Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 12/26/12

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 08: Chris Hope #24 of the Tennessee Titans runs after an interception against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL game on November 8, 2009 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chelsea cancels Premier League victory parade amid Manchester attack

Rob Gronkowski on field for start of OTAs

Report: Myles Garrett sidelined with minor injury at OTAs

Homer Simpson to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Richard Jefferson says LeBron James was ill during Game 3

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Spielman on Bridgewater: ‘Take it a day at a time’

Report: Elliott not present for OTAs following car accident

Lance Armstrong, girlfriend Anna Hansen are engaged

Colin Kaepernick will visit Seahawks on Wednesday

Report: Manziel worked out with Odell Beckham, looked 'strong'

Packers safety cited for driving 110 mph on way to practice

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker