hard (and his knees will take a shot).

    I’m sorry, but if the QB can’t put the ball in a place that the WR can catch it without putting himself at risk….that is on the QB, not the defense.

  8. on the replay angles that looks like crown of helmet to facemask. The receiver had to have been out on the way down. Damn.

  9. Denver’s defense will not be soft this year. If you don’t have your head on a swivel you might get knocked the f__k out!

  10. But Moore insists that he was just trying to hit Jones as the ball arrived so that Jones couldn’t catch it.

    Complete utter BS. In order for that to happen you have to hit the receiver as he is touching the ball, not a full second after he has caught it.

    Insist all you want, everyone knows you were trying to knock the sh-t out of him.

    Go Bills!!!

  11. Just playing hard to the whistle. If he had made the catch, Moore would have been in position to take him down right away. The day that guys like that have to think about how they’re gonna make a tackle instead of just reacting and doing their jobs is the day we’ll see a lot more missed tackles and a lot more injuries due to guys backing off from fear of a potential fine/penalty/suspension.

  12. Moore is a slimeball. 12 on the Wonderlic and making a joke of himself at the draft. The type that the Steelers drafted for years. Things going to get real ugly in Denver down the road, I think.

  13. It’s just like the hit on Desean Jackson last year and that was a clean hit! I don’t know how you can fine guys for just making a great hit……it was clean, it was hard, the guy didn’t see him, which isn’t his fault!

  14. If he catches the pass and braces for the hit….no complaining. He doesn’t catch, so he’s not bracing for a hit, and he gets busted.

    So defenders should now wait until they know it’s a catch to go hard at a guy?

  15. Moore’s hit was good clean football. The only reason Moore will be fined is due to the cupcake element spearheaded by Goodell himself.

    And it doesn’t help to have others (who’ve never played) like the founder of this website, always sqawking the loudest at every turn.

    “Waa Waa – the sky is falling!” “So and so can expect a fine coming!” “Players don’t respond to fines — you need to suspend them!”

    It’s pitiful. Amazing how the non-athlete pansies that were always picked last (if they even played at all) — somehow have powerful voices now in the greatest gladiator sport in the world.


  16. Why don’t we teach the QB not to get a WR killed! The good QB’s try to place the ball where the WR can protect the ball and himself……..doesn’t always happen, but you don’t hear anyone screaming at a QB for getting a guy blown up!

  17. Never want to see anyone get hurt, but it looked like a clean hit to me. That looked like a typical “John Lynch” type of hit. Sorry to say though he will get fined. Vern Lundquist seemed to continue to say that it was a dirty hit. I disagree. It’s football.

  18. Wake up and smell the coffee. The more this happens, the more these knuckleheads make the NFL and Goodell look right for cracking down on them. Players are not going to get away with headhunting cheapshots defenseless players any more than they can get away with hitting their wives and girlfriends.

  19. I used to play safety and i can’t see him playing that play any other way unless he plays matador and let jones get past him.

  20. I could be wrong, but it looks to me like there is definite helmet to helmet contact when you see the field level camera angle. I don’t know. The messed up thing is how hard it is for me to discern if this is dirty or not.

  21. At full speed I initially thought that hit was a dirty one since it looked like the WR was out of bounds. When they showed the replay and slowed it down, it didn’t look as bad, but he still hit his helmet. So the fine is warranted. Just as long as they stay consistent with these rules I don’t have a problem with them.

  22. I don’t have a dog in this fight, as a staunch supporter of an NFC team, but look at the video, morons. Jones’ head snaps back as soon as he is hit with Moore’s helmet. Helmet to helmet isn’t the issue, however. The issue is that the receiver was “defenseless” as defined by the league rules with both hands in the air reaching for the ball.

  23. Being neutral this is a clean hit. He leads with his shoulder into the shoulder of the WR. His helmet does accidentally touch the Bills WR as a result. So knowing the NFL that’s going to be a fine.

