Bengals News

New England Patriots: Was Tom Brady’s Slide a Dirty Play?

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In an interview with Baltimore’s WJZ radio, Ed Reed had the following to say on Brady’s slide.

"We talked actually not too long ago; we talked on the phone. He actually reached out to me, texted me. I tried to text him back, but the message exploded after 12 seconds, so I had to call him … and he just apologized and whatnot. But I told him, ‘You know, it’s good, man.’"

Reed seems to have forgiven him, but will Tom Brady be fined?

‘Will’ is a question that really can’t be answered until the NFL reviews it. It is currently under investigation.

However, we can speculate this question. Should he be fined? Was the play dirty?

After watching the slide happen in real time over again, I would say that the quarterback shouldn’t be punished for his actions.

It was a case where Brady was obviously rushed, and was a very spur-of-the-moment incident that seems without any malicious intent. That, as well as the fact that Brady is hardly used to sliding. It’s almost like sliding into second base after you haven’t done it in a year.

“Did I do that right, coach?”

Brady’s leg may have kicked up, but as no injury was caused, I would be surprised if a fine or any other punishment was handed to the elite passer for the Patriots.

While in slow-motion, anyone could make the argument that Brady made the attempt to block Ed Reed’s path by raising his leg.

But the game doesn’t happen in slow-motion. Fans watch the television and even the game in person, and catch the plays as they happen. We can even see the plays develop before our eyes far better than many of the players themselves. Especially from an aerial view.

When the players on the field are playing the game as quick as it is, you are always relying on instincts as a player. You do what you feel at that moment to be the best course of action.

A defensive player isn’t always rightfully labeled a ‘dirty’ player for a helmet-to-helmet hit.  They may be fined, but that’s because the league is trying their best to promote player safety.

It’s not like the defender trying to make the tackle thinks to himself, “I think I should lower my head a little bit, in case that receiver turns that way after he catches it.  That way I won’t hit his helmet.”

If the defender took the time to make that adjustment, we wouldn’t have what we know as the sport of football.

The same with an offensive player. In a breakdown of protection, Brady did what his instinct told him to do. In the moment, his leg just happened to be a little higher than what we expect of a slide.

He may be fined for it, but I don’t think it was a dirty slide.

And you know, I’d be pretty freaked out if I had Ed Reed charging at me too.

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