Found December 26, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Falcons safety Chris Hope said on Wednesday that he will appeal the 30,000 fine that the NFL levied against him for an unnecessary roughness foul he received on Dec. 16 against the New York Giants Victor Cruz.
Oh, yeah, Hope said of his decision to appeal. Im not looking into it right now. Pure focus is on finishing the season strong and making sure we get the big goal. Whether it was 2,500, I wouldve appealed.
The Falcons (13-2) already have clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFL playoffs going into Sundays season finale at the Georgia Dome against Tampa Bay (6-9), which has been eliminated from postseason play. In his first season in Atlanta, Hope has started the last three games with regular starter William Moore out with a hamstring injury.
Cruz was running a deep post pattern when Hope came all the way across the field and made helmet-to-helmet contact in a violent collision. The hit appeared to be a textbook example of the kind of play that the league wants to eliminate but it also is the kind of hit that was legal for most of Hopes 11 seasons.
Last week before receiving the fine, Hope, 32, acknowledged the difficulty in changing a style of play that is long ingrained.
Even growing up as a kid, wanting to be like Ronnie Lott and Steve Atwater, John Lynch -- some of the guys that made our position so fun to play, you know -- you pattern your game after and you get patted on the back for being a big hitter, Hope said. You normally get talked about when you get out of a guys way, so its something youve been instilled in since youve been a kid and once I got into the league it was still that way and maybe a couple years ago thats when they really started hammering down on the hits like that.
But its almost like youre already programmed, so, again, Ive been fortunate enough to not be in that situation for the past three or four years.
Hope left that Dec. 16 game with a head injury but later returned. He said previously that the injury was not a result of that collision.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith has said earlier this season when another defensive back, Dunta Robinson, missed a few plays in a game after initiating helmet-to-helmet contact that he wants his defensive players to hit their opponents in a strike zone similar to that in baseball: from above the knees to the chest.
Hope said last week that he is not a dirty player, but seemed resigned to the fact that the game and the way it is officiated has changed.
I havent got fined for anything like that, he said, but I know the rules are the rules and just been fortunate never to have been put in that situation for a while. Just was a natural reaction. I apologized to Cruz during the game. But there was no bad blood.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Three members of the Atlanta Falcons who have already secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and are currently tied for the best record in the NFL were named to the Pro Bowl team, but none came on the defensive side of the football.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez, playing in what is expected to be his final season, highlighted the trio, earning his 13th berth to the...
Tony Gonzalez hasn't changed his stance on retirement since the first day of training camp.
The 13-time Pro Bowl tight end remains 95 percent certain he will walk away from football after the season, though everything still hinges on whether the Atlanta Falcons advance deep into postseason as a No. 1 playoff seed.
At 36, Gonzalez continues to make enough big plays that he was...
Out of all of the teams in the playoffs currently, none gets more disrespect that the Atlanta Falcons. Sporting the league’s best record and being undefeated at home has done little to impress the national pundits who clamor for the Packers, Niners and even Redskins more than Atlanta.
A close loss to division rival New Orleans and one really bad showing in Carolina are the only...
Tony Gonzalez is still 95 percent sure he will retire at the end of the season.
Just don't try to pigeonhole the 13-time Pro Bowl tight end into giving more information about his future, no matter how many light years away.
''I see what you're trying to do,'' Gonzalez said with a smile Thursday. ''Jedi mind trick.''
Gonzalez and the Atlanta...
While calling it “championship-caliber” may still be somewhat of a stretch, the Atlanta Falcons’ defensive unit is playing much better this year than it had the first four years of Mike Smith’s coaching tenure. You probably couldn’t tell by looking at the statistics though. The Falcons rank 23rd defensively and have given up a lot of yards this season. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE »
Let's take a look back at the play that resulted in a Matt Ryan 44 yard TD pass to Roddy White against the Lions this past week. The Falcons started out by lining up in 22 personnel with 2 TEs, 2 backs, and 1 WR out wide (White). The Lions come out in a cover one scheme which means they’ll have one deep safety and everyone else will be playing man. Originally Atlanta stacks...
With a convincing win over Detroit on Saturday night, the Atlanta Falcons took another step toward a championship by locking up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
So why isn’t anyone buying Atlanta? The 13-2 Falcons have been dominant against teams they should beat this season, but have not played the most difficult of schedules. That’s not their fault – you...
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons disagree with the idea they have little to play for in Sunday's regular-season game against Tampa Bay.
Ryan threw seven touchdown passes with no interceptions the past two weeks while completing 80 percent of his passes.
Coach Mike Smith says that ranks as the fifth-year quarterback's best back-to-back games.
The Falcons (13-2) have home...
This weekend, the Falcons play a game that virtually is unimportant…that is at least how the media is handling the week 17 matchup between the Falcons and the Bucs. I believe that it is important that our “healthy” starters play to win this Sunday. The Falcons have the wildcard week to rest up; I do not want to see a team in January that looks lost or unprepared. Come into...
Athlon Sports' weekly rankings of NFL teams. The Atlanta Falcons have flown back into the top spot after locking up home-field advantage throughout...