Hard hit on LSU’s Dorsey unintentional
AUBURN — Glenn Dorsey’s knee bent sideways, buckling in a disturbing manner. The LSU defensive tackle collapsed on the grass of Tiger Stadium as a volley of boos resounded through the arena.
ESPN showed the replay over and over, and people at home must have looked away in horror over and over at seeing the bone-chilling image.
I surely did, but things were made a little bit clearer for me Sunday.
Without any prompting from reporters about the gruesome-looking hit, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville quickly addressed the issue, admitting that it was illegal.
Tuberville said his team should have been assessed a 15-yard penalty, but there was no intent to injure LSU’s defensive star.
Auburn starting right guard Chaz Ramsey speared Dorsey’s right knee with his helmet during the third quarter Saturday, while right tackle Lee Ziemba blocked Dorsey in the chest area. Dorsey collapsed to the ground in agony, clutching his knee.
It was a brutal sight. As I sat in the press box watching the replay, my stomach churned at seeing Dorsey’s knee do something I didn’t think was possible.
“We do not teach it. We won’t tolerate it,” Tuberville said. “One thing all the coaches in our league have talked about is chop blocks at the line of scrimmage and roughing the quarterback.
“We want the officials to call those.”
It is illegal to block a defensive player above and below the waist at the same time when near the line of scrimmage, but a flag was never thrown.
Although Dorsey displayed considerable pain immediately following the play, he walked off the field and looked to be OK.
LSU coach Les Miles said he will review the play and send it to the league if he thinks it was intentionally done.
But Tuberville said the hit was not out of malice and was not planned.
“If you think it’s malice where a guy’s trying to hurt someone, I’d take action,” Tuberville said, “but it’s just heat of the moment.”
Ramsey, Ziemba and offensive line coach Hugh Nall never met with reporters Sunday, declining to face the issue. But center Jason Bosley did show in the interview room, representing the offensive line.
Bosley’s adamant defense of his teammates was genuine.
He said it’s “ridiculous” that anyone would think Auburn schemed up the play to hurt Dorsey, who bypassed the NFL draft last spring, following a stellar junior season.
“In the heat of the battle in football, things happen that are out of your control,” Bosley said Sunday. “It’s tough to see that, and I’m glad he’s not seriously injured.”
Tuberville showed a similar sentiment for Dorsey, saying that he was “glad” to see him walking off the field.
“Glenn Dorsey’s a great player. He’s very athletic — one of the best I’ve seen in the last 10 or 15 years as a defensive lineman,” Tuberville said. “It was two freshmen (Ramsey and Ziemba), and they were trying like the dickens to block him, and there wasn’t any malice in that.”
Tuberville said Ramsey “feels bad about it,” but later, Tuberville explained the play, shedding some light on exactly what happened.
According to the coach, Ziemba should have gotten off the block. If he had done that, Ramsey’s block would have been legal, even if it was at the knee of Dorsey.
“Lee just stayed on the guy, for some reason,” Tuberville said.
Bosley said the line had been running the play all night, but this particular instance, the linemen’s timing was off as Lee remained on the block.
Bosley, sometimes emphatically, insisted there was no malicious intent.
“A lot of people think it was an intentional thing,” he said. “We’re not going to go out there and try to intentionally hurt a player and end his career like that.”