D’Qwell Jackson vows not to change after flag for hitting Vick

One of the many hits Eagles quarterback Michael Vick took during Thursday night’s game against the Browns came from linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who picked up a 15-yard penalty for drilling Vick.

That penalty has been the subject of a heated debate today, with some seeing it as a textbook example of the kind of hit the NFL is trying to protect quarterbacks from, and others seeing it as a completely clean play that shouldn’t be against the rules of tackle football.

As far as Jackson is concerned, he was rushing full-speed at Vick and couldn’t stop his momentum in the instant that Vick threw the ball, and Jackson says he’d do the same thing again next time.

“I was conscious not to lead with my helmet but the official felt that I did,” Jackson said. “They made the call and said it was an illegal hit, and we will see on film how it looked. I am not going to change the way I play because I thought I made a nice hit.”

Browns coach Pat Shurmur, perhaps concerned about getting fined if he criticized referee Terry McAulay, would say only, “I observed it. I’ll leave it at that.”

The league office observes every call the referees make, and we’ll find out next week whether the NFL thinks Jackson’s hit (which can be seen at the 1:15 mark here) was a clean play, or whether Jackson can expect to be lighter in the wallet when his first paycheck arrives.

114 responses to “D’Qwell Jackson vows not to change after flag for hitting Vick

  1. Good hit – perfectly legal. Not even late. hit him in the chest. Why not just put the red jersey on him if you can’t hit them or Strap on the flags!!
    I’m all for protecting players but there is a point it becomes ridiculous. It is a contact sport and there is personal risk of injury involved. IF as a player you can’t handle that, there are many other jobs available out there – do something else. If the NFL was in charge of Boxing they would no longer be able to punch each other.

  2. That was a perfectly clean hit. But to be fair, it was the EXACT same tackle that got James Harrison fined after hitting Ryan Fitzpatrick last year.

    So at least the league is getting more consistently wrong, I suppose.

  3. Im an Iggles fan and that call was TERRIBLE.

    That was a perfect hit… plain and simple. They are killing the game of football. All of these changes are impacting the game and in a negative way. You want to protect players? Take away the chop block outside of the tackle box and force RB’s to learn how to actually pass protect. Let the DB’s bump and jam passed 5 yards to slow down the overall speed of the WR’s instead of letting them run around the field full speed… ridiculous…

  4. I’m an Eagles fan, but what the hell is he supposed to do….Stop on a dime and ask him if he wants to dance?..This is still football right?….This was a bogus flag, and the fine, if any will be just as bogus…

  5. I’ve been ok with a lot of the stuff they’ve been doing to protect the players, (Except the kickoffs. What a mess that is) but COME ON!!!!! that is a perfectly legal hit. The NFL is really starting to get on my nerves.

    Also, get ready for some 4 hour games because it looks like they’re going to review every other touchdown.

    Fire Goodell.

  6. this is rediculous. this is a perfect hit. as for the true illegal hits maybe without less practice they could teach against it. Bunch of babies, we did two a days in high school even in pee wee, and they still do it why cant’ the “professionals?”

  7. Yeah looked liked a perfect hit to me M.Vicks legs whip up like the defender is trying to intentionally drill his upper torso against the turf but it’s just physics if they want to eliminate that Then only allow waist tackles on QB’s

  8. As a high school and college official myself, this is completely insane.
    Jackson’s head was up to view the tackle…no spearing, no face tackling, no blow to the head or shot to the lower extremities. I would like to hear TM’s response to the NFL on why he threw that one.
    There’s no way that Jackson is going to stop his momentum when he’s running full speed at Vick, and in the air, the second Vick releases the ball. It’s impossible.

    On a side note…if I’m a fan of the Philthy “Dream Team”….I’m VERY concerned. Vick maybe makes it to the bye week at this rate….and a big MAYBE at that.

