Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib was ejected from the game after a fight with Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree in the first quarter. The fight cleared benches and took several minutes for referees and coaches to regain control of the football field.
After the game, head coach Vance Joseph wasn’t happy with Talib’s actions.
“I don’t like it and it’s unacceptable,” Joseph said. “We can’t lose our best players because of personal battles. That’s a personal battle. This is about the Broncos, so it’s unacceptable. We can’t have it. It’s nonnegotiable. Obviously losing one of our best players and playing a young guy, it hurt us tonight so we can’t have it. We talk about those things all the time and we can’t have it. Unacceptable.”
However, he may need to rewatch the event before calling it a ‘personal battle’.
Just minutes into the game, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree had an ax to grind with the No Fly Zone. Crabtree sucker punched Chris Harris Jr. in the stomach.
“Yeah he just sucker punched me,” Harris said after the game. “I have never seen that in the NFL. Today, he just came out wanting to fight. He didn’t want to play football. It was the second play of the game. It was a run play, I was playing man, and I wasn’t even doing anything. He just came in there, was like BAM, hit me right in the middle of the stomach and I just lost my breath.”
The dirty cheap shot went unnoticed by the referees, so Talib being Talib is going to go to war for his teammates. That’s just who he is.
First, he ripped Crabtree’s chain off ... again.
Then Crabtree had had enough and it was an all out brawl, clearing benches. Another Raiders player, Gabe Jackson, was ejected too for pushing a referee to the ground.
Frankly, John Elway should want this kind of warrior spirit on his team. Sometimes its important to protect your fellow teammates and this isn’t the first time the Broncos defense has fought another player for a cheap shot.
The problem in this case is that it knocked out the Broncos best cover corner and Talib should have let Crabtree be ejected for the attack as the referees never saw the chain yanking incident. However, Talib is like a pool of gasoline sometimes. Once it catches fire, its just got to burn itself out.
I wish Talib had exercised more restraint, but that’s just not who he is. People think he is a dirty player, but that dirt only comes out in the form of retribution for dirt already dealt. It is what it is - kind of like this 2017 season.
As far as discipline, Joseph held back going that far. A smart choice.
“Well, we’ll see,” Joseph said. “I didn’t see the whole play. Right now, I’m dealing with the result of what happened and both teams lost two of their best players. It’s nonsense. It’s silly, so I don’t know what exactly happened, but I know it can’t happen to our football team especially.”
At 3-8, the Broncos have bigger problems than enforcing any kind of discipline for Talib’s actions. It happened. Time to move on.
But before you do, here are some highlights from Twitter that you might enjoy.
Aqib Talib's locker after playing the Raiders: pic.twitter.com/TGLLL0iHBx— Phil Barber (@Skinny_Post) November 26, 2017