Early on Monday morning, NFL's head of officiating Dean Blandino confirmed that Terrell Suggs' hit on Sam Bradford was legal and a flag should not have been thrown. Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly doesn't agree.
Kelly spoke on this subject during his Monday press conference. Kelly argued that the play where Bradford was hit was NOT a read option. Instead, he claimed it was a shotgun handoff. More from Kelly:
"Not every shotgun run is a zone-read play. We didn’t run any zone-reads. We had this conversation last year. We don’t run as much zone-read as everyone thinks we do. We’re blocking the back side. [Bradford] isn't reading anything. He was just handing the ball off.”
“I thought the interpretation on the field was correct.”
“I haven’t talked to the league. I didn’t think [Suggs’ hit] was deliberate. I thought it was a penalty and I thought Jerome Boger called it right.”
“I haven’t talked to Dean, so I don’t know what the ruling is, to be honest with you. I think [Eagles PR Director Derek Boyko] gave me what he thought [Blandino] said, but [Blandino] said it was a read option play. It wasn’t a read-option play. I know our quarterbacks can be hit on a read option play, but not every run we have is a read option run. I mean, we run sweep, power, counter, trap, all those things out of the [shotgun].”
“We don’t run [the read option] more than Seattle, we don’t run it more than San Francisco. We don’t run it as much as you guys think we run it. Every shotgun run is not a zone-read play. The only people we run zone-read with since this past offseason is [Tim Tebow].”
“Are they going to hit every quarterback in the league when they hand off in the shotgun? That’s up to the league.”
“Sam wasn’t going anywhere. If you watched him, he handed the ball off.”
If the play truly wasn't a read option, then Kelly is correct: Suggs can not legally hit the quarterback at all.
Now, Kelly is technically wrong about the flag being correct since "roughing the passer" was called and it was a running play. But it should have been unnecessary roughness, which is still a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.