The topic du jour in the National Football League is the announcement of rule changes regarding helmet-to-helmet hits stemming from the rash of concussions sustained this past weekend. One such guy to be knocked out was Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who was unnecessarily lit up by Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson. Jackson’s teammate, cornerback Ellis Hobbs, weighed in on the hit sustained by Jackson as well as the NFL’s declaration that it would be taking a tougher stanceon such plays moving forward. Excerpts from Hobb’s interview on WIP can be found below (via: SRI)
On whether or not this will change the way the game is played:
"I guess you play the game the same way you have always played it and let the chips fall where they may. I think to go out there and guard yourself and put caution out there may actually get you hurt worse than going out there and playing. It’s hard to go out there and play the game when they put such a severe penalty on you. On the other hand, it’s a violent sport and we all knew that from a young age. You just have to go out there and play the game."
On what he thought about [the hit on DeSean Jackson]:
"Here’s the disadvantage in looking at it like that. You’re talking about something that is happening in milliseconds. You’re slowing it down, you’re replaying it constantly and now you have the aspect of looking at it from all angles. Basically you’re telling everyone out there in TV land and reminding everyone of how bad this is. I think any human being and any person out there will tell you, I think (James) Harrison put a good point on it from the Steelers, you want to go out there and punish and hurt your opponent, but to sit there and do any permanent damage, you never want to do that. I don’t think Dunta Robinson had it in his mind to sit here and say I’m literally trying to kill this guy or knock him unconscious or something like that. Maybe so, but I personally don’t think that. I think he was just playing the game and if it was the other way around and DeSean had to hit him I think it would’ve been the same thing. We all know what we’re signing up for when we’re going out there."
On whether or not he will put a knockout hit on a receiver when he comes over the middle despite the new enforcement of the rule:
"Most definitely. My job is to go out there and make sure that guy doesn’t catch the ball, make sure I take the ball away, or make the tackle. My coach coaches me in the right direction. He doesn’t tell me anything that’s within the rule of dirty play, but we are taught to go out there and be a physical defense. The fans, the media, talk about that every day. Are you a physical defense or are you a weak defense? You’re only going to get that by going out there and getting the respect. How do you do that? You go out there, you hit hard, and you play the game violent."