Ahmad Brooks: Penalty call was ‘bulls—‘
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was flagged for a personal foul in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints that may have cost his team the game. Brooks fired off the edge on 3rd and 2 and had a clean shot at Drew Brees, but he was called for roughing the passer when he hit Brees around the neck area.
As you can see from this slow motion replay, the hit was pretty brutal. However, you could make the argument that Brooks hit Brees in the chest and only made direct contact with the head and neck area as Brees was falling to the ground. Brooks certainly felt that was the case.
“I didn’t hit him with my hand or my helmet,” the veteran linebacker said, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I basically bear-hugged him. That’s just how football is played. I think this s— is bull—-. Football, the way they call stuff these days, it’s watered down. It ain’t real no more.”
The hit was one that comes down to a judgment call from the official in real speed. It’s easy to argue that the wrong call was made when you play it back in super slow motion, but the officials don’t have that luxury on that type of play. As a result, they are going to focus on protecting the quarterback nine times out of 10.
“It was at home. It was Drew Brees,” Brooks added. “And maybe the officials were for the New Orleans Saints a little bit more than the 49ers. I think it’s B.S., man.”
Again, I think it was more about protecting a player than favoring the home team. The league has placed an emphasis on avoiding head shots and dangerous hits. Anything resembling one typically draws a flag.