Thursday, October 6, 2011
Babin throws accusations at NFL, 49ers
By Mike Sando
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jason Babin stood with his arms extended to his sides, as though utterly baffled by the penalty referee Al Riveron had called against him in Week 4.
Roughing the passer was the call after Babin collected one of his three sacks on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, this one on the first play from scrimmage of the third quarter.
Babin put the gesture into words Thursday when the NFL levied a $15,000 fine against him. He mocked the league's system of punishing defensive players. He said teams should hire better offensive linemen if they want to protect quarterbacks.
The 49ers' Vernon Davis and Alex Boone double-teamed Babin on the play in question, but Boone got out of position and inadvertently set a pick on Davis while Babin rushed to the inside. Babin hit Smith right after the quarterback delivered a 26-yard completion to Joshua Morgan.
Babin's helmet appeared to graze Smith's helmet. The defensive end also grabbed Smith around the neck area.
Babin also took issue with the 49ers' tactics on the play, accusing them of coaching running back Kendall Hunter and right guard Adam Snyder to execute a high-low block on the Eagles' other defensive end, Trent Cole.
Replays showed Hunter taking out Cole at the knees on the left side of the offensive formation while Snyder moved toward Cole from his guard spot. Cole got up quickly, tried to bat the pass and then gestured as though officials should have thrown a flag.
Smith was also gesturing toward officials after the play. The league has instructed referees to err on the side of protecting quarterbacks in particular. This call was consistent with that mission, independent of whether the mission is justified.