Bron­cos de­fend­ers dis­pute the no­tion they’re dirty

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Arnie Sta­ple­ton

EN­GLE­WOOD, COLO. » Nasty, hard-hit­ting, wicked. Sure. But dirty? No way, say the Den­ver Bron­cos.

“I just don’t think that’s what we are,” line­backer Todd Davis said. “We’re not ma­li­cious. We don’t in­ten­tion­ally go to hurt any­body. We just play hard. We play phys­i­cal.”

About all those hel­met-to­hel­met hits on Cam New­ton, then ...

“Just be­cause we hit Cam in the head a cou­ple of times, that doesn’t make us dirty,” in­sisted line­backer Bran­don Marshall, who had one of four hel­met-to-hel­met hits on Carolina’s big quar­ter­back in the Bron­cos’ 21-20 win over the Pan­thers on Thurs­day.

The bru­tal­ity of the game sparked de­bates over league safety, side­line con­cus­sion pro­to­col, the abil­ity of the NFL MVP to sur­vive, much less con­tinue to thrive, as a read-op­tion QB and yes, whether Den­ver’s dev­as­tat­ing de­fense crossed the line from dom­i­nant to dirty.

Although none of the hel­met hits on New­ton re­sulted in penalty yardage and none got him checked for a con­cus­sion, Marshall said he’s ex­pect­ing a FedEx let­ter in his locker Wed­nes­day in­form­ing him of a hefty fine.

Safety Dar­ian Ste­wart, whose hel­met-to-hel­met hit left New­ton mo­tion­less on the ground in the game’s fi­nal minute, is brac­ing for such a let­ter, too. His hit drew a flag but it was negated by in­ten­tional ground­ing.

The other hel­met-to-hel­met hits came from Su­per Bowl MVP Von Miller and cor­ner­back Bradley Roby, who was fined $24,309 for his il­le­gal hit on Rams re­ceiver Duke Wil­liams in an Aug. 27 ex­hi­bi­tion game.

Marshall said what he con­sid­ers a dirty play is “step­ping on some­body’s an­kle at the bot­tom of a pile, twist­ing some­body around, some­thing like that. We just play hard. We hit hard. We play fast . ... It’s the speed of the game. We’re a ma­li­cious group, but we’re not dirty.”

Marshall said the word dirty should only be used when a team de­lib­er­ately breaks the rules.

Marshall said he meant to hit New­ton hard but not in the head, and Ste­wart said he thought he led with his shoul­der on his big hit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.