  9. WOW!! He did not lead with his head, he was full speed unblocked, and hit Vick in the waist/chest area. If this is an illegal hit James Harrison is going to go broke this year paying fines!!

  10. It was a clean hit! He didn’t lead with his helmet or shoulders, first contact was chest-to-chest, which is covered by pads. It was less than a second between the throw and the hit and, considering the fact that he was rushing with head up, he saw the throw, and I’m sure he didn’t change his stride or his direction not because he didn’t want to, but because he couldn’t. If the NFL thinks that a rushing player can change his direction any moment he wants to, maybe they should include a physicist to instruct them about momentum and torque. Hey, it’s a contact sport, I understand late hits should be punished, but they first must be analyzed, instead of this persecutory fear being instilled in the defenses.

  11. Its embarrassing to watch this happen. This game which has been so great is now tarnished. He didn’t pick him up, the was no neck whip, ball was in hand when contact was made. What’s funny is there was a different play where the defender hit him in the face with his forearms. The refs must of not been conditioning during the lockout as well.

  12. Good, like n.suh we need more players like this,this game is getting watered down and it needs to stop.I’m sick and tired of having the refs decide the outcomes of these games.

  13. I don’t know how that hit could have been any more legal. The dude didn’t even lie on Vick or even taunt-just got up and back to the huddle for the next play. If anyone gets fined, it should be the ref-what a joke.

  14. NO way in hell was that an illegal hit. you can replay it 1000 times and he didn’t spear, and the facemask was to the chest, No helmet to helmet, the ref just blew that call through hell and high water. If he gets fined you will know that the league a turned into a pile of squishey horse manuere.

  15. D’Qwell didn’t even lead with the crown of his helmet and it definitely didn’t get Vick in the helmet. I have no idea what the NFL sees anymore. How about you put a flag on the hip of the QB and make the defense pull it for a sack. Insanity. And if Jackson gets fined, then the NFL should be ashamed of themselves.

  16. As an Eagles fan, I agree it was a c head clean hit. But for all of you calling for Godell’s head on a platter, please remember Roger does not make the rules. That is done by a committee of owners. Roger only enforces them .

  17. The ref should be fined for that call. If that’s the regular season that can cost a team a game. No flag should be called on hits. It should be reviewed after the game and if a hit is deemed illegal then fine the guy. Or if they want to have the play a reviewable play then do that.

  18. By no means am I a supporter of the Eagles obviously, but really? This hit could not have been anymore perfect. Perfect timing and above the knees and below the shoulders.

    Now I’m all for keeping players safe and flagging for dirty hits, but know you boundries Roger.

    Know when to be a man stand up and say I made a mistake. This is a perfect example of what a CLEAN hit should look like.

  19. As a Lions fan I say watch that hit and then the Hit that separated Stafford’s shoulder against the Browns his rookie year, I see no difference…other than the Vick hit was flagged and Stafford’s wasn’t. To both their credit, neither Stafford nor Vick immediately started throwing their hands in the air toward the ref looking for flying yellow in the air. Some of these QBs look for the ref to protect them, when they SHOULD be taught to protect themselves. It IS illegal to dive at a QBs knees, correct? Look at the hit against the Giants that broke Shaun Hill’s forearm last year, the GMan drove at his knees and he broke it falling forward…no flag…no fine. My biggest problem with it all is the lack of consistency, how can the Hill hit NOT be fined, but Suh gets fined for two hand touching Cutler in the name plate? These hits are either legal or they’re not, the officiating isn’t uniformed across the board.

    #1, end this BS official meetings after a flag. The action should determine a flag or no flag, not the number on which jersey.

    #2. NO flag should be allowed to be overturned by anyone other than the official that threw the flag. Look at Calvin’s no catch, ref was right there in the endzone, saw the entire damn thing and on the replay can easily be seen signaling TOUCHDOWN!!! Then, the head official runs down the sideline, they huddle and he overturns the initial call to incomplete…wonder why? Perhaps, because it’s easier to say there was no conclusive evidence one way over the other?

