The Eagles defense won’t change its approach in the wake of a $50,000 fine on Ernie Sims for what the NFL deemed an unnecessary hit on a defenseless receiver, at least according to Sims and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
The linebacker, a repeat offender, says he’ll never change the way he plays. “No,” Sims said. “People know me by now, I’ve been playing this for a long time. I just throw myself around, really just trying to hit as hard as I can. That’s just the type of player I am.”
Philadelphia defensive coordinator Sean McDermott doesn’t seem to want Sims to change either. When asked what his message was to his defense after the fine, McDermott answered immediately.
“Stay aggressive,” he said.
“It’s a big area of concern right now and we understand that from a safety standpoint,” McDermott later added. “But we teach tackling the way it’s meant to be taught, and that’s how we’re going to proceed here each week.”
Sims said if he tried to play less aggressively, it could hurt his technique and let his team down. The 25-year-old will also appeal the fine on the basis that the size was unfair at the very least. Sims’ base salary in 2010 is approximately one million dollars, but that doesn’t mean 50 grand is chump change.
“I’m just going to stay true to what I always say – go out there and play football,” Sims said. “I really, really hate the fact that I got fined 50 thousand dollars. I mean, I don’t care how much money you make, that’s a ton of money. Money that I worked hard for my whole life, and just for anybody to take it away from me for something that I do on the field, I just think it’s crazy, but it’s the league that I play in so I’ve got to respect that.”
His defensive coordinator echoed the respect, and said his team needs to find the right balance to allow them to play physical without taking penalties, fines or suspensions.
“We respect everything that comes down from the league obviously,” McDermott said. “That said, I want to play with aggression. Is there a fine line there between aggressive and not being a smart player? Yes. And we’ve got to make sure we find that fine line so that we don’t hurt the team.”
Ernie Sims doesn’t think he’s found it yet though. When asked if he understood what he could and couldn’t do within the rules, Sims said, “Nah.”
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