Whitner, Brooks want replay expanded to include penalties

Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have one of the most ferocious defenses in the league.

Donte Whitner, Patrick Wilis, NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks all take pride in hitting hard and being intimidating to opposing offenses.

However, their style of play has led to penalties and fines on more than one occasion this season.

Brooks was called for a 15-yard penalty and fined $16,000 for a hit of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees two weeks ago. Whitner was fined $21,000 for an illegal hit against the St. Louis Rams in Week 4 that helped keep the Rams out of the end zone.

With the league focused on increased safety for the players with an emphasis on eliminating illegal hits, Brooks and Whitner want to see replay expanded to include penalties, such as the ones they had called against them, that could alter the outcomes of games.

“We really need to get something done about that — replay, something — so it doesn’t cost us football games,” Whitner said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.

The penalty called against Brooks in New Orleans helped extend a Saints drive that led to the tying field goal. The fumble forced by Brooks was recovered by Willis and would have given the 49ers the ball. Brooks agreed with his teammate.

“When defensive penalties happen, they should review them,” Brooks said. “It’s a call that goes up in the air.”

Brooks is appealing his fine. Whitner told Inman that he won his appeal. Whitner added that players shouldn’t be punished when they actually make the correct play. He feels too many times, defensive players are getting flagged for clean plays. Whitner cites Brooks’ hit on Brees as one of those plays.

“He did everything he’s supposed to do. It’s not his fault that Drew Brees is a little guy and can’t really take a hit. That’s really what won the football game for them. We feel like it cost us the game,” Whitner said.

Whitner has a point. The league is asking defensive players to adjust how they hit offensive players in the hopes of improving player safety. When a defensive player actually makes the proper play they shouldn’t be penalized for it. However, expanding replay to cover penalty enforcement could further bog down the pace of games and may not be a practical solution as the system is current set up.

59 responses to “Whitner, Brooks want replay expanded to include penalties

  1. “That’s really what won the football game for them. We feel like it cost us the game,” Whitner said.”

    Loser mentality right there. That wasn’t the last play of the the game. The 49ers had several other chances to put the game away in their favor.

    Also to say Brees “can’t take a hit” when he actually took one in 2005 that almost ended his career, and since then he’s been a Super Bowl MVP and broken several long-standing records. I’d say he can take a hit just fine.

    P.S. If the hit on Brees had been reviewed it would have been upheld. Whiners.

  2. Oh yeah, Whitner has a real point that Brees “can’t take a hit.” He only didn’t ask for a flag, got up, wiped the blood off his chin, led his team down the field to a game-tying FG, waited out the Niners going 3 and out (but they TOTALLY would’ve killed the last 3:18 of the game if that illegal hit wasn’t flagged), and then led his team down the field for the game-winning FG. That’s DEFINITELY not being able to take a hit.

    Is ANYONE going to call out the 49ers for acting like gigantic crybabies or what? It was illegal, it got flagged, your offense didn’t do anything when it did get the ball back, and your defense couldn’t stop Drew at the end. Over a week later and they’re STILL whining about a legit loss, good grief.

  3. Changes need to be made, but I think if you are going to make changes it’s better to look at the overall officiating system and to come up with good ideas to eliminate a host of issues and potential problems that can be problems if the NFL doesn’t nip them in the bud and in advance.

    Get the system straight, then call it professional ball.

  4. My God, are the Whiners still whining about that play? If Brooks had his way, he would be allowed to smack the QB with a beer bottle.

  5. i think niners fans would be more understanding of this call if the same was ever called on someone hitting Kaepernick high. Saints got away with a neck sack, more “neck” than Brooks was blamed for hitting.

    Also the Colts game started out with 2 bologna penalties on the niners that spotted Luck 40 yards before ever having to earn any yards. they came on a play where whitner hit bradshaw hard to the shoulder, while ahmad bradshaw lowered the crown of his helmet on whitner. next play they get a phantom PI call.

