Five days later, the frustration is still apparent.
Standing outside the Green Bay Packers’ locker room, Kevin Greene is still shaking his head in disbelief recalling Nick Perry’s unnecessary roughness penalty during the second quarter of last Sunday’s 30-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
At first, the Green Bay Packers’ fourth-year outside linebackers coach was elated upon seeing the rookie linebacker level Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to force a would-be fumble recovery by D.J. Smith off the second-quarter sack. It was a big play for a team starved for turnovers right now.
More importantly, it was the step in the right direction for Perry, who’s working through the transition from a 4-3 defensive lineman at Southern California to an outside linebacker in Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme.
However, moments after the hit came the first flag. Officials talked briefly before tagging Perry with a personal foul for unnecessary roughness after it was ruled he hit Luck with the crown of his helmet. From Greene's prospective and many others, Perry led with his facemask, the textbook technique.
This week, the NFL docked Perry $15,750 for the hit — twice as much as the fines levied against B.J. Raji for throwing a punch against New Orleans two weeks ago and Brandon Browner’s penalty for a laying out Greg Jennings away from the ball against Seattle last month.
While Perry appeals the fine, Greene is still stunned. For 15 years, Greene put together a potential Hall of Fame resume getting after the quarterback. Now, the game is trickier.
“I think it’s unfortunate for today’s pass-rusher because a lot of times we know the rules, but the game moves at such a high, energetic, physical tempo and a lot of these hits are totally accidental – not malicious,” Greene said. “People are trying to control an accident. You cannot control an accident. You can control malicious (hits). I understand fining people for malicious (hits), but you can’t control accidents - hence the world accident. It’s like a car wreck. No one wants to be in a car wreck. I don’t know a lot of people who want to maliciously wreck the car. It’s an accident. They are trying to control an accident, which is an uncontrollable occurrence. They’re trying to control it with penalties and/or fines. It can’t be done. In my 15 years, I’m convinced you cannot control an accident.”
Indianapolis defensive lineman Cory Redding was also fined $7,875 for his late hit on Cedric Benson.
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