Posted November 28, 2012

Ndamukong Suh fined $30K in wishy-washy decision by NFL

Detroit Lions, Houston Texans

Intentional or not, Ndamukong Suh’s kick left Matt Schaub in a lot of pain. (Paul Sancya/AP)

If the NFL truly had cause to believe that Ndamukong Suh purposely kicked Texans QB Matt Schaub in the groin last Thursday, there is no doubt that Suh would have drawn a suspension. Given Suh’s past history — he was suspended two games for stomping on Evan Dietrich-Smith last Thanksgiving — and his dubious reputation, the league would not have granted Detroit’s DT leniency if proof was there.

But Suh reiterated Wednesday that as he “was being dragged to the ground,” his foot “inadvertently hit the man.”

And the replay of the incident doesn’t seem to offer much clear-cut evidence. Suh’s leg seemed to whip around a bit and he did land a direct hit on Schaub, but Suh also appears to be looking directly into the ground as that occurs.

The NFL reviewed the incident and opted to fine Suh $30,000, a cop-out decision that both labels Suh as guilty and hints that the league is as unsure as the rest of us about what occurred.

“Any time you see a play like that, you want to say, ‘Why did it happen?’” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, according to the Detroit Free Press‘ Dave Birkett. “It’s hard for us to be able to determine that just from video. Those are the things that sometimes you have to talk to Ndamukong in this case, or the player, but intent is something that’s very difficult for us to ever try to make a judgment on.”

So, instead of getting to the bottom of the matter, the NFL adopted an appeasement policy — the Lions maintained that Suh was innocent, the Texans (and their fans) wanted Suh punished. The league responded by handing out the equivalent of a double-minor penalty in hockey, the $30K fine indicating that Suh did something wrong … but nothing so wrong that the NFL could deem it done on purpose.

But it didn’t feel like there was much middle ground here, especially with the controversial Suh being the player in question. Either it was an intentionally dirty play or it was not. For the record, there was no flag issued on the play (or on a second Suh-Schaub incident later, when Suh bent Schaub awkwardly to the turf while pressuring the QB).

NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson seemed to tip the NFL’s hand toward a potential Suh suspension on the day after the game, during a spot on The Dan Patrick Show:

“It appeared to be a little out of the ordinary, let’s just say,” Anderson said. “It didn’t appear to be a natural football move, but we’ll withhold judgment until we see all the angles.”

“Certainly, we have to go on a player’s history,” Anderson said. “That will certainly factor into our thinking. . . . If you’re a repeat offender you really aren’t entitled to the benefit of the doubt.”

Argue, if you will, Anderson’s decision to speak so publicly about the incident prior to the league talking with Suh, but it seemed clear at that time that Suh was headed for a substantial punishment. A $30,000 fine is nothing to sneeze at, of course — Suh’s base salary this season is just $540K, thanks to a contract restructuring he allowed in the summer to help the Lions’ cap situation.

The NFL, though, has had a couple of punishments shot down on appeal in just the past few days: Ed Reed’s one-game suspension for repeated violations of rules protecting defenseless players was overturned, as was Kenny Phillips $30K fine for a hit on Vincent Jackson.

Suh may appeal, too — and could stand a chance to win, since the NFL’s punishment evidently was based on the appearance of an indiscretion rather than definitive affirmation.

Will either side, the Lions or the Texans, be satisfied with Suh’s punishment here? Probably not, since the NFL mistakenly attempted to straddle the fence with this ruling.

70 comments
AaronSteigmeyer
AaronSteigmeyer

well the least the NFL could do is credit suh with a sack

willrwills
willrwills

@Howard H - that's retarded.  These guys are professionals who are paid a lot of money to play a dangerous sport that sometimes can hide side effects until much later in life.  There's nothing strong about Suh stomping on people and attempting to hurt people not thru the normal play of the game. Suh has emotional (or worse) problems and needs to be dealt with.

