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Harbaugh Defends Matt Elam's Hit On Randall Cobb

Posted Oct 14, 2013

The Ravens safety went low to make a tackle in the second quarter of Sunday's game.


Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam came under some scrutiny by the Green Bay Packers Sunday for his hit on wide receiver Randall Cobb.

The hit to the knee knocked Cobb out of the game and will sideline him for “multiple weeks.” After the game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticized Elam and said he could have avoided hitting Cobb in the knee.

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh disagreed with Rodgers.

“To say that it could have been more artistically palatable, is pretty hard for me to understand,” Harbaugh said Monday. “That’s a fast route. They ran a pretty good route there. Aaron made a good, quick throw in there and Matt is doing the best he can to try to stop that play. So I have no idea what he’s talking about.”

The Packers took exception to the hit immediately after the play, as Rodgers ran up to Elam to confront him. Safety James Ihedigbo stepped in between them and Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang ran into the fray and was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Hits on wide receivers have been a focal point in the NFL for the last few years, as the league has cracked down on blows to the head. Defensive players have been instructed to take the hitting zone low to avoid helmet-to-helmet contact. Hits to the head often come with a 15-yard penalty and a sizeable fine.

Rodgers said that he understands the issue for defenders, but still thought Elam could have gone a little higher.

"I think he could have hit him in the proper hitting zone and that's what I told him,” Rodgers said. “The other safety [Ihedigbo] came over and actually made a very knowledgeable point, which I appreciated a little intelligent answer back and forth about some of the issues defensive players have to deal with [trying to hit] the target area. I totally understand that and get that."

Elam was not penalized on the play.

“I think Matt made a tackle,” Harbaugh said. “He was scrambling to try to catch up with that route as best as he could to make the tackle on him.”


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