By Lewis Gould
Chip Kelly seemed shocked.
“I’m still under the impression you can’t blind side a player whether it’s a quarterback or not a quarterback going back towards your own sideline,” Kelly said Wednesday in reference to the Redskins’ Chris Baker’s cheap-shot blind-side hit on Eagles QB Nick Foles last Sunday.
“So, I’ll touch base with the league officials before we play again. But, that’s news to me that that’s legal.”
Under a word-for-word interpretation of the rule, Baker’s hit was not legal according to the NFL rule book, but that did not appear to be NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent from making his ruling against further punishment.
Under Article 9 of the NFL rule book quarterbacks are afforded the protection of being a defenseless player “at the change of possession and a player who receivers a “blindside” block when the blocker is moving towards his own endline and approaches the opponent from the side”
Kelly also pointed out that the referees were quick to act Sunday.
“I know the referee threw the flag pretty quickly and threw him out of the game,” Kelly said. “So everything we’ve taught and we know is that you can’t blindside a player whether it’s a quarterback or not.
“There’s also a rule to my understanding that after a change of possession the quarterback is basically a defenseless player, so, that’s in the past, too. We’ll get it clarified so we don’t get put in that situation in the future, but we’re hands off on the interception on the quarterback because that’s how we’ve interpreted the rules.”
Sunday afternoon the Eagles were the beneficiary of a 15-yard penalty and a Baker ejection, but it seems as though Vincent’s ruling could impact the way the game is officiated moving forward when it comes to these kind of hits.