Phillips drawing a fine for his "illegal" hit?


from Ralph Vacchiano's NY Daily News Blue Screen blog:

The unnecessary roughness penalty that S Kenny Phillips took in the second quarter, when he laid out Mewelde Moore along the sidelines, was the correct call. I understand that there was probably no way Phillips could stop his momentum or recognize in time that Moore didn’t have the ball. But he has to. That’s the rule. It’s designed to force defensive players to make the impossible on-a-dime stop. Maybe it’s a faulty rule, but it was called correctly by the officials. Phillips also didn’t help his cause by leading with his head. For that alone, he can expect a fine later this week.



I think Ralph does a great job, and he may indeed be right about that ruling (um, if that's correct then then could throw the flag on every hit), but there's absolutely no way that Phillips gets fined for that.  I completely disagree that he led with his head, and I watched the replay several times this afternoon (check out the video via YouTube).  While running into Moore, Phillips actually turned his head at the last second to avoid a helmet-to-to-helmet hit.  Never did Phillips' helmet ever come close to coming in contact with Moore's.  Instead, Phillips led more with his shoulder.  Was it a late hit?  I think it was by a split-second, but it was not an illegal hit. 

Mewelde Moore, Kenny Phillips

(Photo via the LA Times)

I respect Ralph's opinion, but there's a reason why Tom Coughlin had some choice words for the officials on the sidelines and Troy "I hate the Giants with every fiber of my being" Aikman was scolding the officials for an awful call.  That should not have warranted a flag, and I'll be floored if it warrants a fine from the NFL. 

If Phillips does get fined, then they should fine Bob Sanders and Ronnie Lott $172.6 trillion dollars retroactively for big hits that they amassed over their careers. 

This is football.  This isn't badminton. 

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