  6. He’s right!!! There should be at least a replay on every one of those calls at least 1 flag review per game or all calls like that reviewed at least in the 4th quarter. But even if it was reviewed they would have probaby kept it a penalty because of the rule, even tho brees is 4’9 and he sunk down when he was hit, its a rule. its a flawed rule that is in consistently called. Talk to jason campbell about it. Brees is soft. After the game saying he got hit really hard he knew it was a flag. What a softy. But I have no idea why Whitner waited this long to say this. Its been over a week, lets get over it.

  7. This is exactly the right solution to the problem. He’s not advocating more challenges, just the ability to challenge more kinds of calls.

    When the replay system was first introduced, everybody who didn’t like the idea said it would slow down the game too much. Didn’t happen. When the replay system was expanded to three challenges (if the first two are won), everybody who didn’t like the idea said it would slow down the game too much. Didn’t happen.

    The replay system is supposed to help the officials get the right result. It shouldn’t matter whether the challenge arises from a close call or a disputed penalty. Every single time the officials throw a flag incorrectly and a team is hurt by it, especially when it changes the outcome, the reputation of the game of football is damaged. Let’s fix that.

  8. I completely agree. The helmet to helmet hit rule is here to stay, but it doesn’t do any good when the officials only get it right 20% of the time. The booth should review it so they get it right and it won’t slow the game down too much (more).

  9. So when the niners do it we call it prideful and intimidating, but when it’s the Lions we call it dirty?

  10. the brooks sack caused a fumble that was recovered by willis around midfield. the nfl said it was the correct call by the official, even after looking at it the next day. unfortunately this is the kind of officiating we are going to have to get used to. and although whitner won his appeal on the fine, reviewing penalties seems impractical. but I would be in favor of calling penalties that are seen while reviewing other plays, like the two fumbles caused this past weekend by blatant face masks that were not seen by the refs. both fumbles resulted in turnovers but if the refs could asses the penalty after seeing it, while reviewing a play that gets reviewed anyway, both offensive teams would have been able to keep possession of the ball with a first down. most importantly they would have got it right.

  11. these calls usually even out. for instance, vernon davis got away with a fumble vs. carolina but should have had his fumble negated vs washington bc of a facemask.

    that being said, the niners have gotten more than their share of poor calls the last few years. You’d think they’d get some benefit after enduring the pitiful calls in the super bowl….the amount of holding (rape) on the kickoff return and then the hat trick of illegal contact/holding/p.i. allowed by a db, jimmy smith, who never played defense on the ball. basically threw legal and smart and good defense out the window, and won based off grabbing and praying he doesn’t get called. this was the same play as the Gronk/Keuchly play except I’m not sure Gronk can come back threw the lb and db to make a play. with crabtree, i know he gets to that spot if he isnt held and he might have to jump, but probably would be able to snag that ball with just his arms raised.

    such a shame. we’ll never know. and forever we’ll get to see ray lewis uncomfortably explain on tv, plays like the Gronk MNF play, while everyone knows he won a trophy off that same play.

  12. Then make the penalties a definitive one that shows blatant hits, holds, and passing interference as a flag when it is completely obvious, If a ref has to question whether or not to throw the flag, then don’t throw it, The calls need to be completely obvious without question to throw a flag. Defenses can’t even play the game anymore with all the rule changes going against them. Its a joke to the fans who are paying these salaries and we should have a say just like the players do.

  13. Whitner isnt known for his good ideas, I understand why they want this. If this will come to effect, the games will be over 4 hours long, they are already way too long now. whats the average game length? 3h15m ?? for a 60min game…

  14. I totally agree. There should be instant replay for certain penalties. A couple ways this can happen without bogging down the pace.

    PLAN A: Have Instant Replays reviewed with a referee up stairs and not the one on the field. Have him communicate with the referee on the field the same way Qb’s do with the OC, etc.

