Tony Gonzalez prefers to be hit in the head
On Friday, Texans safety D.J. Swearinger went low to tackle Miami tight end Dustin Keller. The hit, which Brian Hartline called ‘crap’, caused Keller to suffer a season ending injury. Since then, every one seems to be talking about whether or not the NFL should allow low hits. Former player Cris Carter argued that low hits are the new NFL and to expect to see more of them in the future. As current and former players weigh in on the issue of low hits, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is offering his viewpoint on low hits.
Not only does Gonzalez hate the Swearinger play, but he would rather be hit in the head than in the knees.
“That was ridiculous on his part. It should be a fineable offense. That’s just not part of football — hitting a defenseless player in his knee, that’s something we all dread as players. That’s my nightmare,” Gonzalez told USA TODAY Sports. “Hit me in my head (instead).
“Any player who does that, I don’t like it at all. I have no respect for that.”
Gonzalez did not buy Swearinger’s excuse that the rules of the NFL force players to hit low.
“I saw his (Swearinger’s) remark, ‘That’s just football,’ and he showed a little bit of grief for the guy – I’m not buying it at all,” Gonzalez said. “Don’t tell me that the rules prohibit you from hitting a guy up top. You have a whole target area above his knee up to his neck that you can hit. I’ve watched that play a bunch of times.”
Gonzalez believes the hit might be career ending for Keller.
“I’d rather have a guy hit me in the head than knife at my knee. You’re talking about a career-ending injury. It’s going to be so hard for Dustin to come back off of that. It should be a fineable offense, just like going for the head is.
“If a guy is not looking and you go and knife at his knee like that – especially in a preseason game as well. It was upsetting,” Gonzalez said.
While I understand Gonzalez is angry seeing a friend get injured, I am not sure where he expects players to tackle one another. If the NFL says you cannot hit an opposing player in the head, than players are going to be taught to tackle lower.
Although, maybe it is true that the NFL will soon just be a flag football league.