Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith may well be the beneficiary of the NFL’s efforts to crack down on
certain hits, but that doesn’t mean he necessarily agrees with everything the league is doing. In fact, he called the $42,000 fine given to his former teammate and current Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard for his hit Sunday on the Houston Texans’ Andre Johnson “a little over-the-top.”
“Some things you can’t avoid,” Smith said. “It’s tough on those defensive guys. It’s like, ‘All right, well do you want to hit the guy up high and risk getting fined and a penalty for your team or do you want to hit him low and risk breaking his leg or tearing his knee up like you saw with the [Miami Dolphins Dustin Keller]? It’s tough.”
Pollard wasn’t penalized for the hit in which he clearly made an effort to strike Johnson with his shoulder rather than his helmet. However, the fine reportedly came for hitting a defenseless receiver in the head. No stranger to getting fined by the NFL, Pollard was critical of the league on his Twitter account, saying, “It’s called football but they want 2 hand touch.”
Not speaking directly on Pollard, Smith acknowledged that defensive players can be at a disadvantage
with all the new rules and regulations.
“I just approach it as a football player, like, ‘hey, just go make the plays,’ but it’s easy for me to say that because I’m not the one that has to worry about pulling up,” he said. “I think a lot of times defensive guys get the short end of the stick but at the same time, the league is trying to protect the guys and I guess trying to make the game safer for us. But it’s definitely tough on those guys.”
Rush linebacker Terrell Suggs agreed, but he said that the Ravens’ defensive players won’t use that
as an excuse.
“I think the way the rules are set up is definitely catered to a pass-friendly type of offense,” he said. “I guess they took a survey and fans want to see touchdowns, fans want to see a lot of scoring. The defense is kind of just out there for show, you know what I mean? But like I said, we’re going to continue to compete and play football. Even with all those things stacked against us, you still have to be successful.”