    DEFINITELY not a dirty play. Just a young guy who doesn’t know those shots aren’t welcomed in the NFL anymore. A sad day for football. Maybe they should make these helmets less like bobble head helmets and make them lighter so players take more responsibility with their hits i.e. knowing there’s not all that extra padding will slow down someone using their head as a weapon REAL QUICK.

    The analogy goes to Boxing. When someone uses heavier gloves etc. If those gloves are lighter then the fighter is more conscious of his hands. In this case, a lighter helmet makes the player more conscious of his head.

  24. I too am a neutral observer. The hit did not seem to be intended to inflict or cause harm. It did not seem to be anything more than a textbook effort to prevent Jones from making the catch…a routine d-back play. He did not seem to lead with his head nor did he seem to try to blow up the receiver. Johnson was upset in the heat of the moment but will look at the play later as not being what he originally perceived it to be. It was a solid play for a d-back. I do hope Jones is okay. We have to let them play or stop the game. If they continue to soften the game by overly trying to protect players, eventually football will not be football people will want to watch. No penalty should have been called.

  25. Neutral observer: Aim lower or go for that ball. “Go for the ball” means swipe at the actual ball with your actual hands. Go lower means throw a shoulder in the mid-section (safeties who know how to do this correctly actually hit the hip or thigh – it is jarring, but not to the head and won’t blow out a knee). I think he intended to throw a shoulder, he was just HIGH and the result was bad.

  26. it looked like a shoulder to chest hit. one view looked like the helmets did hit but i dont think moore led with his head and tried to hurt him intentionally.

  27. Go for a form tackle in this situation and the WR wouldn’t have been able to get two feet down in-bounds. There is no need to aim high when a body shot will also result in an incompletion.

  28. Gosh, what the heck is going on with the NFL? If it was on HS, college or any other league, that would be a clean shot. I play WR in a team here on Brazil and I still think it was a clean shot. Would I be mad if I was hit like that? Well, I’d probably be mad at my QB for throwing the ball right where the Safety was lurking and waiting to give the WR a shot, but not at the guy who it me.

  29. Some of you are missing the point here. Fitzpatrick was trying to hit him in stride on the sidelines (I think he blew past Champ). There’s no way to “properly” tackle anybody until they caught the ball… thus the hit by Moore. Again, I dont see how else Moore couldve play this unless he just lets Jones run past him.

  30. “I didn’t even know I was flagged until I ran to the sideline,” Moore said. “If it was the wrong thing to do, I apologize, but at the end of the day, I mean no harm to nobody.”


    This is so disappointing because that sentence was actually quite intelligent sounding until he ended it with “no harm to nobody”.

  31. Anytime a Reciever lays motionless on the field after a big hit, the defender is 99% likely to get fined and penalized even if it was clean. That’s what this league has come to, and it SUCKS!!!!!

  32. I’m also not a fan of either team. From the letter of the rules, the hit was to the helmet of a defenseless player. I do question whether it was necessary by Moore or not though. The play was not there… Not a cheap shot, but illegal nonetheless. The guy should be fined. Fox’s comments make it worse. He has to ‘defend’ his guy, I understand that, however, if the league wants to stop this type of hit, they need to do more. Any defenseless hit penalty should eject the player at that point. It should be fall into the replay category to ensure that the angle of the shot or the ref miss interpreted the hit. Sitting a player for the duration of a game affects the teammates and the coaches. It will cause them to teach different techniques that are within the rules. That is the only way to affect a change in this case, because it’s obvious that taking money from the guys who make as much as they do doesn’t work. Taking playing time away will affect a change, regardless of the rule in question.

  33. I think everyone is sort of missing the point on this one: This is the PRE season. There is no need to make that kind of hit in this game, especially when you’re already the starter.

    I think Johnson and Jackson were angry because this guy laid down the hammer on a starting wide receiver in an exhibition game and then proceeded to high five some of his teammates.

  34. It was a clean should-to-chest hit. It the receiver actually caught the ball this wouldn’t draw a flag or fine. He wasn’t knocked out from the hit but rather from how violently his head hit the ground. You can’t blame Rahim Moore that the ground knocked the guy out.