    The NFL is quickly becoming the NBA which is bad, considering I quit watching the NBA for the most part after they gave the Lakers game 6 over the Kings…had seen enough of that through the Jordan era…I mean when officials come out and say “Yeah, it was a push off, but it was Michael Jordan”….C’MON MAN!!! Penalty or no penalty, the action NOT who commits the action and these chump zebras need to be held accountable too. 10 man panel of former players/coaches or something to review, they were there before, I doubt Goodell has even strapped on a pee-wee helmet.

  20. Listen, this isn’t even a debate as to whether the NFL is being too soft or not. Jackson was flagged for a hit to the helmet, which DID NOT HAPPEN. The ref was behind Vick, saw his head go back and assumed it was a hit to the head…but it wasn’t.

    The Browns were robbed of an INT for bad eye-sight, plain and simple.

  21. That was a ridiculous penalty. If Jackson gets fined for this, my prediction of Goodell ruining the league will be closer to coming true. C’mon, Goodell, prove me wrong. Please?

  22. A clean hit. A perfect defensive football play. This is still football ain’t? What was he suppose to do. Stop five yards in front of the QB in case he releases it before he gets there?

  23. Did the ref throw the flag so Vick wouldn’t have yet another interception? That is the only reason I can see why a flag was thrown in this case. Nice good clean tackle.
    If this is an illegal hit, Brett Favre’s record of starts will not last much longer.

  24. Even by current rules that hit was legal. The ref blew the call in every respect. What’s worse for the Browns was they intercepted Vick’s pass and returned it to midfield…which was completely negated. Glad this was a preaseason game otherwise you’d have a lot of angry people out there.

  25. Complete garbage call.. if they are going to call this crap all year, the NFL as we know it is officially dead. This type of “penalty” changes the entire complexion of the game. There should have been an interception and change of possession on this play and thus, a change in momentum in a game that’s all about momentum. Instead, the Eagles get to keep the ball, get a free 15 yards and fresh set of downs. If that is the way it is going to be, why doesn’t the NFL just eliminate passrushing altogether and give a QB a ‘pass clock’ like the ‘shot clock’ in basketball and if he hasn’t thrown the ball after 5 seconds or whatever, they just whistle the play dead. Sounds like so much fun to watch.

  26. That was flawless. Shoulder in the chest, head up,that was just absolutely textbook.

    The ref should be fined for that. And the cash should go to the DB that got his INT robbed.

  27. The NFL wants to see Vick succeed so bad that you will see that every time he gets hit this season. The refs will march him all the way to the SB. Kinda like his 5 td game against the giant when one reciever clearly pushed off and another clearly landed out of the inzone out of bounds. The game is becoming a joke like the NBA.

  28. CLEAN hit. Helmet was to the side. He was rushing with a full head of steam. What is the guy supposed to do, try to get out of the way, possibly injuring himself?

    This was completely clean. If players are going to start getting fined and flagged for this, its total B.S.

    Its just another case of a fancy “star” getting the royal treatment when they get touched.

  29. i have never understood the term “lead with the head.” the head sticks out from the shoulders. it is an anatomical certainty that a defensive player will “lead with his head” unless he tries to tackle using a scissors lock. “helmet to helmet” makes sense. “lead with the head” does not. — perhaps the phrase “using the helmet as a battering ram” would work as a standard for refs.

  30. Only way to stop this is put “flags” on quarter backs and put them in Red Shirts… that call is a joke.

  31. I’m not one of the ppl who want to see guys get carted off the field after insane helmet to helmet hits, but that was just a regular tackle. He hit with his shoulder, aimed at Vick’s chest and wrapped up. What else should he have done?