    PLAN B: Shorten the overall length of commercial breaks. The league won’t lose any money since there will be more opportunities for commercial breaks with instant replay for penalties.

    PLAN C: Combine both A and B.

  15. Lets do this. Call a targeting penalty and kick their butts out of the game and they are suspended the first half of the next game. Also include replay to verify the penalty. If its reviewed and overturned then great, but if its upheld then there is no appeal and no whining afterward.

    On a side note the great San Fran D gave up nearly 400 yards of offense to the Saints. They also had a possession to take the lead after it was tied and also let the Saints drive 70 yards to win the game. Not like they couldnt show up the refs after that call.

  16. “He did everything he’s supposed to do. It’s not his fault that Drew Brees is a little guy and can’t really take a hit.”

    Dumbest thing I have heard about this penalty. Did Drew Brees shrink before or during that play? What do you mean? It’s OK to hit a guy in the head or neck because he is shorter than you? The target zone is on the player being hit, not a fictional 6.4″ QB dummy you use in practice. Brooks knew before the play and during the play how tall Drew Brees was (is) and that didn’t change, so you know the target zone on Drew Brees. And for the second part, Drew Brees didn’t miss a play, so apparently he CAN take a hit and he kept making plays after the hit to score the go ahead points, unlike your 6.4″ Three-and-Out QB.

  17. These guys are flat out nasty right now. When Vegas makes the PEDHawks 3.5 point favorites, Russell Wilson will get the brunt of their rage. Good luck with that.

    Licking their chops

  18. OMG get over it already. Whitner you lost. Just the way the NFL is being officiated theses days while I don’t agree with it.It is what it is and isn’t going to change no matter how loud the defensive players complain about it. I do think Offensive players are Pre-Madonna however and are protected way too much. I don’t like the way WR’s cry for a Pass interference call either but they do all the time As for Bree’s being short come on Bree’s height makes no difference what so ever. If the saints play them again i’d put Sproles in at QB just for good measure S.F. and their fans need to learn to let things go its been 3 weeks already

  19. We think the NFL could start by following what the NCAA does with reviewing helmet-to-helmet hits, only to overturn the call instead of reverse ejection.

    It would be silly to review all penalties, but we believe reviews for all unnecessary roughness penalties would be beneficial as those truly swing games and are often decided on impulse.

  20. I don’t the 49ers logic. “He’s a little guy and can’t take a hit”

    But he did. He took the hit, got up, spat blood, drove down the field for a game tying FG followed up by a game winning FG.

    What am I missing here?

    Oh yea, the endless amounts of butt hurt.

  21. Maybe the answer is allowing the coach to throw a challenge flag on a penalty. Not every penalty needs a review, but I know there are several that are game changing. If they can challenge a play they should be able to challenge a flag.

  22. Every game should have a panel of refs watching replays on personal fouls upstairs and can give feedback within seconds to the refs on the field. All referees communications between refs should also be recorded and submitted to the league and respective teams the next day. Too many times games have been decided by referees calls. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired of seeing players getting punished for no good reason, referees punishing the wrong player who retaliate, or two referees giving different calls on the same play and then all of them gathering to find out what happened. If the league wants to use technology replay, why not just fully implement it and why use it on a few occasions. I’m pretty sure fans would not mind waiting an extra minute after a controversial call to get the correct call.

  23. He took a hit well enough to get back up after Brooks tried to take his head off on the way down and lead the Saints on a game-winning drive.

    Whitner or whatever you want to call yourself, that call didn’t cost the 40-whiners the game. Your pathetic offense did. Half of the Saints’ output and only 3 points scored that didn’t come from Saints’ turnovers. Your “potentially one of the all-time great” QB being stupid enough to run out of bounds on 3rd and 19. Your admittedly damned good RB dropping a pass with nothing but daylight between him and the end zone. The list goes on and on. The Saints spotted the 9ers 17 points and still won.

