Controversy swirls over penalized hit on Drew Brees - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Controversy swirls over penalized hit on Drew Brees

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NEW ORLEANS - It was a key play toward the end of the Saints-49ers game - one that is sparking plenty of controversy.

49ers Linebacker Ahmad Brooks blasted Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, who fumbled. The Niners recovered, but referees flagged Brooks for "contact to the neck."

Fifteen-yard penalty, first down Saints.

The Black and Gold went on to win the game, thanks to a 31-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley.

Monday, however, debate over the call continued.

"It looked bad," said Saints Wide Receiver Lance Moore. "I didn't see it live because I was running down the field in the opposite direction, but looking at the replay it looked like a penalty. I'm all for it."

Ahmad Brooks and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh disagreed.

"Talking to Ahmad, he didn't think he hit him in the head," Harbaugh said.

Brooks and some others blasted the call, including former NFL Linebacker and current ESPN analyst Ray Lewis.

"This is the most embarrassing call since the tuck rule and Tom Brady. I'm serious," Lewis said. "If they fine this kid, Ahmad Brooks, I'm gonna do something personally. I'm gonna pay half of this kid's fine."

Lewis flashed his credit card as he made the vow.

Meanwhile, back in New Orleans, phone lines at 106.1 The Ticket lit up over the issue.

"I've seen it called on a lot less than that, you know, a hand grazing the helmet and they call it," said one caller.

"If the hit wasn't illegal, (Brooks) pulling (Brees) down by the neck was. I thought that was pretty bad," another man said.

Gus Kattengell, host of The Sports Hangover on 106.1, said the call wasn't surprising.

"It did eventually get to his neck and when you see a quarterback trickling a little blood, in today's NFL, you're going to get a flag," he said.

Kattengell added, for those who believe the penalty cost the 49ers the game, check the stats.

"The Saints made the plays to win that game. You never watched that game and thought, the Saints weren't in control of that game and couldn't come back and win it," he said.

After Sunday's game, Brees, himself, weighed in.

"All I remember is just getting clothes-lined, you know, in the chin, and as I'm on the ground, I'm saying, 'That's got to be a flag,' and then, you know, somebody came up to me, I can't remember, one of my teammates, and kind of picked me up and said, 'You alright? Don't worry there's a flag,' and I said, 'Alright, I'm good.'"

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