John Harbaugh: Earl Thomas was trying to “pull off” Mason Rudolph

Getty Images

Earl Thomas defended his hit on Mason Rudolph, saying he “hit the strike zone” like taught and “didn’t go high.”

After watching film of the hit that knocked out the Steelers quarterback, Ravens coach John Harbaugh agreed Monday.

“I see Earl trying to pull off,” Harbaugh said, via Jeff Zrebiec of “There’s no question about it, if you watch the tape. It’s clear. It’s just an unfortunate collision. He felt bad about it, the result of it. He didn’t want to see an injury. None of us do.”

The good news is Rudolph was at the team facility Monday after being diagnosed with a concussion Sunday.

Officials penalized Thomas for the hit, and he likely will pay a fine. But Thomas was not ejected.

27 responses to “John Harbaugh: Earl Thomas was trying to “pull off” Mason Rudolph

  1. Harbaugh defends a dirty play each week. He’s getting good at it. Doubt if he’ll post a video on the website this week though.

  2. Rudolph knocked himself out, don’t be blaming Thomas for spearing him with his own helmet. Like harbaugh said, He wasn’t trying to hurt him, even though Thomas speared him at full speed with his helmet. Smh

  3. This is one of those situations where you see what you want to see. Haters see him launching, fans see it different. I hope Mason recovers quickly.

  4. canedaddy says:
    October 7, 2019 at 3:03 pm
    …The fact that Rudolph got KO’ed doesn’t mean it was a dirty play

    OTOH, the fact that Thomas launched himself at Rudolph’s head, with his helmet, does make it a dirty play.

    If someone can point me to a video angle where Thomas is not launching himself at Rudolph’s head, please do so.

  5. This is ridiculous. He comes downhill, to the line of scrimmage from a ways away and then launches the crown of his helmet into Rudolph’s head.

    Cheatbaugh is disgusting.

  6. I do NOT think he should have been thrown out, however the comments about hitting the strike zone and Harbaugh defending the hit are asinine. The tape clearly shows Thomas leave his feet and he ultimately his Rudolph in the chin area with his helmet. Oh, he’s also 7 inches shorter than Rudolph.

    That is NOT the strike zone.

  7. Not only did Thomas deliberately hit Rudolph in the jaw – he used his helmet as a weapon. Thomas has a history as a member of the Legion of Boom (e.g. being fined in 2017 for a hit Atlanta’s Levine Toilolo in the head – a player who happened to catch a touchdown pass against the Seahawks). Thomas should be suspended and kept of the field until Rudolph is medically cleared to play – however long that might be. That will stop this nonsense of head shots!

  8. Thomas has been delivering hits for 10 years. He knows how to make it look OK when it ain’t OK.

  9. You can’t prove intent. Of course the Ravens are going to say it was unintentual. It was a brutal helmet to helmet hit…hope the fine is large. Almost beat the pretenders with a 3rd string QB…

  10. All the keyboard warriors are piling on Harbaugh but where is Tomlin? If this was such a flagrant foul, why isn’t he screaming at the top of his lungs like every sore loser on here?

  11. Harbaugh loves these debates because it keeps the focus for the week of sensitive lamar hearing how bad he sucks. Dont let lamar escape with out blame. Lamar gets all his stats in garbage time or against bad teams. If you make him throw the ravens lose. He relies on gimmicks to get guys wide open or he cannot make the tight window kinda throws. Lamar is good for a running back.

  12. Nah. For an example of a QB hit in the actual target zone, check out the one that Olasunkanmi Adeniyi was flagged for.
    The league somehow figured out what a catch was but forgot everything else about football.

  13. Remember, this is the same Harbaugh that brazenly held a press conference blaming Ray Rice’s wife for him being suspended…until the video came out and showed him to be the biggest liar since Pinocchio. What would you expect him to say though. They teach their players to be dirty. I bet Harbaugh would feel differently if that were his QB on the other end of that hit. He’d be crying like an infant with a dirty diaper. Nobody believes anything he says anymore….it’s nothing but whining and lying.

  14. Where on the rules does it say if you hit an opposing player with your helmet and you hit him in the head it’s ok if “you were trying to pull off”? I read them a few times. Saw nothing like that. His real defence is that had Carr not hit him in the back of the head with his helmet just as Thomas was arriving, Rudolph’s head would mean t have been as exposed and vulnerable to Thomas’s hot to the head with his helmet. That old one two.

  15. Sadly. Pittsburgh fans don’t understand basic physics. It is, after all, a high school course. When two bodies are in the motion and collide, the impact is multiplied. Thomas had no idea that Mason would be hurling himself in his direction when the natural instinct of an experience QB is to pull away and avoid or lessen the impact. Valuable lesson learned.

  16. Oliver Queen says:
    October 7, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Earl Thomas 5’10”. Mason Rudolph 6’5”. Do the math. Not intentional. At. All.
    I’m hoping that last part was sarcastic. If he’s 5’10” and hitting a 6’5″ guy in the face with his helmet, he’s not trying to go low. He’s hitting him with his head up.

  17. Sadly. TimTebowsKarmaHasRunOut doesn’t understand basic physics. It is, after all, a high school course. When one body is being pushed toward an incoming body, that is NOT considered “hurling himself in his direction”.

    But he’ll go on anyway.

Leave a Reply

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