Terrell Suggs is the jokester on the Ravens' squad. Showing off that big smile after playing little jokes on his teammates of chiding Matt Schaub, Suggs doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body. But the Eagles apparently disagree there, as they are accusing him of a dirty hit on the quarterback.
Eagles LT Jason Peters asked if he thought Terrell Suggs' hit on Sam Bradford was dirty: "I think so. ... I think he planned it."— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 23, 2015
The play in question is below:
A read option play where the quarterback and running back both look like they are running the football. Designed to fool opposing players and cause them to think instead of react, Suggs reacted instead of thinking. Now Eagles players are accusing him of being a dirty player, something that really hasnt been assigned to Suggs at any point in his career.
While Suggs could have not hit Bradford, the Eagles did run a play designed to have that exact reaction from the pass rusher and are now complaining because it worked. Suggs put it as eloquently as possible.
Suggs on Bradford hit: "When you run the read option, you have to know the rules. If you want to run the read option with your starting ...— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) August 23, 2015
quarterback that’s had two knee surgeries, that’s on you. That’s not my responsibility to update you on the rule."— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) August 23, 2015
Suggs also said: "I could’ve hit him harder on that. I didn’t. I eased up." Eagles not happy, felt it was dirty and intentional hit— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) August 23, 2015
And Suggs has a point here. Looking at that play, He wrapped up and took Bradford down instead of really driving through and drilling him. The hit was aimed at the waist like it should have been and the only reason that it looks as bad as it is, is because Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford tried to sidestep the hit and caused him to spin when Suggs finally touched him.
Yahoo's Shutdown Corner grabbed the rule book for this instance.
Again, looking at the play, Suggs' hit comes at the waist line and slides down due to Bradford making a move to avoid the hit. With the strike zone so small on quarterbacks, the waist is what players are trained to hit now. But the biggest issue here is that Bradford is not a quarterback in this play, but is treated like a rusher given the read option aspect of the play in question. Being treated like a running back takes away that smaller strike zone and allows Suggs to ignore this rule.
All of the flack against Suggs for this hit seems to be because Bradford is the starting quarterback and has been known for knee issues. However, as Suggs has mentioned, don't run your quarterback and there will be no problems.