You would think things would start changing, especially after the right and proper referees had returned to calling this game, but clearly there is work left to be done - not just with refereeing, but coaching as well.
How else to describe Baltimore's Dannell Ellerbe launching his head and shoulders at Josh Cribbs' noggin and then popping up flaunting like he just won the Super Bowl? I feel bad for Josh, but I guess now we've got yet another clip in the highlight reel of "hey kids, don't do it this way."
In an interview with the Baltimore Sun after the game, Ellerbe was of little help to the matter when he said this (emphasis mine):
"I didn't know, I just thought I got a good shot on him," said Ellerbe, who wasn't penalized on the play. "You're not trying to hurt anybody or knock anybody out like that. I like him as a player. I just hope he's all right. I said a prayer for him. He came to.
"It's part of the game. I can't go out there and easy up, especially against a guy like that. You don't try to intentionally try to hurt anybody. I turned around and I thought he just fumbled the ball."
Well, thank goodness he didn't do this with an intent to injure because he personally dislikes Cribbs. That would make him a douche and probably get him fined.
And you're right, Dannell, you can't go out there and "easy up" - the game is moving at far too fast a speed for you to be making split-second changes to your momentum and movements. Know how you fix that? Use the right tackling technique in the first place instead of just flying at an opponent full-speed, head and shoulders first, and you wouldn't be having this conversation.
*Sigh*. This video isn't pretty, but it's a lesson worth learning.