Pan­thers’ Rivera: Eject­ing Reid not war­ranted, mer­its ex­pla­na­tion

The Charlotte Observer - - Front Page - BY JOUR­DAN RO­DRIGUE

jro­drigue@char­lot­teob­server.com

Carolina Pan­thers safety Eric Reid was ejected from Thurs­day night’s 52-21 loss at Pitts­burgh, af­ter his shoul­der pad ap­peared to hit Steel­ers’ quar­ter­back Ben Roeth­lis­berger’s hel­met as the lat­ter slid down af­ter a carry.

Reid flew over the top of Roeth­lis­berger as the con­tact oc­curred, im­me­di­ately draw­ing a flag and, ul­ti­mately, the ejec­tion.

Pan­thers coach Ron Rivera said he didn’t think Reid should have been ex­pelled from the game, a call that will al­most cer­tainly draw a fine from the league.

“I don’t think that was war­ranted, I re­ally don’t,” said Rivera on Thurs­day night af­ter the game.

“I don’t think he hit him hard enough to eject him. Again, we are try­ing to pro­tect the quar­ter­backs. If he had hit him as fast as he was go­ing, you know, but again, they’re try­ing to pro­tect the quar­ter­backs and he was high (on the hit).”

Af­ter the hit, there was a mi­nor scuf­fle be­tween teams. When that dis­si­pated, Reid went up to Roeth­lis­berger and ap­peared to apol­o­gize.

“I told him that I wasn’t in­tend­ing to try to hurt him,” said Reid in the locker room af­ter the game. “He said there was no hard feel­ings.”

Reid also ques­tioned the ejec­tion, and added that he hopes for more con­sis­tency from week to week from the of­fi­cials when mak­ing th­ese types of calls.

“I think there’s a guy car­ry­ing the ball, and it’s my job to tackle that guy,” he said.

“I’m try­ing to do my job. There was a per­son run­ning with the foot­ball and my job is to tackle that per­son. That’s all I was try­ing to do. ...

“There isn’t a lot of con­sis­tency. In the first quar­ter Cam (New­ton) got hit with the crown of a hel­met, and there was no flag. It’s tough. Th­ese plays hap­pen so fast when you’re a de­fender and you’re try­ing to tackle some­body. I don’t know if I’m just sup­posed to wait for the per­son to just slide, I don’t know what else I’m sup­posed to do.”

Rivera said on Fri­day that he has re­quested an ex­pla­na­tion from the league for the ejec­tion.

He will re­ceive a re­sponse within the next few days.

“I’m not in (agree­ment) with what the de­ci­sion was,” he said. “I get the penalty, I don’t get the ejec­tion.”

Reid led the Pan­thers with nine tack­les de­spite play­ing just three quar­ters.

He was also pe­nal­ized and fined for a per­sonal foul in Week 7 against Philadel­phia. Reid hit quar­ter­back Car­son Wentz af­ter a hand­off, and tight end Zach Ertz re­spond­ing by charg­ing Reid. Reid up­ended Ertz, and the two were both flagged for a foul and the penal­ties off­set.

How­ever, Reid was the only one fined for the in­ci­dent.

A league source told the Ob­server that week that Reid was fined $ 10,026 for “un­nec­es­sary rough­ness on the pick­ing up and drop­ping of Zach Ertz.”

Ertz was not fined, the league source said.

Jour­dan Ro­drigue: 704-358-5071; @jour­dan­ro­drigue

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