Howard H
Howard H

So soft, American football is so damn soft for a supposed contact sport. A little stamp and he missed a game a clearly accidental collision and he gets fined 30k, all those pads and helmets and you can't even touch certain players! Kickers and pretty much quarterbacks these days. It's meant to be a mans game, let them play. if these fined existed in rugby everyone would be broke and there'd be about 5 players left on each team come game day.

Sriram
Sriram

This is ridiculous . So anyone can pay 30 k and kick the groin of another player specifically a quarter back?

JesurunPerry
JesurunPerry

You people are all idiots, there is no telling whether he intentionally kicked or not but one thing is for sure, if the NFL can't conclude its intentional enough to suspend him, how can they justify fining him 30,000? oh thats right because they dont really give a flying F about player safety all they care about is money, and the only reason why they make such a big deal out of incidents is to get more money!!!! Im not saying Suh is completely innocent but they are definiteatly targeting Suh with camera's just to catch of glimpse of something that they may consider dirty!!! Underneath those lineman piles I gaurantee there is pinching, grabbing, kicking and whatever else that you just dont see because they aren't fixated on it replay after replay after replay!!!! 

 

P.S. Does it really make any of you any better people judging another person so intensly? Saying comments like he should be beaten with helmets and should have his ass kicked?????

amcbeagle
amcbeagle

Who said it takes balls to be a football player?

JimParker
JimParker

Suh is a very well coordinated man. He knew exactly where his foot was, and he just gave Cutler a little crotch kick. Guys like that are always doing little "incidental" things, like dragging a foot over a downed player's face, etc. It's a bully mentality that fines won't cure. It will take a game suspension to get his attention. Losing a game check will definitely make Suh a more polite individual.

DonaldBurke
DonaldBurke

Using the NFL's own rules, if they sent this one to video review there wouldn't be enough to overturn the ruling on that the field, which was no flag.  But then again, video review comes back with the answer we don't expect more than half the time.

JenCounter
JenCounter

I know that if I was a member of the Lions in any way, shape, or form I would be embarrassed to be a part of the team because of him. He needs to be kicked in the groin himself without a cup and have his arm be stepped on with steel cleats rather than the plastic ones. And just for fun he should be run down by some linebackers from both the Texans and the Packers. Only losers play dirty like he does. And $30,000 for the fine? That's a joke. 

JudHanson
JudHanson

Looks to me like there was a double-pump of Suh's leg as he was going down. It is a little questionable, however, so I think the fine was a good decision.

SusanBarth
SusanBarth

I wish somebody would inflict bodily harm on Suh and knock him out for the season.

Joe48
Joe48

If you watch his foot at the end of the kick it sure looks as if he is stretching to make contact.

This guy should miss a few games for this.

a99ies
a99ies

I agree with most of you, there should have been a suspension.  Schaub should sit for at LEAST on game.  Jumping on Suh's ankle, with his groin, could have broken Suh's foot or caused nerve injury.  Not even a Chop Block was called.  Suh was engaged with the lineman when Schaub blindsided him.  Shame... 

kyleglasscoe
kyleglasscoe

schaub should have taken his own helmet off and beat that fat a s s with it.. i would love to see someone clip suh at about the knees and end his career

MarcDunn
MarcDunn

he all ready has a track record so anything done on purpose or by accident  is going to bring attention

TomSt
TomSt

"I'm Donkey Kong Sue" is a thug on 'roids. When he paralyzes someone, they'll kick his ass out of the league. Too little, too late. Get that useless sack off the field BEFORE he ruins someone's life. 

Frank10
Frank10

I must  say that it looks suspicious, but just like a still picture its hard to say.. still photos are not the way people make them to be.. the vid that Ive watched from different angles was suspicious, but not a definite no or yes..

dhustleman
dhustleman

Suh putting your FOOT on somones BALLS is not Football! Idiot!!!

VSM7777
VSM7777

that was a intentional as it gets especially for a roid rage like him

KeithGrant
KeithGrant

Heck, If I got 30k for every time I got kicked in the nuts. I would have at lest 150k by now. And that's representative of the amount of surgery's from getting kicked in the nuts....... ................................................. TRUTH 

 

 

labman57
labman57

Suh was clearly going for the ball.....s

VictorMadrigal
VictorMadrigal

He needs to be suspended permanently from the NFL. No one wants a poor sport like that around. Matt should have filed assault charges against Suh. Maybe he'd get the message that his childish behavior isn't alright.