  24. I don’t think that all penalties should be reviewable but absolutely agree that the defenseless receiver penalties should be reviewable. The game happens so fast that sometimes plays look much worse than they are.

  25. We need some sort of isntant review for all roughing. defenseless and similar penalties.

    Im cool with chnges to the game to protect players – but the the stuff happens so fast that refs keep getting it wrong.

  26. ok Whitner you know I can say this I respect the 9er team and 9er defense, they take names and kick ass no questions asked…but when u come in and disrespect the Saints QB by talkin out your ass that draws the line. For you to say something so stupid!! Man, did you not even play in the damn game?! I guess not because you evidently didnt see Drew Bress get up on his own, wipe the blood of his face and drive the team to a 20 something yard first down! So for you to say “He’s a little guy and doesnt know how to take a hit” man u got to be the biggest jackass that plays in the NFL! And honestly Im thinkin you didnt play in the game to lay another dirty hit on Pierre Thomas who stiffed arm your stupid Face2daFlo’!! So listen dipstick dont worry about our QB why dont you worry about your own in the hope he can be more consistent, complete passes and make a game without no more than 3-4 interceptions!

  27. They’re right. Replay for hits like this and pass interference calls should be allowed. Limit it to challenge flags and it won’t “bog down” the game. Better yet, it will limit the chances of refs ruining the game.

  28. Every week they get some of these calls wrong. It’s understandable because they have to make calls on subjective penalties at game speed. But the players are right, they need to make these plays reviewable because they are changing outcomes of games. In my mind, why wouldn’t you make them reviewable? Why would you want a blatant example of how your rules are turning fans off?

  29. “However, expanding replay to cover penalty enforcement could further bog down the pace of games and may not be a practical solution as the system is current set up…”

    So it’s ok to just accept that there are going to wrong & missed calls that can – and do – affect the out come of games.
    Shaken My Head over the hypocrisy…the NFL sure has an odd way of doing what’s right, or at least their version of what’s right.

  30. If you replay that hit, refs will keep the penalty because it is an obvious illegal hit.

    By the way, his offense got the ball twice after that and didn’t do anything with it. And that’s what won us the game If it wasn’t for turnovers, that game wouldn’ have been close.

    That guy should still change his name to Donte Whiner.

  31. So do I ! Especially if the penalty impacts the outcome of the game. Season ticket holdelrs and NFL fans invest a lot of money to support their teams, the players risk severe injury during the season. the zebras need to make the correct call on the field.

  32. How would it bog down the pace? Last I checked they’re not asking for more challenges. Amazing how such a bogus call is made and then the NFL needs to go and fine Brooks to cover their asses. In what way was the hit dangerous? It wasnt helmet to helmet, he didnt rip his facemask, just bogus. Developed a league for offenses, since everyone would rather watch explosive plays (I do too) over stingy D’s thats why offensive players are so protected, while underpaid defensive player in comparrison to marquee offensive players get hit in the pockets.

  33. Football is a game of intimidation. A person, a team trying to impose it’s will over another. It is physical and hard hits are going to happen. They are SUPPOSE to happen!

    The NFL is understandably trying to make the game safer, but they need to pull back some and be realistic about the elements that go into a game.

    Areas they need to clean up:

    1) Initial contact with an opponent’s head or neck should be a penalty, as it currently is. But should not be called if in the process of tackling, after initial contact, these areas are touched in the follow through. A player has almost no control over what happens in the process of the tackle, but usually do have control over initial contact. A player blocked or shoved into an opponent should waive any personal foul. It should be about initial contact.

    2) A player striking an opponent in the head and neck area with the crown of his head should be a penalty, as it currently is. But it should not be if a player hits his opponent in the chest, stomach or back, and in the process of going to the ground the defender slides up and his crown then hits the opponent in the head or neck. (Brian Urlacher got called for this one. Planted his facemask in the QBs lower chest and as they went to the ground he slid up and hit the QB in the chin. Like he could control that!)

