“It wasn’t meant to happen,” Holiday said. “I had the opportunity. I don’t miss free throws. Obviously after the game we can talk about things we did wrong, but when we get an opportunity like that, that’s what is on my mind right now.”
Officials in some teams’ front offices were unhappy with the league office’s approach to dealing with the crisis brought on by Trump’s comments. They believed that the league should not have responded so publicly and directly. The controversy, in their view, would not have been as intense.
Jones, who took issue with the league’s handling of the investigation that led to the six-game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott under the personal conduct policy, said at the December owners’ meeting that he would continue to press for changes. He was not specific. But there was speculation at the time that those changes could include an attempt by Jones and perhaps other owners to force an overhaul of the league office.
“As with any organization of any type whether it be business, social or otherwise, you have to evolve and you have to make changes,” Jones said then. “And frankly, that is what this has been about. Now, if you saw anything happening, did I cause them to be made? You can’t one person do it in the National Football League. It takes 32 owners to make the changes. And so anything that was done differently about this contract was done by all 32 owners.”
If Brady and Foles don’t play well, they should at least avoid playing like these guys did.
Smith-Schuster apologized for the hit after the game and said he didn’t realize he was targeting Burfict.
“I didn’t know it was Burfict at first. All I saw was the first Bengal was going to tackle .?.?. and my instinct is I gotta block for my teammate,” Smith-Schuster said. “And me just playing ball, I hit him. After I seen the replay I think I should’ve held back a little bit more from blocking him. Also, I believe that that’s not me. I should’ve never stood over him. I apologize for that and with that being said, I hope he gets better.”
While ESPN’s announcing team decried Smith-Schuster’s actions, particularly in light of Shazier’s injury, the reaction was more mixed online because of Burfict’s history with the Steelers. Most notoriously, the linebacker had knocked out Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown with what many thought was an especially egregious hit in the 2016 playoffs, earning a three-game suspension.