The NFL has trotted out the idea of enforcing player safety and protecting their marquee position – quarterback. But many players and fans don’t always get the feeling every quarterback is treated as equal.
Cam Newton voiced those concerns again after Sunday’s 30-20 win over the Carolina Panthers after this hit by Calais Campbell was not flagged.
Newton told reporters after the game, via Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“At times I don’t even feel safe. And enough is enough. I plan on talking to commissioner (Roger) Goodell about this. It’s not fun.”
But Marcus Gilbert has a simple message for Newton: be quiet.
Jeremy Fowler grabbed the story and quote from the Steelers’ tackle today. The message: get in line behind Ben Roethlisberger, you’re not the only quarterback.
“Ben gets hit more than anybody in the league, and he never complains. C’mon, man. This is the game of football…”
He would go on to tell Fowler.
“This is the game of football. I’m sure there are cornerbacks or linebackers, whoever he’s running over, the safeties, they aren’t complaining about getting run over or getting crowned, facemask to facemask with the quarterback from a guy his size.”
It doesn’t seem as much that Gilbert is disagreeing with the different treatment big, mobile quarterbacks like Newton and Roethlisberger get compared to say, Tom Brady, but how they’re reacting to it. Roethlisberger, as Gilbert pointed out, rarely makes a comment about a bad call or getting hurt. Newton has been very candid about it.
Even after Roethlisberger was leg whipped by Ndamukong Suh, he didn’t make the information public. He simply told the media after the game he “bumped knees” with a player and never specified. It wasn’t until we made the play public later in the week that it drew national attention.
The NFL decided against fining Suh.
Particular calls aren’t the talking point. It’s the overall perception, right or wrong, it definitely exists, that certain players get different treatment from the officials.
That’s a sentiment I’d put money on Roethlisberger agreeing with but he’s decided to keep quiet about it, focusing on his game. That seems to be Gilbert’s overall point, along with Newton’s hypocrisy when he celebrates after trucking someone over.
But that does not mean Gilbert’s comments are wholly agreeable. You could argue Newton is doing right by bringing this attention to light, getting people like you and me to talk about, and ideally, hopefully, reach a solution. That’s generally the only way progress is made, not sweeping it under the rug.
Like I said, Steelers’ Nation can empathize on this topic probably better than any other fan base so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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