Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley refused to say if he thought Buffalo Bills WR Steve Johnson’s hit on S Eric Berry was clean. Not surprisingly, Bills head coach Chan Gailey was quick to defend his player as news spread that Berry would be out for the season.
“We tell our guys, ‘Hey, you go block those guys because let me tell you, if you’re up in the air, they’re not going to hesitate to go get you and to take a shot at you.”
Gaily was sure to follow up his poor choice of words “take a shot” by saying the hit was “legal”.
I know that most of yesterday all I could think about was how the league better fine or suspend Johnson for what was clearly a dirty hit. Kansas City’s best player was out for the year and someone (other than just the Chiefs) needed to pay for it.
However, as I stepped away from the emotion of such a devastating blow I realized there was nothing illegal about what happened on the play. It was close, but when you watch the hit, you will see that Johnson’s head is in front of Berry. The hit didn’t come from behind and if Berry had gotten right up and kept playing, no one would have said two words about the play.
None of us like to hear the cliches, but football is a violent sport and people are going to get hurt. I take solace knowing Berry is going to come back next season like a mad man, ready to get back on track to being the league’s best safety.