  32. If a clean aggressive defensive play is a penalty, what the hell is the sense of watching the games?…Just put the offense on the field and let them play catch…

  33. Looks clean to me, but James Harrison got fined for the same hit last year, which negated a Steeler touchdown.

    If there is no fine for this, then it should be shown to all teams how to hit a QB cleanly.

  34. “#Browns Officials tell D’Qwell Jackson they blew roughing call on him for sacking Vick. Thought Jackson hit Vick in the chin….”

  35. “Browns coach Pat Shurmur, perhaps concerned about getting fined if he criticized referee Terry McAulay, would say only, “I observed it. I’ll leave it at that.”

    This, to me, is a sign of a far bigger problem.

    Goodell had sissified the NFL to the point where people are afraid to even speak their minds, lest they get fined by the Grand Master of the Universe.

  36. This is how the NFL is, why do people think its just them protecting Vick. They called a 15 yard penalty on Trent Cole last season because his hand inadvertantly touched Peyton Mannings helmet!

    lol wtf?

  37. That hit was completely clean, there was no contact to Vick’s helmet. It would be an atrocity if the NFL handed out a fine for this, that’s clearly a bad call by the ref.

  38. That was one of the worst calls of this type that I have seen. The ref did not see an illegal hit; he assumed there was one. The rules are being written by lawyers to protect the league’s money, not the players. The referees are expected to determine in a split-second whether any of 5 or 6 different infractions occured. They are overly cautious, especially when it concerns an NFL money-maker like Vick, Brady, Manning, etc. I doubt a flag flies if that was Henne, Stafford, Hassleback, Freeman, etc.

    Bottom line: that was a perfectly executed textbook clean hit according to the rulebook version in any era of football. The flag was a gross injustice. If there is a fine, then the system will have been proven (rather than suspected) to be garbage PR with no real criteria.

  39. Good to see the officials admit they blew the call. Heck that hit should be use to show how it is done right, head up, no helmet into the offensive guy, clean hit all the way.

  40. Looked like a plain old football hit to me.
    Goodell and the officials need to pull up their big girl panties and let the players play.
    There’s a huge difference between a cheap shot and a hard hit.

  41. It was a bad call; it was a clean hit. As someone posted above, the refs admitted it.

    We can all stop complaining about flag football now, at least until the next personal foul that’s called.

  42. it’s just preseason so thankfully it didnt cost anybody a game, but that was another legit Vick INT.

  43. Eagles fan here. Clean hit. Not only should he not be fined, he shouldn’t have gotten the flag. The ref should be reprimanded.

  44. This is how the NFL is, why do people think its just them protecting Vick. They called a 15 yard penalty on Trent Cole last season because his hand inadvertantly touched Peyton Mannings helmet!


    What do you mean “inadvertantly”? he smacked Manning right in the back of the head while trying to chop the ball out of his hand! the video is on youtube! Doesn’t matter if he meant to do it or not, you can’t hit the QB in the head like that!

  45. It was not leading with the helmet and I can understand why everyone thinks its legal. However isnt that exactly what the NFL is trying to avoid with “launching” to make a tackle?

  46. Oh my goodness gracious that was a clean hit. Head up, facemask to the QB’s chest. What more do they want?

    As I’ve said before, I’m generally in favor of the league cutting down on obvious blows to the head and cutting down on sloppy tackling where guys lower their heads and “lead” with their shoulder, even though the act of lowering said shoulder forces the crown of their helmet out in front of them.

    But for god’s sake, the league NEEDS to take a common sense approach to incidental contact or, in this case, non-contact.

  47. funny thing is no one gave a dayum about Harrison getting fined last year and now that it could be your teams turn to feel goodell’s screws you all want to cry about it….better get used to it!!

  48. The funny thing about the flag. The intent was to protect Vick but the result was that it nullified a pick which left Vick out there to get hit some more.

    The owners / Goodell have ruined the game. And these are the same individuals that many of you were lovin’ on during the lockout. Remember?

