Bruce Arians and his Arizona Cardinals lost their first game of the 2014 season Sunday when the Denver Broncos came away with a 41-20 win, but the Cardinals lost more than the game and their undefeated record.
Early in the second half of that game, Peyton Manning dropped to pass and hit Demaryius Thomas for a 77-yard touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. It wasn’t just any old penalty, but one that Arians called the worst he has seen in his career.
Arians has been coaching in the National Football League since 1989, except for four seasons in college football. He was hired as head coach of the Cardinals in 2013 after being offensive coordinator and interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, when he was named the Associated Press Head Coach of the Year. His coaching career started in the college ranks in 1975.
“I’ve been coaching for 37 years. It’s the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen in the National Football League,” Arians said after the game. “It was a flat chop block that put him (Campbell) out of the game. I’ve never seen anything like it. I know (Denver coach) John Fox and he’s a great coach and a great guy, but somebody has got to answer to that.”
On the play, Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell went to rush Manning and left tackle Ryan Clady looked ready to take on Campbell when tight end Julius Thomas dove at Campbell’s outside knee, the right one. Arians said Campbell has a sprained MCL and will miss three to four weeks.
Julius Thomas was flagged on the play, negating the touchdown. He told USA Today that he isn’t a dirty player.
“I guarantee that being dirty is not a part of my game, and to intentionally hurt somebody is not something I would ever do,” Thomas said.
Campbell, who was born in Denver, Colo., had an interception of Manning earlier in the game when he made an athletic pickoff of an intended screen pass.
A first offense for a chop block is a fine of $8,268. The Broncos should find out later this week if Julius Thomas is fined.
“A fine isn’t going to do it when (Campbell) is going to miss three to four weeks on a blatant chop block,” Arians said.
Arians: ‘The dirtiest play I’ve ever seen’
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