NEW YORK (December 5, 2012) – Former NFL safety and six-time All-Pro selection Darren Sharper joins this week’s episode of INSIDE THE NFL alongside James Brown, Phil Simms and Cris Collinsworth to discuss this week’s NFL news topics including their thoughts on the tragedy in Kansas City. The episode premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
INSIDE THE NFL, now in its 34th season, airs every Wednesday night through the NFL season on SHOWTIME, with multiple replays each week on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME EXTREME® and availability on SHOWTIME On Demand.
INSIDE THE NFL is produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films. The executive producers are Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports, and NFL Films. Pete Radovich Jr., the Emmy Award-winning Creative Director for CBS Sports, serves as coordinating producer.
Following are excerpts from this week’s episode:
On the cold post-game handshake between Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh…
SHARPER: Yes, there is definitely something going on because there is bad blood between these two coaches. You think about the fact that the teams do not like each other so that carries over to the coaches because they are the ones preaching to the team before the games. Before this game there was a little bit of an incident in which Coach Harbaugh had some comments after they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers when he knew the camera was on too… Coach Tomlin, like all coaches do, they watch everything. They read the papers. They try to say they don’t. They read papers and they look at television. And he thinks that was a message towards his team.
BROWN: Are you speculating this?
SHARPER: No, I know this for sure. I talked to Mike and after the game I asked him about the handshake and he said that there is some bad blood there and he did not appreciate what Coach Harbaugh said post-game after the first victory.
On the severity of the fines occurring in the NFL…
COLLINSWORTH: I’ve never felt sorry for a defensive player in my life. I just haven’t. It wasn’t my nature. I just haven’t. But I do now. I think there are two particular instances. One is when a defensive lineman is coming after a quarterback and he goes up to try and block the pass and then the pass gets over his head. Now his hands have got to come down, and they hit the head of the quarterback. A lot of times not hard… And the other one is the same situation for a defensive back. When a receiver is coming across the field, the defensive back is going to try to go for the ball. At some point he is going to realize, ‘I can’t get the ball. Now I’ve got to go to the player which means I’ve got to come down and get him.’ And that is where a lot of the blows to the head and the helmet-to-helmet stuff comes (into play). I don’t think without intent there really should be any fines. And right now, we’re seeing a lot of accidents being fined.
On whether or not Ed Reed should have been fined…
SHARPER: No, he should not have been fined because his initial focus was to try to knock that football out. As he is coming down, the receiver is catching the ball, he is thinking, ‘Okay, I have the chance to get the football, I get there when the ball is caught. Now let me try to draw this ball out.’ All of the sudden the receiver turns around and it is helmet-to-helmet contact. The thing about it, the game is going too fast to be able to change your target point when you are trying to tackle a guy. You are always trying to say, ‘Okay, if I go after a player high I’m going to get fined.’ The next thing you are going to do is start hitting him low. So now there are two people who might get hurt because you might end the guy’s career and also you are putting yourself at risk because you are lowering your head trying to hit a guy. You’re caught in limbo. It’s a Catch-22 because you don’t know how to attack the guy and this is what Ed Reed is talking about. When he first got into the league and he hit guys, he wasn’t getting fined. Now all of the sudden, they are trying to fine him for ways he is playing now.
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