  49. i am a steeler fan. That was the first time in 40 years of rooting against Cleveland that I actually was pissed off over a call against them. What is wrong with this league? This guy does NOT deserve a fine over a legal hit

  50. Doesn’t seem to be one argument for the penalty call…

    As a flag football ref – they should put flags on the QB’s hips and call it a day.

    Actually, the Terry Mcaulley is the jacka_s who created the infamous “bottle-gate” as I re-call and I think he was the idiot that screwed up the infamous Jerome Bettis “you said heads” coin toss.


  51. I have watched the platy about 20 times and I am at a loss what jackson could have done differently.

    1. Vick released the ball when Jackson was less than foot from him.
    2. Jackson never lowered head.
    3. Jackson did not drive him into the ground or make any effort to continue the hit.

    The only thing I can think of here is Jackson first made contact with his head along with his chest. But I am not sure how he could have tackled him any differently. He could have lowered his shoulder but he still would have made contact with his head and the hit would have been more vicious. There is no chance he could have slowed down or not hit him.

    I really don’t know what he could have done differently. You leave a player unblocked with a QB winding up to throw a deep ball and this hit is unavoidable. The reason for the hit was Vick standing in and the OL leaving Jackson unblocked. They are the only ones at fault not Jackson. Fine the Philly OL and Vick they caused the hit.

  52. good hit……..the league is sending mixed messages….what’s a player to do?……..if this keeps up I’ll be starting my own tiddely wink league!!!

  53. The only reason Vick threw that interception was because he saw that hit coming. Way to wreck a sweet play refs…

  54. Giants’ fan here who was pleased to see Vick take a preseason beating. That said, it is very refreshing to hear Eagles’ fans admit that the hit was legal. You have just separated yourselves from Jets’ fans in my eyes. Thanks guys.

  55. I don’t think he’ll be fined for that. Bad call by the ref but that happens, it’s a tough job. If he gets fined there is something seriously wrong with the NFL.

  56. There were other hits that could have been flagged which were more vicious and verged on illegal that were not called.

    Where is the consistency?

    Not good by the league’s officiating crew and leadership because TV and talk shows will have a field day grilling these guys if there is going to be such inconsistency in interpreting this rule.


    Jackson was a step away from Vick when he dumped the ball, and Jackson hit him clean in the chest.

    What the hell is with the NFL refs these days? They don’t call a helmet to helmet hit, but they DO flag a perfectly LEGAL hit.

    WTF, Goodell?

  58. They should fine the Eagles center and right guard for the hit.These 2 guys couldn’t block their own grandmothers let alone NFL players.

  59. Reading Is Fundamental.

    The refs admitted they blew the call. Look at the Twitter pic in the comments above.

    What’s Goodell supposed to do, stop the game and chew out the refs right there?

    It was a bad call. Bad calls happen. They happen on pass interference, they happen on holding, they happen on personal fouls.

    The refs admitted they made a mistake. Unless you want to flog them some more, let it go. This is not evidence of the sissifying of the NFL.

  60. Also, this was a crap call. I don’t think anyone feels differently. I was at the game, the hit was hard but totally legal.

    Everyone in the stands pretty much shrugged and laughed, since they called back a pretty bad looking interception.

    Sometimes you get the zebras, sometimes the zebras get you.

  61. Philly 4-for-4 fan. Great hit, wish our LBs hit like that.

    The NFL has become a business of protecting and promoting its stars, rather than the game itself. If Sean Hill takes this hit, it’s a clean and legal tackle (which it is, clearly…no debate). But if Vick, Manning, Brady, etc take this hit…it’s a flag.

    This is the NFL’s version of the Patrick Ewing 3-step no travelling call.

  62. Dear NFL:

    When every hit makes a player “dirty”, the players aren’t wrong, the rule is.

  63. Will they fine the ref now for blowing the call? The problem with this call, legit or now, is that it makes defenders hesitate before making plays of which runners/QBs will take advantage.

