Rodgers-Cromartie: It was a clean hit

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie didn’t have a lot of time after signing autographs post-practice this morning, but he stopped quickly to answer a few questions about his hit on Byron Leftwich Thursday night.

Has he received any notification about a fine from the league?


Does he expect to receive a fine?


Does he believe it was a clean hit?

“Yes sir, no question.”

Any regrets? Maybe wish he would have tackled Leftwich differently?

“Regrets? We’re playing football, man,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “The Bible said don’t live a life of regret.”

The play in question occurred at the 1:12 mark of Thursday night’s game against the Steelers. Leftwich escaped pressure, rolled to his right and tried to find a receiver. Rodgers-Cromartie, who was in coverage, came running towards him, left his feet and launched himself at Leftwich, leading with his right shoulder. It was precisely the type of play the league is trying to get rid of.

Earlier Monday,’s Peter King named Rodgers-Cromartie his Goat of the Week and suggested he’d be in line for a significant fine.

Video of the hit is embedded below.

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  • Philly0312

    I still don’t see why it is a penalty – he did not “lead with his head” – he hit with his shoulder. He did not hit the QB in the head either – it was a hard hit on a QB who escaped the pocket, laid right into his sternum. It shouldn’t have been a penalty, and he shouldn’t get a fine. Peter King is an idiot.

    • ICDogg

      Launched into him, they’re going to call that every time. But it didn’t appear to be “head hunting”.

      • deg0ey

        Fully agree with this. It’s a penalty, no question, but I think it would be harsh to give him a fine/suspension for it.

      • Taylor

        … DRC throw himself off the ground/ launched himself and into the upper body of Leftwich which as a High school & college football player that is one of the first things you are taught not to do when tackling.. If you watched this live on Thursday you can see helmet to helmet connect after all the replays… If you leave your feet and have helmet to helmet contact you are going to get a fine in this league now… The thing with this and players have agreed is they don’t really care and when playing they can’t think about those kinda things and be a successful player with how fast everything is…

        • TheDenier

          Who taught you how to tackle?? Tinkerbell??

    • Peach Jones

      didn’t hit him in the head? You are watching a different play.

  • Dos

    It’s a foul if a player leaves both feet prior to contact to spring
    forward and upward into his opponent and uses any part of his helmet to
    initiate contact. It’s also a foul if a player initiates unnecessary
    contact against an opponent in the act of throwing a pass or just after
    throwing a pass. That’s what Rodgers-Cromartie did to Leftwich, and
    that’s why he’ll be fined.

    • TheDenier

      All of the above rules are pretty weak.. Old School players would laugh in your face

  • Keith Petres

    It wasn’t that bad a hit. It deserved a penalty, but it doesn’t deserve a (big) fine. DRC didn’t lead with the head, and he didn’t hit the head (for the most part). The only reason it was, and should be, a penalty is because (1) it was a very hard hit, (2) after the ball was released.

    As for people wondering if it shouldn’t be a penalty at all – imagine if that was Vick getting tattooed after he released the ball. We’d be asking for suspension.

  • Cory Widmann

    Helmet to helmet contact is what is damaging, not ………Shoulder PAD to helmet. You can even see him turning his body so his shoulder pad hit him in the helmet. Taking a shoulder PAD to the helmet does not hurt. Bunch of wimps.

  • Greg

    it was late, a launch, and a high hit on a QB. He should and will be fined. If that was James Harrison he would be sitting down a few games.

    • Cole Pulis

      That was 100% not a late hit. He was in the air before the ball was released. Also he didn’t hit him helmet to helmet so I think its debatable whether or not that was a fineable hit.

  • borntosuffer

    I don’t know. It doesn’t look like he made contact with his helmet – he certainly didn’t lead with his helmet. He leads with his shoulder and appears to contact him just below the neck.

