Brian Hartline is an unhappy Dolphin.
On WQAM this morning, Hartline was very critical of the explanation given by Texans safety D.J. Swearinger regarding a potential career-ending hit on Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller. Swearinger defended his hit at Keller’s knee last weekend by reasoning it was the NFL’s concussion policies that force defenders to go low when tackling.
“With the rules in this era you’ve got to hit low,” Swearinger said. “If I would have hit him high, I would have gotten a fine. So I think I made the smartest play. I’m sorry it happened and I pray he has a speedy recovery.”
Hartline wasn’t buying.
“It’s crap,” Hartline said on the Joe Rose Show. “I think that, me personally, if you’re sitting there telling me ‘I’m worried about going high and for the head,’ [and] you consciously went low then [that] is what you’re trying to tell me.”
“I’m not a defensive player. So I don’t sit here and assume right off the bat. But what I do know is that I have a lot of good pros on my team, and from what they have said to me is that there is no place for that in our game today.”
Keller tore his ACL, PCL, and MCL in addition to dislocating his knee cap, an injury seen as even more severe than the one suffered by former Hurricane Willis McGahee in the 2002 National Championship.
Was Swearinger deliberately trying to hurt Keller? Probably not. But the NFL has another safety issue to deal with as more players continue to aim low to avoid suspensions and fines for helmet-to-helmet hits.
To listen to Hartline’s full interview, check out WQAM.
Photo: Michael Hursey