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Houston (CBS Houston) – Houston Texans’ rookie safety D.J. Swearinger’s season ending hit on Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller Saturday night has a lot of people around the league debating was it a “dirty” hit or not.
Fox Sports 1 analyst and former NFL cornerback Ronde Barber joined MaD Radio Wednesday afternoon and said that Swearinger’s hit that knocked Keller out for the season Saturday is not a hit that he would have executed.
“I’m not saying it was dirty, I wouldn’t have done it, because I know the results,” said Barber, a Super Bowl cornerback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “His (Keller) career is in jeopardy, he has nerve damage in his knee because of that hit. The knee is a tough, tough place to go if you expect (Dustin) Keller to continue his career.”
Barber said there are instances when he went lower on receivers; such as angle tackles to the sideline and if the player is running and you can see him straight up.
“I’m not a cheap shot guy, I just don’t believe in it. The look of that hit on Keller’s knee looked really cheap to me,” Barber said. “It’s not like it was just a reaction, he (Swearinger) lined up his knee and took a shot at it.”
Barber, who has the most quarterback sacks by an NFL cornerback, said he was a chest tackler and that corners can change their technique as the game changes, “If you take on somebody head-on and you hit their knee, there is a high probability that knee is going to give. Which is exactly what happened.”
“If I was in that exact same position I would have taken two more steps, put my chest on him and just banged him down,” said Barber, on what he would have done if he was Swearinger. “He took the low road, and destroyed his knee. There’s really no place in football for that, I just don’t see it.”
“I can’t encourage people to go low and take out knees,” Barber stated. “It’s not how I was taught how to hit. I think there’s an unwritten code there, that you just don’t do it.”
Follow Julie Takahashi on Twitter: @Julie_Takahashi