    I recall a Steelers game last year where they were called for hitting a player as he was going down. Next play, they stopped, but the runner, who wasn’t down, kept running. The Steelers were rightfully upset.

  64. I believe that at the rate the NFL is going that in 10yrs(the next contract) the QB will be OFF LIMITS until he crosses the line of scrimmage and they will have some type of computer set up that the ball must be released by the QB within (x) amount of seconds hand off, pass etc. or the play is blown dead.How the pass rush would figure into all this I don’t know yet (they are working on it) but this is were the league is headed.Write it down.

  65. Looked like a great, clean play to me.
    Lets be real, if they want to protect the QB who remains “in the pocket”,simply change the rule, as to QBs in the pocket to any touch and he’s down. No more fines, no more controversy no more argument!

  66. I think it was a perfect hit. But it is kind of interesting that everyone is defending Jackson when they were jumping on Harrison last year after he hit Fitzpatrick the exact same way.

    Maybe Jackson is just more likeable…

  67. I can’t fault a ref for not seeing something that happened. Refs are human and they will miss stuff now and then. What really makes me mad are refs that act on things that they DID NOT SEE because they DID NOT HAPPEN. If it were my choice I’d fire a ref on first offense. There’s no room for guesswork.

  68. Text book perfect hit.

    But no, GODell through his rule changes wants to continue to pussify the NFL.

    These pro players are getting paid damn good money to take an ass whoppin’ during game time. You don’t see them turning away their jobs at contract signing time. So just let them play the freakin’ game the way its meant to be played.

  69. If you were teaching tackling form, this hit would be a perfect example. He will not be fined.

  70. I really hope the NFl wakes up & realizes that many of us are going to find a more manly, physical, league to watch if they keep this BS up. Mixed Martial Arts may be gaining ‘a lot’ of fans b/c they do not apologize for hitting.

  71. I love some of the comments that start off “I’m all for protecting the players”. Why do you even watch football? This is not the NBA. You don’t have a sold out stadium showing up to watch the star players of another team do well. Protect the star players? Why? Star NFL players are loved by their home fans but there are 31 other markets out there rooting for them to be knocked out of their cleats. Star players back in the day used to have long and productive careers without all of these special rules protecting them. I’d even argue that the ability to take a hit is one factor that determines a player’s status as a star. If I want to see large people wearing dresses on Sunday’s I’ll go to church.

  72. People keep making the mistake that this flag and possible fine is part of the “pussifying” of the NFL.

    In case you haven’t read it anywhere else, I’ll repeat it here: The official who threw the flag was standing BEHIND Mike Vick. He saw Vick’s head tilt back when he was tackled and just *assumed* it was because he had been hit on the chin. The problem is NOT that the ref wrongly considered that hit illegal and thus are pussifying the game- the problem is that the guy who threw the flag DIDN’T SEE THE PLAY. *This* is the kind of BS that has to stop! We don’t need a-hole officials making huge judgment calls that can affect games when they didn’t even see what happened.

    Why the hell is an official who was not in position to see what happened throwing a flag? If these douchey zebras are gonna start throwing flags willy nilly at what they *think* they *might* have seen, then the NFL seriously needs to start re-thinking how they train referees, etc. Enough with these middle aged, half blind, biased idiots affecting games.

  73. Next year, the officials will start carrying two different colored flags. The yellow flags will indicate a clear penalty. A pink flag will indicate they don’t know what the hell happened because they didn’t see the play clearly. Then the league will make a couple hundred thousand extra bucks on some bonus advertising while the fans are told the play is being reviewed. The refs will actually be playing Angry Birds under the hood, then flip a coin to decide whether or not to issue a penalty. Games will last 5 hours, players’ salaries will go into an escrow account instead of directly to them, so the league is able to simply deduct “fines” from the account before the players ever see the money, and eventually we’ll finally see the NFL’s first 55-year old Pro Bowl QB. Yay.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!