Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson has a bad habit of tackling with his helmet instead of with his face mask and shoulder pads. Sunday night, Robinson flattened Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin with a helmet-first hit that dazed Maclin and sent NBC announcer Cris Collinsworth on an immediate rant. Watch how quick on the draw NBC was with the prepared package on Robinson's recklessness:
It's the second such hit from Robinson in as many years, and the second against Philly. Last year both he and DeSean Jackson were knocked out on a very similar play. Robinson was fined $50,000 for that hit, though that fine may have been more to due with timing than with the hit itself. It came during that one awful week in which players were getting concussed left and right -- in any other week, it might've been judged an unfortunate collision.
This hit, however, is inexcusable.
Against Jackson, it looked like he was trying to dislodge a ball that had just arrived. His form was careless, but I didn't see malice there. A fine seemed like plenty punishment.
Against Maclin, the ball was already secured and a regular form tackle would've been preferable to a diving flail for football reasons in addition to safety reasons.
Robinson could be suspended for this hit, as he's now a repeat violator. And he's developing quite a reputation in Philadelphia -- and beyond, thanks to knocking out a receiver in prime time.