  35. I agree with the analyst on the broadcast who said he either needed to aim lower or play the ball. He might have been trying to lead with the shoulder but running at the speed he was and then launching himself towards the receiver, its got to be almost impossible to not have your head in front of your shoulder. It looked like helmet-to-helmet to me.

  36. Clavette…the WRs head snapped back when hit by the helmet of Moore, but most likely the impact of the kids helmet on the ground caused the injury, not the hit itself. Don’t get mixed up with whether it’s intentional. I don’t think anyone thinks the hit was made to intentionally hurt the receiver. The bottom line of this is that even tho the intent was to dislodge the ball, if it had gotten to the WR, it ended up being an illegal hit on a defenseless player. Not intentional, but it happened. Unfortunately, as I said above, fining the guy (especially after hearing his comments and Fox’s comments) won’t fix the issue.

    Now, if you want to argue whether the rule is valid, that’s a different story for a different article….

  37. absolutely a clean hit. From Ronnie Lott to Steve Atwater to John Lynch….any NFL safety knows that hit was clean. Shoulder to chest is a good hit…period. There was no helmet to helmet contact. The flag was a bad call pure and simple. Good hit Rahim Moore. The next time you are covering a reciever hit him the same way. Its not flag football Bills Fans! Don’t be pansies. Bruce Smith and Cornelius Bennett also know that was a great hit. Collisions are a part of the game.

  38. Not a fan of either team (feel sorry for those who are) Clean hit, lead with shoulder, hit receivers chest. Just because the WR dropped the pass doesnt make the hit dirty. Whats a DB supposed to do, let the WR catch the pass? BS on that, NFL is getting soft.

  39. I’m not a fan of either team but it looked like his helmet hit the receiver’s face mask which would technically be helmet to helmet. I have no problem with the penalty or the incoming fine.

  40. Dirty hit???? Have people lost their freaking minds? Wow. We can debate whether he should be fined because the NFL is trying to influence a different kind of football but to suggest that hit is dirty is off your rocker ridiculous.

    Steve Johnson should be embarrassed for trying to start a fight over that hit. What a complete pansy ass.

  41. Looked to me like the impact caused the receivers head to fall forward which caused the facemask to hit the top of the helmet. It wasn’t a head shot by any means. Violent hits like that will almost always have a risk of injury. He clearly was leading with his shoulder.

  42. Nice hit. Moore was just playing good defense and of course got flagged for it. This is the new NFL after all. There was no possible way for him to change trajectory on a dime after he had already committed to the hit. Anyone who thinks he should have let up is being unrealistic. Once he realizes he can’t make the pick his only options are to try and jar the ball loose with a hit (like the one he delivered) or to simply let the receiver try to catch the ball uncontested and pray he doesn’t make the catch (Roger Goodell’s idea of good defense). If you want to watch arena football where guys catch everything go for it, but I prefer football where the D actually has a chance to make a plays as well. It’s unfortunate someone got hurt but it happens and no matter how many flags they throw or fines they dish out there will always be injuries in pro football.

  43. Just go ahead and convert the league to flag football already. Between the need for tacklers to ask ‘Mother may I’ before a hit to the kindergarten training rules, this is all becoming a huge joke.

  44. First, it does not need to be helmet-to-helmet for it to be a flag. The rule is ANY contact to the head and neck area of the defenseless player is illegal.

    The head was clearly struck, and anyone saying that only hitting the ground caused the unconsciousness is not watching the video. The ground-level shot is especially clear.

    Second, he drives upward as he hits, and both feet come off the ground as part of the hit, so they will see this as launching.

    Third, he does seem to dip his head as he goes in for the hit, so they could also say he led with the crown of the helmet, although that is much tougher to see for sure on a crappy youtube video.

    Like them or not, this is a textbook case of an illegal hit based on the rules they have all been given. I would expect a VERY large fine for that one.

    I’m not saying it is or is not the way the football rules should be. Just that, given the rules the way they currently are, this was not clean at all.

