Marvin Lewis Blames Announcers for Rule Confusion

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals watches play against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won, 31-24. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals Week 11 matchup against the Ravens in Baltimore, Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense was in the red zone trying to tie the game at 31. Unfortunately for Dalton, the Bengals offensive line picked the absolutely worst time to break down and let a three-man rush pressure him. On one of those plays, Terrell Suggs, arguably the Ravens best pass rusher, pulled Andy Dalton down by the back of his jersey.


Dalton, who was still in the tackle box, threw the ball out of bounds and was called for intentional grounding.

In the broadcast booth, Dan Dierdorf was calling the game for CBS. He said that Suggs should be called for a horse-collar tackle penalty.

"That is a horse collar," Dierdorf said. "He started with his hand in the shoulder pads of Andy Dalton. That could have easily been called a horse collar tackle by Suggs."

Actually, the rules are that a horse collar can't be called on a tackle on a quarterback if the quarterback is in the pocket. Suggs' attempted tackle on Andy Dalton was completely legal. 

However, Dierdorf's comments in the broadcast booth spurred many to talk to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis about the "bad call" and now that the Bengals are heading into Week 12 and trying to focus on the Browns, Lewis is sick of it. He's not blaming the people talking to him about it, though. He's blaming Dierdorf.

"I had a zillion text messages saying that Andy Dalton got horse-collared on the last play," Lewis said. "Well, there’s no such thing as a horse collar on a quarterback in the pocket. So there are some things that unfortunately even the announcers doing our games don’t know the ins and outs of the rules. They bring up the speculation on TV, and that causes the groundswell. We wish, for clarification purposes, everybody could understand the rules a little better."

So, if you see Marvin Lewis in public and you feel the need to speak to him, don't say anything about how Suggs should have been flagged for an illegal horse-collar tackle on Andy Dalton. Instead, you should say something about how Jermaine Gresham's touchdown should have counted. I'm sure he's not sick of hearing about that yet.

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