Brandon Marshall calls out Suh for hit

Updated: October 23, 2012, 2:20 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and coach Lovie Smith didn't have a problem with Ndamukong Suh's violent sack on Monday night, but Brandon Marshall was not as nonchalant.

"A Suh. What u did to Jay wasn't cool. Great players don't have to do that," Marshall tweeted after the Bears' 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. "A Suh. Something I've learned and now passing down to you. Succeed with character."

The NFL has determined upon review that Suh's sack of Cutler was a perfectly legal play, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder. The game officials were correct in their decision not to penalize the Lions, and Suh does not face a potential fine.

It was considered a worthwhile review and a close decision because Cutler is afforded the protections against roughing the passer, even outside the pocket, but Suh did not drive him into the ground so the hit was determined to be legal, the source said.

Marshall called in to "ESPN First Take" on Tuesday and did not back down from his comments.

"Last night the leg whip that Ndamukong Suh placed on our quarterback Jay Cutler, that was dirty. That was dirty," Marshall said. "He can be one of the best D-tackles that ever done it, but he cannot do that that way. If you look at it, c'mon man, this is not wrestling. You don't do that. That's not clean."

Suh chased Cutler down outside of the pocket and drove Cutler into the turf with his elbow on the quarterback's helmet. Cutler, who said he had the wind knocked out of him, writhed in pain before leaving the game for a play. He returned but went to the locker room for further evaluation before halftime. He returned in the second half and finished the game with a passer rating of 76.

"It was a tough hit, caught me just right," Cutler said Tuesday during "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000. "It was an awkward fall, more than anything, kind of got caught on his knee and the ball a little bit. I'll be good.

"I think [it was a clean hit]. That defense, you know going into it what their intentions are. They play hard football, they get after the quarterback, they're tough tacklers, that's just who they are. I'm not going to take anything away from him. I still think it was clean, and he's a good player. And that's what makes him who he is, is playing that way."

After the hit, Cutler said, he laid on the ground trying to assess his injury.

"I was just trying to get my breath back and figure out exactly what the problem was," he said. "I knew it was my rib. I knew I didn't have any shoulder or head problems. I knew it was my ribs. Was just hoping it wasn't cracked or anything like that."

Cutler said Tuesday that he's "just a little bit tight," and he won't have any problems facing the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Soldier Field.

"I don't think so. Actually I know I'm not going to have problems," he said. "Tomorrow is more of a mental day for us, coming off a Monday night game. We'll have a hard Thursday and Friday and little bit of a workday Saturday before the game."

Suh Simply a football play. I can't control my momentum, especially at that high speed.

-- Ndamukong Suh

Suh's reputation for borderline hits -- at least two of them against Cutler over the years -- and history of being disciplined by the league for aggressive plays may have influenced some to believe it was a dirty hit, but that's not how Smith saw it.

"No one's trying to hurt anyone or anything like that," Smith said Monday. "It was just a tough, hard-nosed game."

Suh said it was a matter of momentum.

"Simply a football play," Suh said. "I can't control my momentum, especially at that high speed. I'm chasing him. He's running away from me. My whole goal is just to get the quarterback down and make a play and get us off the field or move on to the next play."

Cutler said different players have different intents in tackling, and he knew what to expect Monday.

"There are certain guys who just know how to take you down, they wrap you up and get you on the ground," Cutler said. "With this team, their intentions are to drive you into the ground. That's what it is. We know that going into it. Is it against the rules? No, not by any means. That's just the way they play football.

"You have to respect it. I'm fine with it. I knew going into the game that if they had a chance like that on me, they were going to take it. There are other guys throughout the league that they get you, they wrap you up and just kind of take you down. They're not trying to drive you into the ground."

ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.

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