Vontaze Burfict’s hit on Anthony Sherman was dirty – Tony Gonzalez explains why

Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, Eric Davis and Tony Gonzalez discuss Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict's latest questionable play.

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- Colin, was this hit dirty?

- Well, it's not a penalty. So, therefore, you can't call it a dirty hit. That's not a penalty in the NFL. Now Vontaze--

- It should have been penalized.

- Well, Vontaze Burfict is the Ndamukong Suh of linebackers. But that's not a penalty.

- No there's a crack down in the NFL.

COLIN COWHERD: Well--

- They've redefined what a defenseless receiver is. If you hit someone from behind, or hit him while they're moving sideways, or something like that, or at a side angle, they're trying to eliminate that. That play they're trying to eliminate. The ball's not coming to this guy. It is a cheap shot in the new NFL. In the old school NFL that Eric Davis and Tony played in, that's good football.

COLIN COWHERD: I struggle with this. You know, I've gone back and forth today on this. I guess my-- I'm kind of a rules guy. So whatever the rules say in life-- if it says no trespassing, I don't trespass. Like I look at that and I'm like, where's the flag? Is that a late--

JASON WHITLOCK: No, they miss calls.

ERIC DAVIS: Yeah, guys miss calls, but also you're allowed to contact a guy within five yards. That's a rule. Now is it a necessary hit? No.

COLIN COWHERD: What does that mean?

- It's not necess-- it's not--

COLIN COWHERD: What does that mean?

- He didn't have to take the guy out. He could have put his hands on him. He didn't have to take him out. So is it necessary? Maybe. You may say it's not necessary, but it's not dirty.

COLIN COWHERD: Do you think it's dirty?

- And one last thing about the whole defenseless receiver thing, and all these rules, they're always put in to protect the offense. If a wide receiver cracks back on a DB or a linebacker, they would say that's a good block, that same hit.

TONY GONZALEZ: Not, not, not, not now.

- They would say that that's a--

TONY GONZALEZ: No.

- That they would say that that's a--

TONY GONZALEZ: No, that's a penalty now.

ERIC DAVIS: No, no, no, no, not as the play is going down the field.

- As an offensive player--

- They're still doing it.

TONY GONZALEZ: --if we were under the over route or whatever, and they throw it to the flat, and I come back-- and I used to just clean people up. I mean, they didn't see me coming, those linebackers, as they're chasing the guy to the flat. And I would clean them up. I can't do that anymore. That's illegal now.

ERIC DAVIS: Down outside the numbers, guys catch balls. I just saw it happen just last week, where someone catches a ball and then their running that--

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

TONY GONZALEZ: Well--

COLIN COWHERD: Or you think that's dirty?

JASON WHITLOCK: OK, let's go back to the question.

COLIN COWHERD: Do you think that's dirty?

- Absolutely that's a dirty play. Without a doubt, that's a dirty play. Is it legal? Yes, it's legal. But that's a dirty-- you were about to end-- you could end that young man's career. Anthony Sherman, who's probably, I don't know who he is. He's a fullback. He's probably been-- his dream is to be in the NFL. I have been hit like this, in the old school NFL, where I go to the flat, and they threw the corner, and the linebacker just came up and ripped me. I didn't see him coming. That stuff hurts. If you put me-- and I'm thinking to myself, I'm the most angriest time I've ever been in my life, on a football field, because I'm thinking to myself you selfish-- I'm not going to bleep it out. You selfish person. Where is the humanity? Like, we on the same team. We're supposed to be brothers, man. You know how hard we've worked to get here? And you're going to jeopardize my career like this?

- So for the play to get away from the-- when there's a play away from the ball that's--

ERIC DAVIS: That's why I say it's unnecessary. You don't have to hit a guy like that, and most guys don't do it. And there's a reason why a flag wasn't thrown, because it's legal.

- Erick, though, you would agree, they're trying to eliminate unnecessary hits.

ERIC DAVIS: Yes and I think if you can get it out, that's it. But that's what I'm saying, you're calling it dirty right now, and that's because of his reputation. If another player had done that, it would have been a hard it.

- We wouldn't even talk about a hard hit.

- We wouldn't be talking about it.

- I don't blame the league for going after a Burfict. You're talking about a preseason game as well.

- That's not worth five games.

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