We all saw it on Monday Night Football with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Ron Jaworski.
Fellow writer JW Nix wrote an excellent article about the block he felt was illegal and why the NFL should fine and suspend Brady Quinn for a blatant attack on a defenseless player who was blocking at the time.
But I'm going to play defense attorney, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
I will prove that my client, Brady Quinn, is a young man who made a horrible mistake, but without any intent of malice and therefore should not be suspended by the National Football League for the said mistake.
First, I present to you Exhibit A: A reenactment of the play in question .
At around 15 seconds into the clip, you will see both my client and the victim, Terrell Suggs.
Now, look at the perspective of my client. He has just thrown an interception, his second of the game, because of another tipped pass by a receiver. The first one was taken back for a touchdown by safety Dawan Landry and he certainly does not want a second interception to result in six points.
So, he goes out to try to stop the returner who in this case, is cornerback Chris Carr. Carr is going up his left (my client's right) side of the field to attempt a return. Terrell Suggs moves upward to possibly provide a block as my client has Carr in his vision.
My client was more focused on Chris Carr, so he didn't acknowledge the presence of Terrell Suggs until it was too late and he collided with Suggs and caused a "minor" tear of his MCL.
Next, I proceed to Exhibit B, a picture of a Browns helmet .
In the outrage of the block and injury, I think many people forgot that it is different when you are on that football field and I constantly try to remind myself of that.
I've worn a helmet like that and if I didn't need it for protection, I wouldn't wear it.
The opaque plastic of the helmets is impossible to see through and leads to a tremendous loss of vision by the players. You cannot see to the direct left of your body when wearing one.
The video shows that Terrell Suggs was in Brady Quinn's blind spot during the return. Quinn is running, which narrows the vision naturally, and Suggs is at a spot where my client would not see him coming towards him.
Brady Quinn collided with Terrell Suggs; he did not attack him. Suggs was a deer in the headlights. Think about it; we watch that clip on the television, but have we forgotten how fast plays can happen?
That hit came within a few seconds of the interception. How is Brady Quinn supposed to stop dead in his tracks once he sees Suggs a half-second before they come into contact. That is, if he even saw Terrell Suggs to start.
There was no malicious intent because there was no time to form the said intent. My client could not have planned to throw an interception and seek Terrell Suggs hoping to get him when he least expected it, like some might believe.
I am not going to deny that my client should be fined by the NFL for a low block, however, how often is a quarterback practicing blocking? I submit that Brady Quinn did not know that low blocks on returns are illegal now.
However, ignorance of the rules is no excuse, but to demand his suspension over something clearly accidental is overdoing it.
This is a first-time offender who made a mistake and apologized for it.
"I wasn't trying to go for him," he said. "I was trying to go for the ball carrier. Unfortunately, a thing like that can happen. I'm praying for him. Hopefully, he'll be all right."
"I can see why they'd be upset," he said. "But again, he wasn't even in my vision. I was trying to get to the ball. He cut across my face as I was already try to jump down for the tackle."
I believe that with all the evidence presented, as well as logical reasoning and considering Quinn's position, you will find my client not guilty of dirty football play and intentional harming of an opposing player.
The defense rests.
Quinn's quotations are from an Associated Press article by Tom Withers.
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