    3) Defensive players cannot be held responsible for where they make contact when the offensive player alters his pad level (so long as they aren’t leading with the crown, launching head first or spearing). I heard an NFL exec on the radio state the league says its on the defensive player to adjust no matter what. These goofs clearly have never played the game! It is nearly impossible to make a split second adjustment at the speed in which these athletes play the game. Too often a defender is lined up to hit the ball carrier in the stomach or chest and the offensive player lowers his pads, or gets hit by another defender, and suddenly the head is in the hitting zone. This is clearly an unfair disadvantage.

    4) The defenseless receiver penalty should only be called if the receiver is hit in the head or neck. Everything else is simply a defender doing what he should be doing: separating the receiver from the ball. If you don’t want your receiver hit, don’t throw it over the middle unless he’s open enough to avoid such a hit. You can’t just let guys make a free catch just because they’re running in the open. (I believe it was Duanta Robinson who hit DeSean Jackson while Jackson was completing his third step after catching the ball, and got called for hitting a defenseless receiver. Robinson’s shoulder hit Jackson high because Jackson lowered his pad level bracing for contact.) My son is a receiver in high school, as was I, and he too hates this rule.

    Sorry for the length of this, but it drives me crazy. They can make the game safer, especially by eliminating the use of the helmet as a weapon, but it needs to be reasonable. (And fines shouldn’t be dealt automatically for personal fouls. The circumstances, severity and intent should be taken into account.)

  34. Upon further review SF might find they commit a lot more penalties than they are called for.
    Whitener is clueless

  35. The Forty – Whiners are pathetic. Don’t recall a bigger bunch of bellyachers or players displaying such entitlement. What babies

  36. I agree, something needs to be done, I say add a blue flag that can only be used once a game to challenge a penalty/non call. So this won’t bog down the game, just remove one of the red flags challenges that each team receives during the course of the game. Problem solved NFL.

  37. The NFL should be fined for calling the penalty incorrectly and pay the player an amount equal to the fine they charge players.

  38. It’s also true what they said in consideration of a players height.

    6’5″ dude lowering a shoulder in an obvious attempt to avoid the head while his body is flexed while running at full force with someone else grabbing at you, and you knock a 5’10” guy at the top of his shoulder sending his neck to his other shoulder is now a head shot.

    How hard of a rule is this to interpret. Head shot is contact to the head. PERIOD said Dan the man

  39. I have looked at the stills of the so called legal hit by brooks. His hand is clearly around the neck of Brees which is a penalty no matter where his hand and arm were at the beginning of the tackle. A player can start his tackle at the chest but if it happens to “slide” up because the other player is falling down and which consequently has the tackler grabbing at the face mask, it’s a penalty. If there was a replay, this penalty would stand. Every week we see bad calls and bad no calls…this has been part of the game since the beginning with many altering the outcome of games. This is just a fact.

    What the problem really is is that every year more and more rules are added. The new offensive pick play could be flagged 90% of the time as offensive pass interference but isn’t called but maybe 5% of the time as an example. Offensive pass interference or holding by receivers is another example of calls that go unflagged while the defense is flagged more and more. As fans, we like points…we like offense over defense more often than not so rules and calls will always tip in favor of the offense. Steve Smith of the Panthers could be called almost every play. He is the best example of an offensive player that gets away with any and everything. The real problem is too many rules especially when most rules implemented directly affect defense creating an unfair advantage for the offense, in particular the quarterback. I care less about how much money he makes or how important he is to the franchise. He is a player with the same pads on as the rest of them. No tackling at the knees and below is a BS rule. If a defender is going down before he gets there and the only tackle he has is at the feet then why on earth should he have to basically give up on the play? It’s become a money game and more about protecting investments than playing football. Ratings, money and points…that sells. People hate defensive games that end 10-9 so rules will continue to be made to help offenses score more points. Todays football bears little resemblance to what I watched 40 years ago other than the ball and the field they play on. BUT..who is going to turn it off? Will fans boycott games? No…and so the rules will keep coming and the posts will keep griping but the TV will still be tuned to the game.

