Chicago Sun-Times

Was Ndamukong Suh's hit on Jay Cutler a dirty one?

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It looked like a takedown move straight out of the WWE. But it was just the Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh doing what he does and that's playing violently.

The massive defensive tackle with a nasty reputation grabbed Bears quarterback Jay Cutler by his left arm and shoulder and then drove him hard into the ground, bruising his ribs in the second quarter.

Cutler lay on the ground for a few moments, giving the Bears and their fans a huge scare just before Halloween. But he ran off on his own power, was later checked out in the locker room and returned for the second half.

But was Suh's hit on Cutler dirty?

It's debatable. You can see it either way.

"Not that I know," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "That's football. No one is trying to hurt anyone or anything like that out there. It was just a tough hard-nosed game. Suh's a good football player. He's playing hard, trying to win a game. I don't think so."

suhhit.jpgSuh definitely has the reputation of being a dirty player. After all, he was fined $15,000 for a hit on Cutler in 2010. But Suh maintained "it was simply a football play" and said he went back to check on Cutler. No penalties were called on the hit and the NFL said Tuesday it was a legal play.

"I couldn't control my momentum, especially at that high speed," Suh said. "I'm chasing him. He's running away from
me. My whole goal is to get the quarterback down and make a play and get us off the field for the next play."

Cutler said he thought it was a clean play. But Bears receiver Brandon Marshall didn't like seeing that happen to his quarterback. He took to Twitter after the game to voice his opinion.

"A Suh. What u did to Jay wasn't cool. Great players don't have to do that," Marshall tweeted.

Marshall added one more later.

"A Suh. Something I've learned and now passing down to you. Succeed with character," he tweeted.

On Tuesday, Marshall stood by his tweets. Marshall was on ESPN's "First Take" Tuesday morning and called Suh's slam of Cutler "dirty."

"Last night the leg whip that Ndamukong Suh placed on our quarterback Jay Cutler, that was dirty. That was dirty," Marshall said. "He can be one of the best D-tackles that ever done it, but he cannot do that that way. If you look at it, c'mon man, this is not wrestling. You don't leg whip and pound someone. You don't do that. That's not clean."

Cutler said he knew was in trouble once Suh grabbed him.

"At that point, I knew it wasn't going to end well," said Cutler, who will be re-examined this week.

(Image source: AP)

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10 Comments

Whiny LBs. Come on. Cutler had his throwing arm free. The only thing Suh could do was take him down the way he did. It was an awkward tackle. I don't think Suh even knew how awkward it was. Cutler's feet were the last thing to touch the ground. It was a good, vicious, legal and completely justified hit.

It was a perfectly clean hit. It is sad what this is coming to. Why not just make it official and apply flag-football rules to the NFL's QBs?

It was a dirty hit! He tried to bend Cutler's body over his knee. How is that a tackle? I've never seen anything like that before! Oh yes I have, from Charles Martin.

It was a boder line illegal hit. I'm not sure what the league rules are as far as leg sweeps and slams but Suh performed a pretty decent o soto gari, a Judo leg sweep. Whether he meant to or not who knows. But it creates way more momentum then a traditional tackle.

Make no mistake--Suh could have tackled Cutler differently but in this case it was meant to cause maximum damage. He landed with all his weight on Cutler, which is a weapon of Suh--A more athletic/less dirty player (such as Peppers) doesn't land full force and still makes the tackles.

Suh's day is coming: one day he will get leg whipped himself, and watch how loudly he cries foul. You reap what you sow--had this been the Butkus era he would have already felt the wrath of the Bears.

Yes it was dirty. He did not have to swing his own legs around Jay's body. It could have been a rib fracture or broken back. It was just like LT when he flung his knee across Joe T's leg and broke it. Dirty is to easy to get off on, intentionally attempting to maim is correct. If Jay would have fallen backward across the thigh of Suh, he could have cracked a rib or ruptured his spine.

Yes it was dirty. He did not have to swing his own legs around Jay's body. It could have been a rib fracture or broken back. It was just like LT when he flung his knee across Joe T's leg and broke it. Dirty is to easy to get off on, intentionally attempting to maim is correct. If Jay would have fallen backward across the thigh of Suh, he could have cracked a rib or ruptured his spine.

Also, there should be rules that you cannot leave your feet to take down a QB or unprotected receiver. Just like in Hockey, a player cannot leave his feet to hit a player.

Would you say it's all right to mix your sports? It's "legal"? So by that logic it's all right if one of these tacklers decides to us an MMA or boxing hit on a QB? Suh's move was a wrestling move, not a tackle. It was vicious, but the league has their head up their proverbial a__. Look at the photo where he's just grabbing Cutler - he's got one of Cutler's feet trapped while grabbing him at the shoulder using both arms. That's a wrestling move and not a football tackle. Cutler's lucky he didn't end up like Joe Theismann. But, hey, if you guys are okay with this kind of stuff, Halloween's coming up. Maybe we should just give them chainsaws and butcher knives.

I think the hit was excessive but legal. I do agree at least mostly with londonborn1965. It did look like he was trying to pound Cutler's back into his knee and thigh, which definitely would have been an intent to injure. Later he did hold back when he could have hit Cutler just after he released the ball. Gilt over the previous hit? Doubtful, but maybe.

Yeah, the hit was legal; but when someone like Suh comes along and beleves that NFL football is nothing but MMA with cleats, he's eventually going to get hurt.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on October 23, 2012 9:22 AM.

Bears QB Jay Cutler to be re-examined this week was the previous entry in this blog.

League spokesman says Ndamukong Suh hit was legal is the next entry in this blog.

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