Count Titans tight end Bo Scaife among the NFL players who agree with Maurice Jones-Drew’s recent tirade regarding low hits.
Of course, Scaife might not have cared much about the issue before Thursday night. But after he took a low hit on Thursday night from Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Scaife is singing a different tune.
“He dove at my leg,” Scaife said, per the Tennessean. “It was a cheap shot.”
At first, we thought Scaife was whining over a clean tackle that left him “badly limping” in the locker room. But after re-reviewing the play, we see his point.
Scaife ran a short out route to the left side of the field. Harrison, after disrupting slot receiver Justin Gage’s pattern with a quick bump, covered the short zone into which Scaife hand entered.
As Scaife caught the ball, Harrison assumed full-blown torpedo mode, even though Harrison could have blown up Scaife, who had his back turned while catching the pass, at pad level.
The end result? Harrison went head first into Scaife’s lower extremities, clamping onto his left ankle and apparently causing a hyperextension of the knee.
“I have been playing my whole life and no one has ever hit me like that,” Scaife said. “So I know when it is real and when it is not real. So it was a cheap shot and I don’t care if that gets back to him either.’'
Harrison likely doesn’t care about what Scaife thinks. It was a clean hit within the letter of the rules. But, still, it wasn’t necessary for Harrison to go low in that specific case.
Low hits are a fact of life in football. In some circumstances, however, there’s no need to aim for the joints most responsible for the player’s ability to earn a living.