Chip Kelly said that the hit Sam Bradford took from Terrell Suggs Saturday, the one that nearly re-injuredthe Eagles’ quarterback’s surgically repaired knee and was flagged for roughing the passer, was not a read option pass.
Why does this matter?
Well the NFL’s head of officiating Dean Blandino earlier on Monday stated that the hit from Suggs, one directed at Bradford’s lower body after a handoff, was a legal hit.
“If the quarterback has an option, he’s considered a runner until he either clearly doesn’t have the football or he re-establishes himself as a passer,” Blandino said. “So it’s not a foul by rule.”
However, according to Kelly, Bradford did not have an option, and was clearly not a runner on the play.
“Not every shotgun run is a zone read play,” Kelly said. “We don’t run as much zone read as everyone thinks we do. He wasn’t reading anything he was just handing it off.”
With Bradford’s mobility understandably a little slow to develop as he recovers from his second ACL repair, it seems logical that Kelly wouldn’t have the quarterback running during his first preseason action against alive defense.
“The only person we’ve run zone read with this offseason was Timmy [Tebow],” Kelly said. “Sam wasn’tgoing anywhere. If you watch it he was handing the ball off.”
When asked about the hit after the 40-17 decision (in the Eagles favor) Saturday night, Suggsmade it clear he believed that Bradford was a runner with an option when he lunged toward his opponents’ knees. So if Suggsgot the call wrong, and Blandinocouldn’t distinguish the play call, isn’t there a problem?
“I think it would be troubling for the league if every quarterback in the shotgun could be hit,” Kelly said. “We know the rules. If our quarterback hands the ball off and isn’t going anywhere you shouldn’t be able to hit him. If they want to get into that they can get into that.”