South Carolina pass rushing phenom Jadeveon Clowney made his 2013 season debut on Thursday night against North Carolina. Clowney didn't record any sacks, but he was still a force in the game, such a force, in fact, that one UNC offensive tackle felt the need to take a shot at his leg. St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long weighed in on the hit via Twitter.
First, take a look at the hit. There's nothing questionable about it. It's just a blatant cheap shot to try and take out the guy's knee. See for yourself:
The guy did get flagged for the dirty hit. Long made it clear that he deserves more, and it's hard not to agree with him after watching that GIF.
That tackle was dead wrong for that cheap shot on Clowney. Should be suspended. I blame O Line coaches.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 30, 2013
DLinemen not afforded much protection. That was blatant and on arguably the 2nd biggest name in CFB.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 30, 2013
Some OL coaches have been giving atta boys for bush league stuff like that since the beginning of time.Yay we're dirty! We have an IDENTITY!— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 30, 2013
It's an ugly hit, no matter how you look at it. A suspension seems minimal when you consider the potential for injury from a move like that.
Clowney's already become a sensation among NFL Draft followers, which means the conversation around one of the game's brightest young stars is about to get real stupid. And it's not even February.
Long should know a thing or two about the draft prospect echo chamber. He himself was talked about as a guy that wouldn't translate into a consistent pass rusher in the NFL, a high-character player who would never get more than a few sacks a year. 42 sacks and hundreds of QB pressures later ...
Media is at least 78% complicit in the creation of the Clowney monster. If he doesn't get 15 sacks this year they can panic meter him weekly— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 30, 2013
Clowney didn't register a sack in that game, and, as predicted, there were a few hand wringing tweets about it.
It's good to see a defensive lineman sticking up for his people.