By Edward Lee
6:18 PM EDT, October 10, 2011
On Friday, the NFL announced that defensive tackle Haloti Ngata had been fined $15,000 for leading with his helmet while hitting New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the back in the second quarter of the Ravens’ 34-17 victory on Oct. 2.
On Monday, Ngata crafted his response, calling the punishment “bull.”
“I think it’s really bull,” the two-time Pro Bowler said. “I thought I kept my head up the whole time. It’s kind of hard when you know that he’s about to throw the ball to try to let up when you’re trying to get there as fast as you can. I think it’s bull, but I’m going to try to appeal it and see what I can do.”
The play was critical to the outcome as Ngata’s hit forced Sanchez to cough up the ball, and outside linebacker Jarret Johnson returned the fumble 26 yards to give the Ravens a commanding 27-7 advantage.
While replays did show that Ngata appeared to hit Sanchez with his helmet, Ngata pointed out that officials didn’t flag him for roughing the passer.
“I think I kept my face up the whole time,” he said. “I think it’s tough because a lot of guys around the league want that fine to happen. They don’t want to see stuff like that happen to their quarterbacks. It’s tough. I thought it was clean.”
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