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.