The New York Giants’ response to slowing the St. Louis Rams’ no-huddle offense on Monday night inspired the NFL to send a memo Wednesday to all 32 teams warning of possible sanctions if the league can prove that players are faking injuries.
Among the Ravens, the Giants’ tactic – which included having two players fall to the turf at the same time – has elicited seemingly conflicted viewpoints.
Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said that practice is not condoned by the coaches or front office.
“Obviously, it wasn’t choreographed very well if you watch the tape,” he said during his weekly briefing Thursday. “I’ve heard of guys doing things like that. We would never do anything like that here. You know, you watch it, and it’s right there and you see it, and it is what it is. Obviously, reading the letter that we got from the commissioner and their stance on it, how they’re going to penalize teams if they catch them doing it, it’s just not something that we would do or ask our guys to do. You’ve got to play. If they go no-huddle, we have to respond.”
“I don’t know if they were pretending, man,” he said. “Sometimes guys get tired. But it’s all within the game. It’s all tactical stuff that you need to use. Whatever it takes.”
While insisting that the Ravens defense would not fake injuries, Reed seemed to suggest that taking advantage of loopholes is what NFL teams try to do.
“No, we play the game,” he said. “But like I said, that’s part of playing the game. If you’re tired, you’re tired. You get a break however you can.”
At least one player drew humor from the incident. Four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs – as playful as he is productive – applauded New York’s strategy.
“That’s a great tactic,” he said, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “I may do it because you’ve got to stop their game. If he’s hurt, a guy’s hurt and he can’t do it. I think in college, one team did it against Oregon. Cal did it like every play or something. But if it works, it works.”
Asked if he would do something similar, Suggs said with a broad grin, “If it’s working, don’t be surprised if you see old 5-5 get a nice little hammy. I may bring it out.”