DanConvery
DanConvery

NEWS FLASH!!!! Matt Schaub wins the Academy Award for "Best Actor on a Football Field!"

JeremyLingo
JeremyLingo

How is this even a question? If he was falling and his leg just whipped into Schaub then it would be a fairly straight line, but, you can see that his foot changes from being whipped to being kicked....Check out the :10 second mark of the attached video.....absolutely shameless.

DanConvery
DanConvery

This is Professional Football, people. Someone gets hit SOMEWHERE on EVERY play. Get over it. Time to move on. Geesh.

elhamb3166
elhamb3166

A chump-change fine will not solve the Suh problem.  This guy has serious issues and needs to get professional help before he goes round the bend and injures someone badly either on or off the field.

 

I cannot understand people that have immense potential but choose to be arseholes.  

 

 

BY
BY

This decision reminds me of something that dropped off the north end of a south-bound cow. He kicked

Schaub intentionally. His leg starts back and then he just kicks it forward, all while falling on the turf. Is TroyChupp actually advocating this kind of play? I'm guessing you did not play a lot of football.

DavidWolf
DavidWolf

I don't care if he was just waving his foot around in an attempt to hit "anybody" who it managed to contact. that alone is still unacceptable and given his past he should have been punished for it.  $30,000 is a joke! He's got a contract worth up to $68million. that'd be like fining a guy who makes $50k a year $2.20!  NFL wants to act high and mighty and pro-safety on Vilma and others...then lets Suh get away with it?  Ridiculous.

PaulMitchell
PaulMitchell

dumb as you come sue and ed reed are the dirtiest players in the nfl.

JamieBreslow
JamieBreslow

Look at the guy next to you for a few seconds...then fall down towards your right elbow. Now take a quick look once more as the gravity of the fall takes your whole torso down. Your leg knows exactly where it is, and that foot has a pretty good idea where to head. You really don't think he had any idea what he was doing when he extended his foot? If it was a true fall why would the foot be extended in any case? It's an obvious attempt at a cheap shot...now, maybe he can only hit that 6 out of 10 times, but he got it.

 

dallascowboy082
dallascowboy082

As much as I dont like Suh, the NFL should be fined for its stupidity!

TroyChupp
TroyChupp

image that, a football player playing like a FOOTBALL PLAYER....???  The quarterback should be fined for flopping!

MichelBartolone
MichelBartolone

 @JimParker 

Even a suspension will not make him more polite. Didn't he get suspended last year?

As for the little crotch kick...if you watch carefully there is even a second effort on his part.

If they really wanted to stop things like this they'd ban a player or two from the league. There

are plenty of big strong athletic guys out there that COULD replace Suh.

 

Krew
Krew

 @JoshEgler

 fumed more "than" anything...edit your copy before sending to print Mr. Journalist

mikethompson77
mikethompson77

 @JeremyLingo AGREE!  Not only is there the change in foot direction you mention RIGHT , but you can see him glance to his left ever so slightly - there's a helmet shift AT Schaub out of Suh's periphery, and then immediately back AWAY. Get him out of the league.  He doesn't play with integrity.

kyleglasscoe
kyleglasscoe

 @DanConvery dan, go away.. go talk about golf or hockey cuz you obviously dont know much about football.. and no, a player doesnt get kicked in the jewels every play.. dum a s s

Mike26
Mike26

 @DanConvery Coming from the lifelong football videographer, your comments don't hold much credibility.

Mike Davis
Mike Davis

 @PaulMitchell How can you read an article and misspell someone's names directly below it? Talk about "dumb as you."

DanConvery
DanConvery

 @FlyersFan17 Maybe Schaub should have been wearing a cup. If he wasn't, he's an idiot. If he was...hand him that "Best Actor Award." How many times do you think players get kicked in the nuts during the course of a football game? How many of them go writhing in pain after getting hit? Maybe Schaub is in the wrong business.

