Baltimore Ravens pass-rusher Terrell Suggs is used to negative attention. When he was flagged for a hit on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford Saturday night in a preseason game, most simply chuckled and shrugged their shoulders as if to say, "That's just Suggs."
However, if you watch the play, it is the perfect example of the NFL and it's over-protection of quarterbacks. If you haven't seen the video, take a look.
Yes, Bradford is coming of back-to-back seasons with knee injuries, but at the same time an official can't allow a player's injury history to weigh into him throwing a flag, or keeping it in his pocket. To add to the equation is the fact the Eagles were running a 'read-option' play. It is Sugg's responsibility to ensure he doesn't bite on the fake to the running back, only to have the quarterback escape the pocket for a big gain through the air or on the ground.
Suggs' reputation isn't as a squeaky clean player (just ask any Pittsburgh Steelers fan), but in this case the NFL might be going a bit overboard in the protection of quarterbacks. If they eliminate the ability for defenders to play the 'read-option' play, offenses would be wise to use this as an easy way to move the ball down the field knowing a defender has to hit the quarterback in a very specific strike zone.
Personal feelings towards the Ravens and Suggs aside, the NFL has painted themselves into a corner with certain rules when it comes to player protection, especially quarterbacks, and the backlash from calls such as this one are more than warranted.