I swear, the excuses that some fans make in attempting to "defend" the hit that sidelined Anthony Richardson is not only comical at best, but in all honesty is just plain pathetic. That said, I wrote this post to provide links to examples of how we have seen the same hits done to Cam Newton that also received no calls with examples of the refs taking initiative to throw flags for less egregious hits done to QBs like Brady, and Rodgers.
The hit that sidelined Anthony Richardson in last Sunday's game against the Texans bears an unfortunate resemblance to the experiences of quarterbacks like Cam Newton. In both cases, there is a noticeable pattern of referees failing to provide adequate protection for these quarterbacks. Richardson's injury highlights that the issue of inconsistent protection extends beyond individual quarterbacks and persists in the league.
That’s nothing new. They didn’t do anything different that hasn’t happened all along," Davis said, via the Charlotte Observer. "It’s just something that the league is going to have to police and they’re going to have to do a better job of and start treating him like the quarterback that he is.
"They look at his size. It’s kind of like the NBA used to allow guys to get away with that against Shaquille O’Neal because of his size. But when you dig deep down into it, they talk about player safety all the time and they need to protect that player as well."
Ladies and gentlemen, That is a direct quote from former Panthers LB Thomas Davis speaking on behalf of Cam Newton. In this Yahoo Sports article, Davis criticized NFL referees for not adequately protecting Cam Newton. Davis argued that Newton, due to his size, did not receive the same level of protection from referees as other quarterbacks. This statement reinforces the perception that there is an obvious disparity in how the league's 'head to head' contact rules are enforced. That said, at the end of the day I really don't give a damn what "fans" say on this vs an actual NFL player. I will take the thoughts, experience and opinions of someone who's actually played the game over a "fan" giving his opinions from his couch sitting in front of a TV who obviously cares more about the hotdog and can of beer in his hand than he does the actual players he watches.
Still think the NFL doesn't have an officiating bias problem when it comes to protecting QBs? Here's one of the most bizarre exchanges ever reported:
Speaking at the Panthers postgame press conference -- where he wore a CAMOUFLAGE SUIT -- Newton said Hochuli told him he "wasn't old enough" to draw a penalty.
"I was really baffled by what was said to me," Newton said. "I was rolling out trying to string out the play and create some type of opportunity to get a completion and the defensive lineman, you know, kind of hit me. It was close. It was right on the cusp. Was it a late hit? I don’t know. But the response that I got was, ‘Cam you’re not old enough to get that call.’"
There's no shortage of info out there with examples of the NFL's bias on why certain QBs get more love from the officials than others. Richardson's hit brings to mind an obvious pattern that we've all seen far to often through the Cam Newton years in the NFL. Newton not only took these kind of hits as a runner, but also even while in the pocket, and yet, on a balance of averages, no flags were thrown most of the time. I don't think it's a stretch to say history is repeating itself with Richardson. If this continues, Richardson will have a short lived career just like Newton's.