Ahmad Brooks wins appeal for hit on Drew Brees, won’t be fined

Ahmad Brooks Drew Brees

Did the NFL admit it made a mistake by penalizing Ahmad Brooks for his hit on Drew Brees during a Week 11 contest between the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints? That’s still uncertain, but what we do know is that Brooks says he won his appeal of the $15,750 fine for the hit.

CSN Bay Area reports that Brooks told them he won his appeal and won’t be fined. That means neither Ray Lewis nor Tedy Bruschi will have to chip in to pay Brooks’ bill like they wanted to, not that the Niners linebacker would have allowed it.

Brooks sacked Brees on a 3rd-and-2 play with 3:11 left in the game and Patrick Willis recovered the ball, but Brooks was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. The Saints were allowed to maintain possession and got an automatic first down. They kicked a field goal to tie the game, then SF went 3-and-out, and the Saints kicked a field goal to win it 23-20 as time expired.

The call in the game was critical. San Francisco is currently a game behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC standings and hold a tiebreaker over them because they have a better division record. That means had they won that game, they would likely be the top seed in the NFC playoffs. With a loss, the Saints would be in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. They would be 9-6 and would miss the playoffs if the Arizona Cardinals beat the 49ers in Week 17.

Obviously we can’t go back and change the outcome of the game, but Brooks winning his appeal seems to be a sign that the NFL at least realized the hit wasn’t as bad as they made it out to be.

Ahmad Brooks: Robert Griffin III should not be playing right now

Santana-Moss-Robert-Griffin-that-dudeRobert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins looked pathetic in a 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. Griffin was hit almost every time he dropped back to pass and had very little time to throw. On the rare instances where he wasn’t drilled by a 49ers defender, RG3 looked uncomfortable and inaccurate. If you ask Niners linebacker Ahmad Brooks, Griffin shouldn’t have even been in the game.

“He’s obviously a man and he makes his own decisions, but I personally don’t feel he should be playing right now,” Brooks told reporters on Monday, according to CSNWashington.com’s JP Finlay. “I don’t think he should be playing. You can see it. Everybody can see it, everybody can see it.”

RG3 certainly isn’t making many plays with his legs. That could be a result of less designed runs being called, or it could simply be that Griffin has not yet fully recovered from his second ACL surgery and lacks burst. It’s probably a combination of both, as one of Griffin’s own teammates admitted the former Baylor star is much slower this season because of his knee brace.

“He’s a man, he has the heart of a warrior and is going to go out there and play regardless of the circumstance,” Brooks added. “Everybody can see it. Everybody can see it. He shouldn’t be playing.”

The numbers seem to support Brooks’ claim, as RG3 has thrown just 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 11 games this season. He was 17 of 27 for 127 yards, no touchdowns and an interception against San Francisco. He has also yet to score a single rushing touchdown. The Redskins are 3-8.

You have to wonder if next season will be any different or if RG3 will simply never be the same exciting player we saw during his rookie season. He’s not a pocket passer and probably never will be. With a big bulky knee brace, Griffin is simply an average quarterback on his best day.

Ray Lewis furious over Ahmad Brooks penalty, offers to pay half of fine

Ray Lewis credit card

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.

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Ahmad Brooks: Penalty call was ‘bulls—‘

Ahmad-Brooks-Drew-Brees-hitSan 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.

H/T Around the League

Ahmad Brooks called for critical penalty for hitting Drew Brees in neck (GIF)

Ahmad Brooks was called for a critical personal foul penalty for hitting Drew Brees in the neck on 3rd and 2 play in the final four minutes of Sunday’s game between the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

Brooks beat the Saints’ right tackle around the edge and just crushed Brees, causing a fumble that was recovered by Patrick Willis. But the refs flagged Brooks for a personal foul for hitting Brees in the neck. The penalty resulted in a first down for the Saints and allowed them to keep the drive going. They eventually kicked a field goal to tie the game.

Here’s a slow motion replay of the hit:

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Ahmad Brooks allegedly hit teammate Lamar Divens three times with beer bottle

Ahmad-Brooks-NinersThe NFL has had more than enough problems with arrests this offseason, but another could be added to the tally if San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks is arrested for allegedly assaulting a teammate. According to court documents obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, Brooks struck Niners nose tackle Lamar Divens in the head with a beer bottle and punched him in the face last month.

The two teammates were allegedly arguing about Brooks’ ability to drive at the time of the incident. Divens wanted to press charges at first, but changed his mind five days later.

“He said this would be bad for both of their careers and that he just wanted to keep playing and that they had resolved it,” according to the court documents.

[Related: Video: Ahmad Brooks punches teammate during practice]

However, Divens’ change of heart does not necessarily mean Brooks is off the hook. Prosecutors submitted an application on Thursday seeking to obtain an arrest warrant against Brooks on a felony assault charge with great bodily injury. For whatever reason, the DA’s office intervened on Friday after the judge signed the warrant and put a hold on it.

Brooks was accused of punching a woman in the face when he played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 and accepted mediation on the charges. The 29-year-old was also dismissed from the Virginia football team at the end of the 2005 season because of an unknown incident that occurred off the field. In 2003, he was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

On Wednesday, the Niners released a statement saying they are aware of the situation but will have no further comment until the legal process runs its course. Because of his checkered past, Brooks may wind up getting in trouble without Divens pressing charges.

UPDATE: An arrest warrant has reportedly been issued for Brooks.

Helmet smack to Around the League

Niners LB Ahmad Brooks thinks Torrey Smith’s name is Joe Torre

Ahmad-Brooks-NinersLike the rest of the San Francisco 49ers, linebacker Ahmad Brooks has likely been spending most of his time over the past week or so preparing to face the Baltimore Ravens. Brooks has a responsibility to learn about Baltimore’s tendencies on offense and keep track of their playmakers, but I suppose there’s no reason he has to know their actual names. As long as he’s familiar with their numbers, that should suffice.

Thank goodness for that, since he recently confused Torrey Smith with Joe Torre. During an interview with 95.7 The Game’s Bucher and Towny on Tuesday, Brooks sounded like he legitimately believed Smith’s name was Joe Torre.

“They have good receivers; they have a good deep threat with Joe Torre, matter of fact he’s from around my way, shout out to Joe Torre,” Brooks said. “Is that his name? Joe Torre? They have him and Anquan Boldin. They have a good offensive line, they have a good fullback and we played against them last year on Thanksgiving, and the fullback was just pancaking some of our guys, so we have our hands full on Sunday.”

The audio of the interview is available here, and the Torrey/Torre talk comes in at about the 5:20 mark. Brooks and Smith are indeed both from Virginia. Brooks was informed that he was talking about Torrey Smith later in the interview, and he corrected himself by giving shout-out to the Ravens receiver rather than the legendary MLB manager.

As a linebacker, Brooks won’t have to worry as much about Smith as someone like Carlos Rogers will. However, he could learn his name in a hurry if Joe Flacco and Smith hook up on one of their patented deep balls early in the game and set the tone. I don’t know if Brooks was intentionally insulting Smith or not, but either way the second-year receiver must be slightly offended. If I was one of his Ravens teammates, I’d be hanging the quote above his locker.

Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for transcribing the quotes