The Pittsburgh Steelers have always been a team that will push the envelope in terms of physicality. This has occurred on both offense and defense, as players like Hines Ward set a new tone for physicality at the wide receiver position, and plenty of defenders in recent memory have set the tone with vicious hits on opponents.
In the 2016 AFC Wild Card game, Bud Dupree continued this style of play with a memorable hit to Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Dupree will be fined $18,231 for the high hit to the head/neck area of the quarterback.
NFL fined Steelers' LB Bud Dupree $18,231 for striking Dolphins' QB Matt Moore in the head/neck area, per source. https://t.co/nczxByFsgc— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2017
There are many people who thought the hit was clean in real time, but replays did show Dupree’s helmet making contact with Moore’s facemask/chin. What might be even more shocking is Moore didn’t just return to the game, but only missed one play.
Bud Dupree knocked Matt Moore back to Miami. Holy cow pic.twitter.com/avtPvEgEKz— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 8, 2017
Dupree told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler he plans on appealing the fine, but it is hard to envision a situation where Dupree would be victorious in his efforts to get some of his playoff game check back in his bank account.
Argue the hit should be legal all you want, but the rules are in place to protect the quarterback in all situations. Plain and simple, the rules are the rules.
Regardless which side of the fence you stand on when it comes to Dupree’s hit on Moore, it set a tone for the rest of the game, and the Steelers are now moving on to the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs.