"When you run the read-option you have to know the rules," said Terrell Suggs on his hit on Sam Bradford. "If you want to run the read option with your starting quarterback that has had two knee surgeries, that's on you" (Kevin Richardson)
Several Philadelphia Eagles players took issue Saturday night with a low hit on Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford's surgically-repaired knees from Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
"He was trying to take a cheap shot at the quarterback," Eagles left tackle Jason Peters said. "I'm pretty sure he planned it. I mean, we've practiced against them all week, so he was probably thinking about it."
Bradford has had two reconstructive knee surgeries, the last of which kept him off the field for all of 2014. He was making his preseason debut Saturday against the Ravens, and when asked whether Suggs was aiming for his knee, said "you would have to ask him, but I think that is what he was trying to do.
"I was a little upset," Bradford said. "I'm not sure if I can repeat what I said to him, but it's part of the game."
"I hope so, because he hit him low and he tried to hit him around his knees," Peters said. "I really don't know him personally. He talks a lot, and I think he's that type of player, who is dirty and will take shots on the quarterback."
Eagles center Jason Kelce piled on, saying he "had some words" that he exchanged with Suggs right after that. He didn't think it was malicious, but said it was "weird."
"I'm sure that's something they're taught, to tackle the quarterback out of the read option. But it was a little weird that he went right after the knees, but I don't think it was anything malicious on his end. I want to keep what was said on the field. ... I just thought it was weird that he went right after the knee area."
Suggs took three penalties on the game's first drive, one for his hit on Bradford. Suggs was penalized 15 yards for roughing the passer, though he noted that it wasn't a pass play and Bradford could have kept the ball.
Suggs suggested a quarterback is afforded no such protections in a read-option offense like the Eagles run. The play was a handoff, on which running back Darren Sproles ran around the left end for five yards.
He said he brought that up with referee Jerome Boger.
"When you run the read option, you've got to know the rules," Suggs said. "If you want to run the read option with your starting quarterback that's had two knee surgeries, that's on you. That's not my responsibility to update you on the rules, you see what I'm saying? I could have hit him harder than that. I didn't. I eased up."
The hit from Suggs was one of two blows Bradford took from the Ravens' first-team defense in the 12-play series he played. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams also leveled Bradford on a rush up the middle.
Peters also made note of Suggs running off the field without shaking hands at the end of the game. Suggs was one of the first Ravens into the locker room after the 40-17 loss to the Eagles.