  45. maybe the receivers need to learn to keep their heads up. just seems wrong to say it’s all on the defense with these helmet to helmet hits. backs lower their heads for more yards all the time, but there is never a penalty. don’t give me the defenseless player thing because no matter how much you brace yourself, helmet to helmet hits will still cause concussions. the only way this gets fixed is penalizing the offensive and defensive players the same, or get rid of the penalty. when espn had “jacked up”, these hits were celebrated. now people want to be all politically correct and make it seem like this is the worst thing in football.

  46. unless i was shown the wrong video that was a clean hit no helment to helment no leading with the helment. i will admit it could have been a LITTLE late but he turned his body and caught him in the upper chest area. as far as if it were a little late he was running at full speed so i would allow for that especially since he made the effort to turn.i really hope this is not the direction the nfl is going if they continue down this path they may as well have everyone wear flags and go that route and say good bye to this 9-bil. industry while they are at it

  47. Not a fan of either team: just watched the video.

    1) Was the receiver defenseless? Yes. Both feet of the ground, high in the air, coming down.

    2) Did the defender lead with with his helmet? Yes. Looked at first like he led with the shoulder, but the replays show that he made initial contact with his helmet.

    3) Was the receiver hit in the helmet? Yes. It was practically facemask-to-facemask.

    None of the rest of the questions posed in the comments (i.e., did the receiver hit his head hard on the ground, where was the defender’s intended point of impact, was it the defender’s intent to knock the receiver out, why hasn’t the NFL broken out the pink jerseys already) matter. This is a textbook violation of the rule. The penalty was appropriate. Apparently Fox doesn’t know the rule.

    Don’t like it? Change the rule. Moore is looking at a hefty fine.

  48. Perfect example of what is wrong with the league today. It needs to figure out whether player safety is the driving factor, or if amazing athletic feats are the key. Everyone is right who complains the hard hit would have been praised a while ago, it still is by many. Yes, football has changed. Many people don’t like the change, and I don’t blame them – a hit like that is entertaining to watch. But it also kills people – quickly or over many years. The league clearly has taken a stand on which side they believe is more important. It’s ironic how the main people on the opposite end are the players. The league needs to convince enough people of its position before it imposes a decision.

    Perhaps it might be best to have two leagues – one for the safe plays, the other for players who don’t mind spending the second half of their 50 year lifespan in a wheelchair and eating food from a straw.

    Oh, and my take – he unintentionally hit the receiver in the helmet with his helmet. Since the penalty has nothing to do with intent, he should be penalized for it. Should the league have the rules in place that they do? That is another question altogether.

  49. I’m sick of people saying the NFL is going soft because it’s trying to crack down on preventing players from lying motionless on the ground after a down right scary hit to the head (especially from you tough guys who have played the game before, who think that lying motionless on the ground after a down right scary hit to the head is “part of the game”).

    Most of you defend the hits by saying it’s the only way he could make the play without letting the guy catch the ball. How about this solution? Get there a quarter second earlier and knock the ball away.

    I know another way to get a player down every time. Grab him by his facemask and rip him to the turf. All you guys who have played know that if you have control of a guy’s facemask you have control of him, right? So, tackle that way!

    Oh…what? Tackling by the facemask is illegal? Because it’s dangerous?

    Guess what…Helmet to helmet hits are illegal, too. Because they are dangerous. Get in a position to make a play without having to launch yourself at a defenseless player. If you weren’t good enough to get there early enough on that particular play. Accept the consequences by trying to dislodge the ball in a way that’s within the rules.

  50. Him being flagged and potentially fined for this hit is stupid. How can leading with your helmet illegal? That’s the only way you CAN lead! The helmet will always be ahead of the shoulder pads. Helmet to helmet contact will always happened. Growing up, the rule was you can’t “spear” with the helmet. That means you can’t run around like a ram, but he obviously dropped his shoulder and laid a perfect hit in an attempt to dislodge the ball. Yeah the receiver dropped it, but you don’t see that type of thing and stop your momentum in the middle of the game. It’s impossible. I played cornerback for years, and I wasn’t much of a tackler, but I’ve made hits like this before and was never penalized for it. The league is about to turn in to poo in a couple of years.

