Sometimes our disputes with what coaches do or say get into a lot of gray area and subjectivity and matters of interpretation. And sometimes we can even be accused of talking out our asses, not having the facts, being woefully ill-informed and otherwise ignorant of the real underlying truth. And then there are things like the Ray Edwards late hit on Jeff Garcia Sunday – which was definitively, absolutely and indisputably a late hit. Edwards took at least two steps before laying Garcia flat and was appropriately flagged for it. Edwards didn’t even try to pull up. He didn’t even do one of those lame moves where you lift your hands trying to make it look like you didn’t mean it. He pure and simple popped Garcia when Garcia was standing there watching the play. Edwards tried to argue with the ref at the time, but he just looked like a fool for doing it. It was one of those times when a guy needs to just cop to it and move on. He was busted and everyone saw it.
Uh, well, make that almost everyone. There is one person who, inexplicably, has managed to look at that play and conclude that Edwards wasn’t guilty of an infraction. And wouldn’t you know it – that one person is Brad Childress. Here is what Brad said in stating his case on behalf of Edwards:
"I know that Garcia had run around there, so everybody was in kind of a chase mode. My general thought on that is when you slow things down and look at it on HDTV, football is a full-speed game. It happens at full speed, and you’re trying to make snap judgments at full speed.On that particular play, [Garcia] had come back into the pocket. I actually felt like that was intentional grounding. If you look at exactly where it happened, it happened right between the hash marks and the ball was thrown out of the back of the end zone to try and avoid a sack, in my estimate. Ray is trying to make estimations too, in terms of, “Is the guy going to run some more?”Again, the flag went down and it was a personal foul. But I think you get a different sensation when you look at it in regular speed. I look at it on my coaches’ copy."
Oh – your coaches’ copy. Well, aren’t you special Brad. I, being a mere peasant, had to watch it on my old creaky RCA TV in real-time (a long way from HDTV), and guess what? Even before they showed the slow motion replay I knew it was a penalty. I saw Edwards flatten Garcia, and the flag came out, and never for a second did I doubt that Edwards deserved it. And then they showed the replay and my impression was only confirmed. Edwards took two steps and went into Garcia without even trying to hold up. It’s all there, plain as day. No way to argue your way out of it. Sorry Brad – you may be an offensive mastermind and the greatest clock-manager in the history of the NFL (that’s sarcasm kids), but even you don’t have the power to make me unsee what I saw. Your attempt to defend Edwards’ idiotic play is, well, idiotic. I don’t get why you’re doing it. But then I don’t get most of the things you do.