  • Jack

    First of all, it was not a late hit. Not sure if you are all blind or what. DRC is literally going in to make the tackle, about 1 foot away from Leftwich, WHILE LEFTWICH STILL HAS THE BALL IN HIS HAND. There is absolutely NO way DRC could stop from hitting Leftwich at this point. It was NOT a late hit in any way, shape, or form. He also clearly did NOT lead with his helmet. The ONLY part of the hit that was illegal was DRC hitting him with both feet off the ground. That is the reason it is a penalty. Not sure if they will fine him over that (has anyone else been fined for a launch that was not helmet to helmet or late?).

  • Tony

    I thought they were playing FOOTBALL, not at a ballet. Football players are such weenies anymore. Take the hit and keep playing. Suck it up snack fairies.

  • Kal

    The Quarterback was outside of the pocket and because he was, he was then classified as a ball carrier. I thought it was a good hit the kid didn’t use his helmet, he lead with his shoulder.

  • matt

    he was my favorite player to watch in camp this year, but that was def an illegal hit… but im glad we finally have a corner that can hit like that

  • David

    I didn’t see it live but by the looks of it, it wasnt late, or head to head. And it looked to me like he was actually wanting to deflect the ball (reason for launching) but realised he was too late. Idk. Im sure ill get a lot of hate but who cares. I probably wont ever see this reply ever again. So feel free, to hate on me.


    You know times have changed quit a bit and in the game of football. Back in the days when I played there was no such rules about how you hit the QB it was the game of football you wear all the proper equipment to protect yourself and you stayed in good condition of yourself. I have had my shares of being in Lala land and play throught the game with not knowing what the play was on the next series. Played with broken thumbs fingers and toes very bruised parts and still I am here Thanks to God and me always staying well conditioned. Rules are made because they think these hits are cheap shots your helmet weights 15 pounds and your body weights in the hundreds plus the uniform and if you stand on a scales its going to give you the right read of body weight but if you jump on it the scale goes beyond the weight you weighed. Football in America is hard hiting you try to intImadate your enemy by knocking his jock off and puncturing his lungs out. Sorry but that is they way I was taught to play the game. When a reciver was thrown the ball and he tried to catch it or did catch it he payed the price big time and next time he would be thinking twice on if to catch it or wanting to be any where close to the ball. INTIMADATION: To make timid: fill with fear to force into or deter action by inducing FEAR!!!!!!!!! With out it might as well not play football if you don’t want to get hurt don’t play if you like to play and like to hit then you are in the right place at the right time enjoy. I love the game and wish I could do it all over again to hit someone legally fare and square and not go to jail. Let’s play the game the way it’s suppose to and if you are thin then my advice to you is start eating good and stay in well condition and be tough!

    • TheDenier

      You know? I’ve always wondered how the old school QB’s thought about how they were not afforded the same sissy rules QB’s and WR’s are getting now… Of course now that these new rules for “Defenseless” player or QB not being able to get hit like this or that all the old school records will be broken alot easier… It’s a shame…

      • Peach Jones

        I can tell you have never played football and had someone aim for your head in an obvious effort to injure you

        • TheDenier

          I can tell you’re probably as soft as your name.. Peachy…lol

    • HAHA

      Those hits seem to have knocked your writing skills down a few notches.

  • Joseph Jaynes

    Remember that time when you were allowed to hit people in football……oh those were the days. Brian Dawkins got out in time, 99.356% of his hits would of been illegal now.



  • James Madison

    Put the QBs in a little pink tutu so players know not to hit the little girls as hard as real football players.

  • Phillip Horchler

    the nfl should have been clear on this hit cromartie led with his shoulder to the head, clearly a fine with suspendable games. If this had been harrison or someone who is a repeat offender in the leauge the fines from goddell would have reigned down!!! unbeliveable that nothing was done.

  • Ken James

    it didn’t deserve a penalty, a fine or a possible suspension…it isn’t “kitty” football, even though people keep trying to make it more and more a low contact sport. If you don’t like the hits, go watch ‘flag football’ or the lingerie bowl…it wasn’t late, perfectly timed, grow up and stop acting like this is anything but a knock ‘em rock ‘em sock ‘em sport!

  • Paul

    thats why GIRLS dont play the game! coaches