  51. I remember a far more vicious hit, involving the same teams, a lot of years ago. A Buffalo Bill caught Clint Sampson coming across the field, and it was the only time I’ve ever witnessed the trainers and a coach (Dan Reeves) on the verge of panic. Sampson was out cold, his jaw locked shut, and he was drowning on his own blood. It was truly a moment where a guy questions the ethics of loving a brutal game.

    The difference between then and now was that nobody blamed the Bills player for playing football. In fact, Gary Kubiak, who was subbing for a sick John Elway, was inconsolable after the game. He knew he hung Sampson out to dry, and he was the first person pointing the finger at himself.

    Fitzpatrick’s throw was a widowmaker and Denver’s defense was designed specifically to snuff out that play. So if people want to bitch and whine about a different sense of urgency in preseason– as if a rook is supposed to care about some crazy unwritten code that might stand between him and his career– they’re bitching at the wrong guy. Fitz could have thrown a competent ball, or, being the genius vet he apparently is, he might oughta notta throw it. But even that’s bunk. It was a football play gone bad, and there are no villans to demonize here.

  52. I dont know what some of you were watching but that was a clean hit, upper chest/shoulder area. Was there helmet contact? Sure , but in my opinion was it enough to warrant the flag, No! Maybe next time, Moore should stick his man in the ribs and let everyone hear them crunch and watch him spit up blood! Hey, at least it wouldnt be helmet to helmet!

  53. Soooo sick of listening to this crap….here’s how it works – it’s a cheap shot if your guy took the hit and hard nosed football if your guy layed the hit!!

    When it is truly a cheap shot EVERYONE agrees and no one denies it.

  54. I guess I don’t understand how trying to reduce helmet-to-helmet contact, especially when a defender is running at full speed and launches, “sissifies” NFL football.

    If Moore doesn’t launch but runs through to make a tackle even 6″ lower, , wrapping with his arms, its a perfectly clean hit with very likely the same impact on the play — incomplete pass. What has happened to real tackling? How many times has a DB gone left their feet for the bit hit and missed (Brandon Meriweather, please pick-up the courtesy phone).

    To those who think head shots on players with the ball is “part of the game”, I just don’t get your motivation. I only played to high school and coached youth football but I never was coached or coached leading with the top of the helmet or hitting a player with the ball in the helmet. Were you coached, or do you coach, differently?

    Plus, if I were a DB and reflected on the Dave Duerson and Corwin Brown situations, I might reflect on how I approached big hits if I wanted to live to see 50 (this time paging Asante Samuel, who only seems to know how to hit someone with the crown of his helmet).

  55. I guess I don’t understand how trying to reduce helmet-to-helmet contact, especially when a defender is running at full speed and launches, “sissifies” NFL football.

    If Moore doesn’t launch but runs through to make a tackle even 6″ lower, wrapping with his arms, its a perfectly clean hit with very likely the same impact on the play — incomplete pass. What has happened to real tackling? How many times has a DB left their feet for the big hit and missed (Brandon Meriweather, please pick-up the courtesy phone)?

    To those who think head shots on players with the ball is “part of the game”, I just don’t get your motivation. I only played to high school and coached youth football but I never was coached or coached leading with the top of the helmet or hitting a player with the ball in the helmet. Were you coached, or do you coach, differently?

    Plus, if I were a DB and reflected on the Dave Duerson and Corwin Brown situations, I might reflect on how I approached big hits if I wanted to live to see 50 (this time paging Asante Samuel, who only seems to know how to hit someone with the crown of his helmet).

  56. Looked like a clean hit full speed, but BOTH replays clearly show that Moore led with his head and hit Jones in the head with his helmet on first contact. This was NOT a case where the receiver ducked his head and got hit like Collie in Philadelphia or Massaquoi against Pittsburgh last year. People claiming it was a textbook hit clearly don’t understand the rule. The only thing textbook about it was that it was a textbook helmet to helmet fineable infraction.