DanConvery
DanConvery

 @kyleglasscoe What? Go away? And miss out on having an intelligent conversation like we're having? I didn't say a player gets kicked in the jewels every play. I said, "People get whacked in unusual places...on EVERY play." There are other places they get hit besides the jewels. By the way, it's "dumbass" not dum a s s. Numbnuts!

 

The main gist of the original article was whether or not the NFL made a wishy-washy decision on the Suh incident. I think they did...they needed to go with a suspension OR drop it all-together. The fine was the chicken-sh$t way out. All of this other trivial crap being brought up in the comments is useless. I'm done.

 

DanConvery
DanConvery

 @Mike26 Huh? What's that got to do with what I said? "Someone gets hit SOMEWHERE on EVERY play." Let's see video of the NEXT play and see who gets tackled and falls down on his butt. Oh...and then let's see the NEXT play, too. I'll betcha someone else gets tackled. In fact, I'll betcha quite a few guys get tackled. Like I said...."This is Professional FOOTBALL." People get tackled. People get whacked in unusual places...on EVERY play. They are just zeroing in on Suh because of something he did LAST YEAR. Yeah, I know, his peers voted him the dirtiest player in the NFL. That's great. That's probably true. BUT NOT ON THIS PLAY.

Dman33
Dman33

 @nfinitwordsfoto  @TroyChupp Last I checked, football players wear these things called 'cups' which are protective equipment designed specifically to protect the genital area of male athletes.  Moron.

Besides, Suh's toe barely made contact and Schaub went down like an Italian soccer player.  Maybe Schaub should be fined for either flopping or an equipment violation??

 

And admit it, if this were any other defensive tackle in the NFL, there would be no fine, no media, nothing.  Why?  Because it is a non-issue, that's why.  By the way, please name one instance where Suh was deemed guilty of a misconduct that resulted in injury.

HorizontalGophers
HorizontalGophers

 @DanConvery  @HorizontalGophers  @FlyersFan17 The article states clearly pro footballers haven't worn cups since about 1999- so - you've called them ALL idiots. Most people that get their head handed to them for dumb statements usually do retreat to the safety of anonymity. That 6 year old article states that the last Philly Eagle to wear one was 1999. Another way to look at it is they haven't worn them for the last 13 years - yet you didn't know. What difference does the year of authorship matter? The point being is you're seriously out of touch on a subject you claim otherwise. I'd retreat like the French too. 

WR2

DanConvery
DanConvery

 @HorizontalGophers  @FlyersFan17 You ask, "Tell me who's the idiot exactly?" According to the 6-YEAR-OLD article you referred me to, it infers that the players don't wear cups because it slows them down. It deters their ability to run. That's fine. I can probably agree with that.

 

Then there's Matt Schaub. He's in his 9th year. Career-wise he has 172 rushes for 322 yards. That's an average of 1.9 yards per rush. YTD he has 15 rushing attempts for -13 yards. His longest run THIS YEAR is 2 yards.

 

Perhaps wearing a cup DOESN'T really deter HIS ability to run. I would venture to say that having 15 rushes for minus yardage this year...he has been sacked quite a bit. I don't think that cup would have slowed him down on that huge 2-yard rush. Maybe it would hinder his scrambling...which it seems he does a lot!

 

Since he is not the team's star rusher and is prone to get pounced on quite a bit behind the line by guys that are bigger and faster than he is, he probably should be the one member of the team with the cup. If the team's "big boys" want to laugh at him...so be it. You only get get one set of jewels per lifetime.

 

Yes...he is the idiot. I'm done with this conversation. Take care.

GelCool
GelCool

 @Wayne Newman  @Dman33  @nfinitwordsfoto  @TroyChupp Most of the NFL linemen I work with do not wear cups.  I am neutral about the two teams and strongly agree with the posters who saw the clear positioning of the leg, then extension of the foot.  It is a rough game, but we have to draw the line somewhere - that is over the line.