Ray Lewis was one of the most vocal critics of the penalty called on Ahmad Brooks that changed the San Francisco 49ers-New Orleans Saints game on Sunday.
The former two-time Super Bowl-winning linebacker took the league to task for calling a personal foul penalty on Brooks for his hit on Drew Brees. He called it the most embarrassing call in the league since the Tuck Rule and even offered to pay half the amount if Brooks is fined.
“This is the most embarrassing call in the National Football League since the Tuck Rule and Tom Brady,” Lewis said on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” before the Carolina Panthers-New England Patriots game. “I’m serious. I’ve just never seen this type of insult to defenders.
“When you do your job, when you make the perfect play, if he takes the same hit and hits a quarterback like Peyton Manning who’s 6’4″-6’5″, he hits him in his chest area … Drew Brees is 6-foot or shorter. When you look at the hit, Ahmad Brooks took the hit and hit him exactly where he’s supposed to hit him. Drew Brees’ neck slid down to that man’s arm. For that to be a flag is embarrassing.
“The second part that’s embarrassing about this is for Drew Brees to say ‘I got hit so hard I knew it had to be a flag.’ This is the National Football League! I don’t understand what that means! When you get hit like that from the blind side, it’s supposed to hurt,” exclaimed Lewis.
[Replay: See the Ahmad Brooks hit on Drew Brees]
“But I’ll tell you this: if they fine this kid, I’m going to do something personally — I’m going to pay half. I’m going to pay half his fine. Because of one reason — defenders have to be respected as men before anything else. They’re men. They have kids, they have families. You have to treat everybody fair and everybody the same in this game.
“That man laid a clean hit and that cost the San Francisco 49ers a big football game and could cost them in the playoffs.”
What’s notable is that nobody else on the sit — including two former quarterbacks — disagreed with Lewis. Both Steve Young and Trent Dilfer said they didn’t think a penalty should have been called. Young said it’s to the point where if a hit looks bad, the referees will throw a flag.
Dilfer said of the penalty “I’m personally offended as a quarterback.
“This product is a worse product because they’re being hypersensitive to this billion-dollar issue,” Dilfer also noted.
Unsurprisingly, Brooks was vocal after the game, saying the penalty call was bulls–.
Previously: Here’s a look at the penalty called on BrooksGoogle+