  57. Dirty hit? No. Reckless hit? Yes.

    Rahim Moore did not lead with his helmet, he tried to put his shoulder into Donald Jones’ chest, but his helmet ended up catching Jones under the chin and knocking him silly. Jones was completely defenseless. I don’t think Moore tried to injure him, but he was reckless and he deserves blame. Not nearly as bad as the Merriweather hit last year, but still a penalty and possibly a fine.

  58. It wasn’t head to head. He didn’t lead with his head and he didn’t hit the head of his opponent. He got his shoulder pad on the front part under the helmet of the shoulder pad.

    Now he did launch himself but I think people need to remember that most of the time the WR outweighs the DB by a good 20lbs. A simple tackle could result into a broken tackle and a big play.

    Violent hit yes but it wasn’t dirty at all.

  59. Tough call…..technically it a defenseless WR and technically there was helmet to helmet contact. So I guess in this case it was “illegal” by the league’s rule.

    But here’s the rub: Moore had to make the decision to make that hit in real speed. If that ball was placed a little better and/or he had made the grab……the WR would not have been defenseless. The WR was watching the ball and his head went right, then didn’t see the hit coming.

    If Moore makes the choice to lay up and the ball is caught Jones goes in for six…….moore had to make that choice before the ball got there. So unless the league wants to put in two hand touch rule……or unless WRs have to lay up and take a knee upon catching a ball like that (rather than taking a shot that a safety is supposed to pull off of now), there’s no way to prevent that play.

    It’s unfortunate….but it’s the kind of hazard that leads to pro football players making so much money (see: hazard pay)

  60. for all u bills fans claiming he was launching himself give your head a shake he still has one foot on the ground when he makes contact it was a clean hard hit so stop your crying the bills might win 2 games this year anyways lol

  61. @bcgreg, its not head to head if the helmets simply touch because of the collisions. Than every hit is. He lead with his shoulder and got shoulder pad. Both replays show that. He was under the helmet.

    Did launch himself however which I think is illegal now. Don’t think he was headhunting out there. Just trying to make a play.

  62. Hit was legal with shoulder leading into receiver’s chest. No reason for a flag or a fine. Roger Goodell’s sissy rules aren’t even a factor on this play!


  63. Here’s the dilemma: Rahim Moore could have let up and let Jones catch the ball without hitting him. But at the same time, Jones could have slowed up and not tried to catch the ball once he saw Moore coming. How can we say that one guy has more of a right to the ball than the other? Let them both go after the ball and see what happens — that’s the only fair way to settle things. Extra rules just make it unfair to one side or the other.

  64. No dog in this fight…. video clearly shows helmet-to-helmet. If John Fox says it’s clean, he either hasn’t watched the reply or he’s an idiot.

  65. I agree that the NFL is rediculous at times when it comes to protecting QB’s. But only the biggest f’ing idiots in the world can watch the replay and say it wasn’t a helmet-to-helmet hit. Considering the position on the field (near the sideline), the position of the WR (in the air) that he should’ve not “launched” himself but in stead broken off the play since the WR didn’t have a chance to come down in bounds with the ball anyway. Dirty! That could’ve left him paralyzed like what happened to Daryl Stingly in the 70’s.

  66. When I played, the idea was to either make a play on the ball and pick it off – or to separate the ball from the man by just exploding through the target. That’s football.

    If you want to make an omellette, one has to break some eggs.

    That’s all Moore did. He played good (actually no, it was GREAT) football. Hate the Donks – but huge credit to Moore on that play. Sweet pop.

    The marshmallow pansy-assers like Goodell should NOT have anything to do with our game. It is not meant for them. Chumps like that should have their wife pour them a glass of White Zin (out of a box) so they can enjoy a game of Chutes and Ladders with their children while Home Alone VII airs off in the background. That’s their speed.

    Football is not meant for everyone. Go the $@&!^ away if it fries your circuits, wuss-bag losers.

