By Mark Gaughan
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams knew it was coming. The letter from the NFL was in his locker today informing him of a $15,000 fine for his hit on Tom Brady during Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots.
Williams didn't get much of a hit for his money. He hit Brady on the back of the calf near the knee with his forearm as he was falling to the ground. Brady completed a 19-yard pass to Wes Welker on the play. The hit drew a roughing the passer penalty, which gave the Pats 7 more yards to put them at the Buffalo 6. Two plays later Brady scored to tie the game, 21-21.
The penalty and the fine are consistent with NFL rules on protecting the quarterback on hits to the lower legs.
"I could understand if I dove at him head-first and hit him or hit him behind the legs and dove at him with my shoulder," Williams said. "But I hit him with my arm and get a $15,000 fine for hitting the guy with the ball. I don't get it."
Williams said he expected some kind of fine.
"I figured it was," he said. "At the same time, I asked the official during the game, 'What do you want me to do?' He didn't say anything. Of course, I wasn't exactly calm when I asked him. But I'm trying to figure out: You get blocked down, you're going down. The guy's still got the ball. I didn't dive into the side of the leg. I didn't spear him in the side of the leg. I hit him with my forearm in his calf and he went down.
"You got guys out there hitting Fitz in his chest with their helmet when he's going down. I don't know what you’re supposed to do."