Griffin apologizes for suspension


Titans safety Michael Griffin has been suspended one game for repeated illegal hits on defenseless players.  While the suspension may still be overturned on appeal, Griffin expressed regret for the outcome.

“All I can say is I apologize to the Titans fans, my teammates and the organization,” Griffin told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean via text message. “I also hope Rivera is doing well and I apologize to [Rivera] and his family.  I was trying to do my job but in the end I hurt the team.”

If the suspension stands, Griffin will lose $205,882.35 in base salary.

Griffin has the right to appeal the suspension, with the issue resolved by Ted Cottrell or Matt Birk handling the matter.

After applying a Sammie-White-in-the-Super-Bowl hit to Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera on Sunday, Griffin was ready for at least a fine.

At the end of the day, as a defensive player in a situation, damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” Griffin said. “You look at it, he catches the ball, first down, they’re right there in scoring position. You knock the ball loose, they’re still right there in scoring position.  More than likely I’m going to see a fine from the Commissioner, and I’ve just got to go from there and continue to play football.”

If the suspension stands, Griffin won’t be playing football on Sunday.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m. ET:  Per a league source, Griffin will indeed appeal his suspension.

14 responses to “Griffin apologizes for suspension

  1. Appeal denied. Take the time to learn how to tackle, good technique will keep you from breaking your own damn neck as well.

  2. It wasn’t the form of the tackle. The technique was really good. His him with a nice clean forearm. It was that he hit him in the head and drilled him. It was a scary hit.

  3. Note to NFL defenders: you have to lower your target point.

    Unless the receiver catches the ball as he’s going to the ground, in which case you can’t hit him at ALL…..not even with your shoulder.

  4. I saw the play as it was happening, and I think Griffin is right in his “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” comment. At full speed, Griffin had maybe a second (if that) to adjust his body. If he keeps running forward at full speed, he can catch Rivera’s helmet with his knee and either give Rivera a concussion anyways or tear his knee up. If he goes low, there’s a possibility it’s shoulder pad to shoulder pad. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way, but his hit was by no means a Merriweather purposely launching hit, it was a safety attempting to make a play at full speed. His only other option is to do nothing and risk Rivera making a beautiful catch and scoring a touchdown. Safeties are going to be a dying breed in the NFL as they won’t be able to do much. Might as well put 4 corners out there in man coverage every play and bring in two LBs in a blitz. Great safeties of old like Sean Taylor (RIP) are a dead breed in the NFL as they can’t do anything anymore.

  5. There’s no excuse for that hit at all, he went down as far as he could go, just to hit him in the head.

    That’s a cheap shot all the way.

  6. I saw the play happen in real time & my immediate reaction was that is was a dirty, cheap shot, even as a Titan fan. And I’m not surprised to see him suspended because he has been fined before. Name a safety who hasn’t.

    But watching the replay, I do have some sympathy for Griff here. If he’s trying to dislodge the ball, which is what a safety is supposed to do, then there really isn’t any other way to hit a guy who is basically already on the ground (but not down by contact) by the time contact is made. I mean, how do you hit a guy low who is already on the ground?

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