  67. In 3 years at UCLA, Moore never hit a thing and was something of a matador-style tackler…..legality of the hit aside, at least he’s showing some agressiveness….

  68. We all recall how Mike Ditka ran out commercials for Levitra – and Jimmy Johnson promoted Viagra and Extenz (the weenie enhancer!).

    Well, along those lines — I think Goodell should be the face of the “Low T” campaign.

    “Low T” is what some enterprise has dubbed the Low Testosterone syndrome —- and no one has a more acute case of Low T than Goodell.

  69. it was a clean hit. it looked illegal and i would have thrown the flag too if i was the ref, but upon looking at it, it was clean. I hope he doesnt get a fine.

  70. Yeah, the idea is to knock the sh-t out of the other player. If you think he’s going to catch a ball, and you can’t get in there to defend the pass, the next best thing is to hit him hard enough to not catch the ball.

    Watch the first 20 seconds of the play in real time, and from the moment that the ball hits the guys hands, and the moment the player hits him is less than a second. That’s less than a second to make the decision how and where you’re going to try to make a play on a moving target running through the air. Injuries are an unfortunate part of a collision sport, I believe he wasn’t hitting the guy with intent to injure.

    “EJ says: Aug 21, 2011 3:52 PM

    But Moore insists that he was just trying to hit Jones as the ball arrived so that Jones couldn’t catch it.

    Complete utter BS. In order for that to happen you have to hit the receiver as he is touching the ball, not a full second after he has caught it.

    Insist all you want, everyone knows you were trying to knock the sh-t out of him.”

  71. @papageorgio I agree completely. Real time speed and split second decision making. Not to mention he would have his ass handed to him by his coach had the receiver made that catch and the safety didn’t try to make a play.

  72. no dog in the fight either and live it looked like a good hit to me but in the replay you can see the helmet to helmet contact. it was obviously incidental and unintentional but a flag was warranted. a fine? i think not.

  73. I bet Dave Duerson and Craig Hayward would agree that hits like that need to stay in the game. You know, to make the fans happy.

  74. Have watched this hit over and over online and on DVR. Went through it frame by frame. Freeze-framed it and tried to get a better look with a magnifying glass (that was just a blurry mess). But I can’t find a problem with that hit. He didn’t launch, it wasn’t helmet to helmet. And the person who posted that he wouldn’t have had a problem if he’d gone for the ball … hello, that’s what you say on an interference call. When you’re making a tackle, you have to go for the player 🙄

    No one wants to see players hurt or concussed, but this is a contact sport and it will happen. Both Johnson and the refs reacted to the result of the hit rather than the technique of the hit. That’s why the NFL needs automatic booth review. It doesn’t slow down college games, so it shouldn’t slow down NFL action. And it’s more objective than going off half-c*cked because they see a receiver go down. I’m sure Goodell will fine the hit, but he’ll just be playing up to the public outrage rather than rationally assessing the hit. I doubt he’s capable of rationally assessing a hit.

  75. This is textbook safety play… If you miss the tip, then hit the guy so hard he can’t catch it.

    Ever notice there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of time a player spends laying on the field, and the amount of outrage generated by the play? Despite this being a clean, hard hit, Moore will pay a huge fine because it took 10 minutes to remove Jones from the field.

    I’m not some blood thirsty Roman citizen, eager to see a guy killed on the field, but I also understand that a 10th of a second is not enough time to devise a carefully laid plan about how you’re going to hit a guy.

    And frankly, I’ll take the occasional 15 yard penalty if it means the Broncos secondary is going to be a bit more intimidating this year.

  76. So how long before the league starts penalizing for leading with the shoulder ? Rahim was just playing defense The hit was clean just unfortunate position for the receiver stretched out running down the sideline safeties lick there chops when they see that to bad if he gets fined wasnt intentional

  77. I understand trying to get rid of this like leading with your helmet or “launching”, but this is a perfectly legal and techniqually sound hit. Its sad to think that my kids wont be able to watch the same football I grew to love. This is quickly becoming a watered down version of the real sport.

