CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The penalty and subsequent fine from late in the fourth quarter of last week’s 30-16 loss at Cincinnati on Jabrill Peppers didn’t only frustrate the rookie safety but also his defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams.
Williams was asked about the play that saw Peppers flagged for ‘hitting a defenseless receiver’ when he lowered his shoulder into Bengals receiver Josh Malone, dislodging the football from his grasp and preventing a big completion inside the 5-yard line with less than 4 minutes to play in the game.
“It is unfortunate,” Williams said Friday.
From Williams’ perspective, Peppers did exactly what he’s been coached to do.
“I am very proud of Jabrill paying attention to what we coach on strike zone,” Williams said. “He is doing everything he can, just like Major League Baseball, to make sure it is from the tip of the shoulders to the top of the knees. He is actually ducking down to make sure he is underneath the shoulder/collarbone to make sure that when he hits him if the head comes down, the head will come down and that will strike maybe a part of his body, but he is leading with his shoulder; he is not even leading with his helmet.”
Peppers, who also expressed his frustration with the call, said Thursday that he has appealed the $24,309 fine.
“I thought it was a rare play and I thought it was an outstanding play,” Williams said. “Never, ever do we want it to hurt our team and put them in field position the way they did.”
2 plays later, Joe Mixon put the game away with an 11-yard touchdown run, which also didn’t sit too well with Williams.
“We can’t be worried or can’t be thinking about that play too long and let it affect the next play,” Williams said. “It affected the next play or two. That is what I really don’t like either.”
Remembering Sean Taylor – This week marks the 10th anniversary of the shooting death of former Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
Williams coached Taylor in Washington and on Friday he recalled how he “cried like a little baby” upon hearing the news that Taylor, who clung to life for nearly 24 hours before succumbing because of massive blood loss, was gunned down in his home during a failed robbery attempt on Nov. 27, 2007. The man responsible for Taylor’s death was convicted and sentenced to 57 years in prison.
“It’s been a tough week,” Williams said.
“He was like a son to me. I miss him a lot and he is the best player I ever coached in my life.”
Williams has an illuminated crystal statue of Taylor that sites behind him in his office “because he always has my back” that was a gift to him from some of his former players. Williams said, “I speak to him often, but I wish I had a chance to coach him one more time.”
Williams spoke for nearly 2 minutes about the impact Taylor had on his own life personally as well as professionally.
“He was one of the people that really made me realize that I think that the reason I was put on earth was to be a mentor to young men and really some of the most difficult young men you’ve been around in your life,” Williams said. “He was not that way. He wasn’t that difficult, but he was very competitive. He was very very very prideful and he is one of the rare people that I’ve had a chance to coach that every singe time he stepped inside the white lines – or really any competitive venture – he thought he was the best.”
Another Fine – Browns receiver Bryce Treggs was fined $12,154 for taunting after a play during which teammate Isaiah Crowell lost a yard on a run against Cincinnati late in the first quarter. The penalty forced the Browns into a second-and-26 moved the Browns from the Bengals 21 to the 36. Kicker Zane Gonzalez would go on to miss a 41-yard field goal ending the drive.
Injury Report – OUT: WR Sammie Coates (knee/ankle); EXPECTED TO PLAY: WR Kenny Britt (knee), RB Isaiah Crowell (shoulder), DB Derron Smith (knee), WR Ricardo Louis (chest/ribs).