- Well, I think this is the ramifications of a $760 million lawsuit. You know, the target has moved from the chest area. Because you can start at the chest, but the offensive player, you know-- Shannon, if I went to hit you in the head, the first thing you do, you duck.
SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah.
- So I could be well-intentioned and hitting below the neck area. But the minute that he's going to take on a blow, the first thing he does is this. And once he does that and I go head to head, now we're talking about a 25-- second offense, $50,000 fine.
So now the target has moved. And even much more so for these tight ends. What'd you play at when you played tight end?
- OK, 228. These tight ends now are 250, 260 playing against defensive backs that are 200, 205, and they got to get them down.
And one thing we know for sure, you cannot run without legs. So what do we do? We take the legs. There's no fine for it. The NFL has pretty much said it's OK to hit guys on the legs. It's the unwritten rule among players, OK? But when you got a job to do to get somebody down and you're trying to make a team, you get him down any way you can get him down.
And to me, that's the big problem. The big problem is you make your living with your legs. And as players, we got to take care of each other. But when it comes to your legs or a $25,000 or $50,000, $100,000 fine, legs are going bye-bye, because you've got to go down.
- Yep, Shannon, there you go.
- But he's-- what'd he say? It's an unwritten rule.
- See, Skip like to-- he like to operate in a vacuum. OK, legal. So everything's OK. That's not how it works, Skip.
It can be-- this was a perfectly legal play. But it was a dirty play, because he was in a vulnerable position and you hit the guy in his knees. And I know most guys would tell you, hit me in my neck and ears. Don't hit me in my knees.
- But at the end of the day, you've-- the NFL basically said it's OK to do this.
SHANNON SHARPE: Yes.
- And that within itself is problematic. Because--
SHANNON SHARPE: Your legs don't matter, but the quarterback's does.
- Oh, my god, man. Now you're really preaching. See, because it's OK to chop guys down like this in the open field. But god forbid if you get close to the quarterback and you lose your balance and you hit him on his shin, 15 yards.
SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, because we've seen Tom Brady, what you call it, swiped at his leg. T-Sizzle swiped at his leg. And he look at him going, you're not going to throw a flag. And the referee [INAUDIBLE] right here.
- Who's more valuable to the product that the NFL puts on the field?
- I don't care!
- Yes, you do care. You know.
- Odell is valuable to his family.
- I have a problem with that, Skip. Because you know what? At the end of the day, you're-- the NFL's telling me that the quarterback's knees are more important than my knees, OK? If that's the case, if you want us to stay off a quarterback's legs, then as a linebacker, when I come in and I'm rushing the pass and you got these little running backs that can't-- I got outweighed by 15, 20 pounds.
- A receiver has a much better shot at protecting himself than a quarterback does.
- Oh, no he doesn't.
- No, he doesn't.
- Yes, he does. A quarterback has to read 15 things at once. He's not even looking.
SETH JOYNER: Odell couldn't even see where he was yesterday.
- Yes, he does. As he's running his route, you're scoping. You knew exactly where the safety was and the corner was.
- But I'm vulnerable Skip, because I'm up in the air.
SKIP BAYLESS: How often do we see you be that vulnerable? How often were you that vulnerable in a game? Probably not that many times.
- A lot of times.
- It doesn't happen.
- It doesn't happen that much. We don't see that many knee injuries happen that way. We just don't.
And I agree, that was a dangerous play, because he was planted and got hit to the side just below his knee and into the--
SHANNON SHARPE: What happened?
- --into his calf.
SHANNON SHARPE: How did Gronk injure his knee?
SKIP BAYLESS: Which one?
SETH JOYNER: Same way.
SKIP BAYLESS: It was the same thing.
SETH JOYNER: [INAUDIBLE]
- In the open field, the guy from Cleveland-- another guy from Cleveland chopped him down.
- Yep. OK, well, all right. But you can't show me that many, because there haven't been that many. There have not been.
- Well, how many quarterbacks have torn their knee throwing from the pocket? Trent Green and Tom Brady. That's two in the last 15 years.
- That's two too many.
- Well, it is! Those are two--
- Hey, Skip--
- --you can't do it.
- --look at--
- You can't do it.
- --I want you to look at that picture right there.
- Now, where is Odell Beckham's eyes? You telling me he saw that? He had no clue.
- He saw it. He saw where they were.
- He had no clue it was coming.
- He had an idea.
- Yeah, but he couldn't protect himself.
- The quarterback can't see anything, except he's trying to read four routes at once.
SHANNON SHARPE: He know where they coming from. You say Tyler and Tom Brady.
SKIP BAYLESS: He senses.
- You say Tom Brady was a spider, he got eight eyes. So he know where everybody's coming from.
SKIP BAYLESS: Indeed.
- He know where the defense is.
- He's simply the best quarterback ever.
- OK, so he should have no problem.
- But there are times when he is completely vulnerable. He's reading, trying to throw an accurate pass. Odell can at least scope it out and say, uh-oh, I'm going to be in some-- did you see what Brandon Marshall did the other night? He just completely short-armed a ball, because he saw the safety coming. He says, it's preseason. I think I'm not going to try.
- Shannon, this is the occupational hazard that football is, OK? Everybody knows that when you play the game that these type of injuries may occur. I just don't like the message that the quarterback's knees are more important than my knees. Because at the end-- when it's all said and done--
SKIP BAYLESS: Seth, it is.
- --I've got a career.
SETH JOYNER: OK?
- Oh, my.
SETH JOYNER: But it just is. Well, you're going to have to accept the message, because he's way more valuable than the position you play.
- Maybe. But he's not-- my knees are more valuable to me than his are to him.
- OK, that's your point.
- But in the end, you can't legislate that you have to protect the neck until DBs or any defensive player, linebackers, that you have to, when in doubt, go low, and then say, oh, you can't go that low. What's left?
SHANNON SHARPE: But hold on, Skip. You protect the quarterback's head and shoulder area. You protect the quarterback's knees. So basically, all you can hit is what you see, the 13, or in Tom Brady's case, the 12.
- Now, you tell me what Tom-- look in his eyes.
- Hey, he's by far the most valuable player on the field. He's the most valuable player in sports, that position is.
SHANNON SHARPE: Well, Odell Beckham is the most valuable player on the Giants. So he should get the same protection afforded to him as Tom Brady.
SETH JOYNER: That's the Giants' problem.
- I don't care whose problem it is.
- It is.
SHANNON SHARPE: It's the NFL problem. They need to protect that man.
- No, it is not.
SETH JOYNER: And it's just-- look, what are you going to say, you have to hit in the midsection? You got to wrap around the waist?
- That's what you're telling me.
- Then next you'll say, you know what? Kidneys are in jeopardy when you hit people with your helmet in the midsection. And kidneys, you don't want to wind up on dialysis, do you?
SHANNON SHARPE: Well, then why can't I put my helmet in the quarterback's back?
SETH JOYNER: Well, you can.
- No, you can't. You can't lead with your head.
- You can still do a lot of things.
- No, you can't.
- You can too. You could actually follow through on the quarterback like they did on Cutler the other night, number-- who's number 90 for Baltimore just drove him in the turf. You can follow completely through and fall on his shoulder. That's terrible!
- But that's Jay Cutler. Tom Brady'd been crying. He'd been looking at the referee [INAUDIBLE] right here.
SETH JOYNER: See, if Jay was smart, Jay would have turned.
ANNOUNCER 2: Brought to you by Straight Talk Wireless.