Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Punters are defenseless?

Remember former Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda?  All 6'3", 230 lbs. of former college linebacker? He used to pride himself on covering kicks and making solid tackles. On more than one occasion, he blew up returners.

Somewhere along the way, the NFL apparently declared punters "defenseless."

On Sunday night, Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber kicked a short punt that Antonio Brown got a running start on and shot upfield on his way to the end zone. Huber was more or less on Brown's route and unfortunately, for him, did not have his head on the proverbial swivel as he turned directly into a textbook block by Steeler linebacker Terence Garvin.

Huber was eyeballing Brown, didn't see Garvin coming, and got flattened. Cue the hue and cry.

A number of people, especially in Cincinnati, are crying that Garvin should have been flagged and will be fined. There was no flag, and we'll let the NFL suits debate a fine.

Just about anybody who's played football has been flattened like that, too. We feel bad for Huber that he suffered a broken jaw and, reportedly, a cracked vertebrae. It's a violent game, a collision sport, and we're not saying Huber should have seen Garvin coming, but Garvin was doing his job. What was he supposed to do? Fling himself sideways? Cut Huber at the knees, which could jeopardize his career? Ask Daniel Sepulveda about knee injuries. He's out of football because of them.

That looked like a good block, and we'd say the same thing if it were the Steelers' Mat McBriar on the receiving end.

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