Runyan vs. Cataldi on Clowney hit

Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team
January 16, 2020 - 10:10 am
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Many Eagles fans are still, understandably, upset by the Jadeveon Clowney hit on Carson Wentz and the loudest fan still upset about it is Angelo Cataldi. 

Cataldi had NFL's vice president of policy and rules and former Eagles offensive lineman, Jon Runyan, on his Thursday show to explain the ruling to not fine Clowney. 

"Well when the ring leader is an old white guy on the radio sounding like a political, spewing stuff that doesn't have a lot of fact based in it, yeah you can get there," Runyan told Cataldi. 

"He's (Wentz) not a defenseless player because he's not catching a pass," Runyan explained. "He's a runner so he doesn't have the roughing the passer protection. So you go down the list of stuff in unnecessary roughness—it's not out of bounds, he was not blocking someone out of bounds. His forward progress had not been stopped, and he had slid feet first. He was not on the ground."

Runyan did admit there is one rule that Clowney comes close to breaking. 

"The only one that you can get in there is, 'Using any part of the players helmet or facemask to ram butt or spear an opponent. Note, this provision does not prohibit incidental contact by the mask or the helmet in the course of a conventional tackle.'

"So when you go back and look at this play is, it is really, really close. The first thing to contact Wentz is Clowney's arm to his hip and back area. This was helmet to helmet contact. There was incidental helmet contact after there was already there was already a tackle being initiated to another part of his body."

Cataldi shot back. 

"I don't know what you're looking at, it was straight helmet to helmet. Do you take into account, the after affect on that hit to the player that was victimized."

Angelo then played an audio clip from former vice president of officiating for the National Football League Mike Pereira calling the hit a cheap shot

"We really rule intent out because here's the other thing, the defense of the player is going to say, 'Well I didn't intend to do it.' Than why are we even talking about it?" Runyan said. "So we leave the result of the play alone and we lose the intent. We're just dealing with the facts in the middle."

Runyan did admit it was a very close play, where a split second could have changed everything. 

 "If that happens a couple seconds later, that's a foul," Runyan said. "He may get ejected from the game. That's the risk you take when you actually commit to something like that. He's actually risking his ability to actually play in that game. That's the type of player he is. I watch him all of the time. I was one of those players too.

"I don't try to sugarcoat anything. I try to shoot everybody straight and turn off all of the emotions."

You can listen to the full interview below.