  40. The hit was clean! Sack fumble game over! Saint fans get over yourselves you got away with one and you know it! You are the same clowns that watch games on Sunday and cry for a flag on every play with contact just like pre madonna receivers and vertically challenged quarterbacks. As a reminder it is professional football these guys are playing morons.

  41. Lets just say you get the fumble …..Clapperjack escapes pass rush throws interception for a defensive 6 GAME OVER …lol we can do this all day Phoney Whinners!

  42. Truth be told, there’s no bigger winner in nfl history than drew bress. He cried all year long when his team got punished for cheating. As a team leader he should’ve been a man and took responsibility and apologized for his teams behavior instead of crying about it. Also, he is always the 1st guy to cry when his receivers get rocked by opponents.

  43. Hey whiner, maybe you should have stopped the Saints on their NEXT drive, maybe your Offense should have gotten a first down AFTER the Saints score on that drive.

    How many games have the Niners won with a questionable call, how many playoff games, how many Super Bowls?

    Get real, next time play better and try not to decapitate a future Hall of Fame QB.

    That penalty DID NOT mean the Niners could not win the game, the Saints scored a FG, Niners got the ball back, did nothing, Saints got the ball back, drove down the field very easily and kicked a FG instead of trying to score a TD. Next time play a better game. How about the intentional grounding safety that was not called on the poor excuse of an Alex Smith that you have playing QB…..hahahahhahaha. Kap…who’s got it better than us….Kansas City Chiefs!

  44. @sfsaintsfan – if you would actually pay attention to the play on the field Kaepernick was 4-5 yards outside the pocket when he threw that ball, it went past the LOS, thus no grounding. Sometimes it helps to actually watch and then comment, instead of the other way around.

    For those who are talking about the play not mattering because of what happened after – please pay attention to the scoreboard.

    If the play is properly reviewed the refs would see Brooks hitting Brees on the chest, not the face or neck (btw the neck cannot go backward while the head stays forward, anatomically impossible)

    That sack (fumble aside) put the Saints out of field goal range. When you count the fumble it would be 49ers ball with a 3 point lead. Even if the 49ers still go 3 and out the Saints driving down the field to score a field goal, it only ties the game.

    Instead, because of the refs, the Saints got the win out of it.

    When it should have been a tie game going into overtime.
    So before you start posting about this and that, you should realize THAT is what people are complaining about.

  45. Brooks hit Brees across the chest and Brees collapsed into the hit so that there was contact with Brooks’ forearm. By the rules, the contact requires a penalty no matter how it came about….. Because contact with the neck did occur.

    But I have a real issue with the fine. The hit was to the chest, and the neck contact was incidental.

    I don’t think there’s any question the play turned the game. It would have been the Niners’ ball instead of a first down in field goal range. I also don’t think a review would have turned the play in the Niners’ favor.

  46. If a hit penalty is called (such as will bring a fine), there should be an automatic booth review. That kind of hit often results in a player being checked on the field anyway, and if they are so concerned about safety, they could mandate that as well in that kind of hit.

    And I’ve seen a number of penalties called this year just because a hit was really hard… even though it was perfectly legal. Not just on the Niners…. all around the league. The refs in those calls seem to assume a hit was illegal just because it was hard, but a replay often shows the hitter ducked his head and the hit was with a shoulder into a shoulder and was completely legal.

    This is football… not ballroom dancing, and those guys get paid hundreds of thousands , if not millions, to take those risks. I was a cop for 25 years, and was shot at a couple of times in addition to the other ‘slings and arrows’ I endured, and nobody was willing to give me millions for that risk. So my sympathy is maybe not what it should be.

  47. Did anyone happen to.notice He threw him down by his helmet? Y’all are worried about the initial hit and not What He followed through with.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.