Ravens safety Matt Elam tackled Packers receiver Randall Cobb by delivering a hit with the shoulder into Cobb’s knee on Sunday, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t happy about it.
As the game was paused while the Packers’ medical staff attended to Cobb, Rodgers walked over to the Ravens’ side of the field to confront Elam. After the game, Rodgers said he thought Elam should have aimed his tackle at Cobb’s midsection.
“I just felt like [Elam] had enough time to make a hit in the legal hitting zone,” Rodgers said, via ESPNWisconsin.com.
Here’s the problem with Rodgers’ complaint: Elam’s hit was in the legal hitting zone. Defensive players are allowed to tackle ball carriers by hitting them in the knees. If Rodgers doesn’t like that, he should take it up with the NFL’s owners, who determine the league rules, not with Elam.
Rodgers did acknowledge that Ravens safety James Ihedigbo told him on the field that defensive players have been instructed not to hit offensive players high, so it’s only natural that they’re going to hit low.
“[Ihedigbo] came over and made actually a very knowledgeable point – which I appreciated a little intelligent banter back and forth – about some of the issues defensive players have to deal with with the target area,” Rodgers said. “I totally understand that and get that. I just felt like, from my vantage point, [Elam] had plenty of time to not take out a guy’s legs in that situation. I think he could have hit in the proper hitting zone, and that’s what I told him.”
Rodgers should tell it to Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy, who has a voice in changing what the NFL considers “the proper hitting zone.” Until Murphy and the NFL’s 31 other owners vote to change it, no one should blame Elam for doing his job.