Willie McGinest on Kiko Alonso’s hit on Joe Flacco: ‘You have to finish the play’

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Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, Willie McGinest and Eric Mangini react to Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kiko Alonso's hit on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

COLIN COWHERD: All right, Whitlock, should the NFL discipline the Dolphins for their "dirty play."

JASON WHITLOCK: 1,000 percent. I listened to you on the radio today.

COLIN COWHERD: Pretty good, wasn't it?

JASON WHITLOCK: Disappointed. I was very disappointed. That was a dirty hit. And, Willie, I hope you don't get mad at me.


JASON WHITLOCK: I'm fat and out of shape. Don't slap me. But that was a dirty hit, and it was a pre-game decision that--

WILLIE MCGINEST: Pre-game decision?

JASON WHITLOCK: --that we're attacking the quarterback.


JASON WHITLOCK: The man slid. There's no reason to do that. That play is being eliminated from football. He needs to be suspended for a game.


COLIN COWHERD: Cam, 6'6", Flacco 6'6", Big Ben, 6'6". Been talking about this for weeks. They're awful sliders. They slide a second late, their torso is available, you're asking an aggressive linebacker-- you know, they have rights too on defense. They don't get marketed.

JASON WHITLOCK: Not those anymore.

COLIN COWHERD: They don't get marketed. They don't get promoted. By the way, top 10 jersey sales came out. All sorts of diversity. Did you see this? White player, black player, big school, small market, big market. You know what you don't see on that list? One defensive player. So I work as hard as you do. I don't get marketed, promoted, paid. You're taking all the rules away.

JASON WHITLOCK: So I get to hit you dirty?

COLIN COWHERD: Yeah, you know what? By the way, you know what? I can get a shoe deal off being a bad ass. That hit, he's going to be a "Ballers" next week. You don't think defensive players have rights too? None?

JASON WHITLOCK: Not anymore.

COLIN COWHERD: OK, well, there's your rights. I'll be on Showtime next week. I'll be on HBO. That's what defensive players want.

WILLIE MCGINEST: When you was my defensive coordinator and my defensive back coach, what did you always tell us about the play? Finish what?

ERIC MANGINI: Finish the play.

WILLIE MCGINEST: Finish the play. He was my coach in New England. Finish the play. There are milliseconds between each play. And that was a millisecond, and I'm glad that a quarterback last night, on our air at the NFL Network, David Carr said, Joe Flacco did not get down fast enough. He tried to get the first down. And when you watch that play, you'll see the first down marker.


WILLIE MCGINEST: He was gunning for that first down marker. He could have gotten down maybe two or three yards prior, like Russell Wilson, like some of these other really good quarterbacks. They are not gonna take the hit. When you leave it up to the linebacker, and you get that close, he is not going to pull up. There is no way. I played the position, and, yes, the quarterback is the prize. When he takes off and he runs, our eyes light up, the hair on the back of our neck raise because he is the prize. If you affect him, you affect the entire offense.

COLIN COWHERD: By the way, all the rules in the pocket are designed to protect Flacco. Now he just left the pocket.

JASON WHITLOCK: So why are we playing without Aaron Rodgers?

ERIC MANGINI: But look, when I watched in live, I thought--

WILLIE MCGINEST: That wasn't a dirty hit, though.

ERIC MANGINI: I didn't think--

WILLIE MCGINEST: That was one of the cleanest hits. He actually took it easy on Aaron.

ERIC MANGINI: But watching it live, I thought, OK, he's not going down. He's not going. And then--

COLIN COWHERD: That's what I thought.

ERIC MANGINI: He's trying to get the first down. He's going to stay up. And when the hit happened, yeah, you don't want to see that happen to a quarterback.

WILLIE MCGINEST: He got caught in between.

ERIC MANGINI: Yeah, he got caught in between. He didn't know whether he wanted to continue to go to the first down or slide at that point. And this is what happened.

COLIN COWHERD: By they way, coach, we're watching in frame by frame.

JASON WHITLOCK: I saw it live.

COLIN COWHERD: OK, let's show it at full speed. It is bang-bang.

ERIC MANGINI: I saw it life and thought he was staying up.

JASON WHITLOCK: You're a defensive coordinator, Eric.

COLIN COWHERD: Well, what's wrong with that? Can't they get paid, too?

JASON WHITLOCK: Kill the head of the snake.

COLIN COWHERD: He gets to eat, too.

JASON WHITLOCK: He's a defensive coordinator.

ERIC MANGINI: You can't lump everybody in the kill the head of the snake category.

COLIN COWHERD: Bang-bang. That's not even half a second.

JASON WHITLOCK: Eric, said, look-- Willie already told us what Eric tells guys, finish the play.

ERIC MANGINI: That's what everybody says.

COLIN COWHERD: That's a good coach.

WILLIE MCGINEST: Everybody says that. But here's the thing.

JASON WHITLOCK: Difference is what he said, and what he meant.

WILLIE MCGINEST: But here's the problem with the quarterbacks and it's this play right here.

ERIC MANGINI: What I meant was finish the play. That's exactly what I meant.

WILLIE MCGINEST: Here's the problem, when you have quarterbacks, they'll play with you. They'll give you the head fake like they're about to go down, and they keep running, and they embarrass you.

JASON WHITLOCK: Flacco. Flacco.

WILLIE MCGINEST: They embarrass you. All these quarterbacks do it. They embarrass you, and they keep running. And then in the meetings, or on the sideline, our coaches get in us about, why didn't you finish the play? I thought he was going to slide. Don't think. Play. React. Now, when he gives himself up, and he's about from me to Eric, I know he's going down. I'm going to go up, and I'm gonna touch him. When it's from here to here, I'm finishing the play. And that's what it was. When you watch this play, he was undecided whether he was going to go down play or continue.

COLIN COWHERD: Ever been on a freeway and you see a motorcycle? It's legal, but--

WILLIE MCGINEST: They go in between the cars?

COLIN COWHERD: --the 405 is for cars. If you want to get on the motorcycle, that's a physical risk. That pocket, you're a quarterback, that pocket's designed for you. That's your child's safety seat. You take the strap off, and you're roll outside, that's not your territory. That's linebacker's territory. Even the rules change on where you can hit a quarterback.

JASON WHITLOCK: Listen, I agree, in theory, on what you're talking about. But where the NFL is today, and what they want for their quarterbacks, and what they want for their television show, is to eliminate those kind of hits. And that's why I would suspend this dude for a game, and I would heavily fine--

WILLIE MCGINEST: The refs could eject him.

JASON WHITLOCK: The refs blew it.

WILLIE MCGINEST: But New York could have called down, as well, when they called the flag, if they thought that was the case. Now, he probably will get fined because there was a flag and we're making a big deal out of it, and Flacco left the game, and all those other different things. But now, the call comes from New York, so it's not just the referees. You have a committee. You have a committee that can make that decision, and they didn't do it.

COLIN COWHERD: It was too bang-bang.

ERIC MANGINI: And when he stood up, an offensive lineman came through and de-cleated him.

JASON WHITLOCK: As well they should have. As well they should have.

ERIC MANGINI: But nobody said-- no.