  78. Neutral observer here — not a fan of either team — and that was a textbook, clean, hard-nosed hit. He was simply separating the WR from the ball. It’s the receiver’s fault for not catching the damn ball. Fine him!

    He came full speed from the middle of the field, head up and looking at the ball. When he saw he couldn’t get the ball, it was time to separate the WR from the ball, which hit did with a legal shoulder-to-chest hit. He led with the shoulder, not the head. There is no rule stating that incidental contact helmet-to-helmet is a penalty, just leading with the head.

    Shoulder hits chest, WR’s head snaps forward and hits the DB’s helmet.

    I love the announcer at the end “In this situation, you gotta aim lower…” Ummm about 5 years ago, wasn’t a low blow to an elevated WR considered the dirtiest play in the book. Many WR’s have said they would rather get hit high than low.

  79. I’m sorry, but that was a clean hit. Led with the shoulder, hit him in the chest. The helmet contact was incidental. There wasn’t any malicious intent there, just hard-nosed tackle football. Nice hit kid.

  80. First of all, to anyone saying the QB led the WR into a bad spot, you’re way off base. It was a good throw to the soft spot in that defense – along the sideline, over the top of the CB and away from the S who is deep in the middle of the field. Moore just played the angle perfectly and defended the play exactly how he’s supposed to.

    However, he CLEARLY lowered his head and CLEARLY hit the WR directly in the face mask with the crown of his helmet. No one ever tackles with their head up any more. If he tackled with his head up he would have actually hit him shoulder to shoulder like he intended. He wouldn’t have gotten the “sportscenter” highlight reel hit either.

    I expect the league (and don’t just say Goodell because he doesn’t pick and choose who gets fined – there is a team of people who do that for him) to make an example out of this guy. This is exactly the type of hit they’re trying to do away with.

  81. I’m a Bills fan, I don’t think there was intent to injure or intent to make a helmet to helmet hit. What worries me is all the people who advocate these kind of hits. I would like to see if it was your kid getting creamated what your tone would be. If you like seeing Suh try to twist Delhommes head off (last year) or some of Harrison’s head shots then there is something wrong with you. I’m all for hard hitting but the players now a days are bigger, faster and stronger and have no concerns about injuring fellow players. Again I say if it your kid on the receiving end of that hit you would be crying that it was a dirty hit.

  82. Even a clean hit on a defenceless receiver will get you fined. What’s up with Johnson giving Moore a lovetap then waiting for his teammates to arrive to hold him back before he starts going ape. Offsetting penalties as far as I’m concerned.

  83. Intent doesn’t matter nor should it…if u base off intent then it leads to.open interpretation….the hit was helmet to helmet…Jones body wouldn’t have reacted that way if it was shoulder to shoulder….that being said, I don’t know if there was any other way to play this for the safety…
    This is one of those plays that brings out Passion in teammates fans and coaches….if the roles were reversed , fox would be pissed if that was Eddie royal or whoever they have at wr. By defn. It was illegal but doesn’t make it dirty necessarily

  84. jeffdavisbearfan says: Aug 21, 2011 6:33 PM

    Soooo sick of listening to this crap….here’s how it works – it’s a cheap shot if your guy took the hit and hard nosed football if your guy layed the hit!!

    When it is truly a cheap shot EVERYONE agrees and no one denies it.

    Don’t come here much, do you?

  85. rpiotr01 says:

    I expect the league (and don’t just say Goodell because he doesn’t pick and choose who gets fined – there is a team of people who do that for him) to make an example out of this guy.


    Did you miss the debate during CBA negotiations where Goodell won the right to be sole arbiter of these issues?

  86. It doesn’t matter if anyone thinks this hit is “dirty” (it wasn’t IMO). It does look like Moore tries to plant his shoulder into Jones’ chest. The problem is that his helmet hit Jones in the head first. There was no “launching” on Moore’s part. But, the bottom line is that this turned into a helmet to helmet hit, which carries a fine.

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