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March 21, 2012

Saints targeted Cam Newton; flagged 3 times in '11 season

In two games against the Panthers last season, the New Orleans Saints were called for three personal foul penalties for hits on rookie Cam Newton, one of four quarterbacks the NFL says the Saints targeted in their bounty program.

Saints defensive linemen Turk McBride and Shaun Rogers were each penalized for roughing for the passer on third-down incompletions in the second half of the Saints' 30-27 win in Charlotte on Oct. 9.

Newton was sandwiched between Sedrick Ellis and McBride on the first roughing call. The quality of this YouTube video isn't great, but it shows McBride going in high on Newton, though the hit was not necessarily flagrant.

The Fox announcers question the call on the replay.

Later, the Panthers faced a third-and-goal from the 2 when Rogers was whistled for his hit on Newton. The penalty gave Carolina a first-and-goal at the 1; three plays later, Newton hit tight end Greg Olsen for a 5-yard touchdown.

Comments after the game from Saints' defenders and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has been suspended indefinitely for administering the bounty program, are particularly telling.

In a column by New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Jeff Duncan, neither Williams nor his players made any apologies for their aggressive play against the Panthers.

"Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you," Williams said. "We're going to live on the edge and get after the quarterback, and we're not going to change. We're going to go down swinging."

Duncan's column also included this line:

Williams even has a name for those late hits on the quarterback. He calls them "Remember me?" shots.

"That's our MO," defensive end Will Smith told the Times-Picayune. "We're not intentionally trying to hurt anybody. We're just playing our game -- hitting the quarterback. We consider this a man's league. We're going to come after those guys, legally, and do what we do to affect the quarterback and change the outcome of the game."

Earlier in the Week 5 game in Charlotte, Saints safety Roman Harper was penalized for a late hit on Steve Smith after Smith reached the end zone following a 54-yard touchdown catch. The hit touched off a melee in the end zone involving players from both teams.

The second meeting between the teams in Week 17 in New Orleans was not near as chippy. The Panthers gave up a team-record 617 yards in the 45-17 loss, but were only penalized once for 5 yards.

But near the end of the first quarter, Saints rookie defensive end Cameron Jordan was called for a horse-collar tackle while sacking Newton for a 5-yard loss.


--Joseph Person


Posted by Observer Sports on March 21, 2012 at 02:30 PM | Permalink


I hope they go defeated this year. Karma will get you.

Posted by: jiyugh | Mar 21, 2012 2:45:01 PM

well if this isn't enough incentive to get two wins against a division rival then I don't know what is...

Posted by: zach | Mar 21, 2012 3:07:01 PM

2012: Payback time

Posted by: JonO | Mar 21, 2012 5:59:45 PM

Yes Indeed !!!

Posted by: nasty704 | Mar 21, 2012 6:05:14 PM

The penalty was not on Mcbride, but on Ellis. He hit Newton at the knees. That's a penalty, thanks to Tom Brady.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 21, 2012 11:35:36 PM

dirty saints...

Posted by: dust | Mar 22, 2012 9:22:17 AM

saints are dirty, its in the record books now..2012 is our time

Posted by: PANTHERNATION | Mar 23, 2012 2:52:41 AM

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