Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Jul 2007

Sheldon Brown's Hit Featured on SI Cover

Remember that hit Sheldon Brown laid on Reggie Bush during last year's playoffs? Well, it's on this week's SI cover and in this Eagles.com story (excerpted from SI) Brown talks about it: "He was lucky," Brown says [of Bush]. "His elbow was pinned against his body, protecting his rib cage, or else I probably would have broken his rib. What did it feel like? That collision, I ­didn't feel nothing, because he was pretty much defenseless. It was like running through a cardboard box. Seriously. Cardboard box."

In my mind, easily the best hit of the year. And the cherry on top: nobody got hurt. (Here's the visual proof, which is sure to be taken off the YouTubes any minute now.)

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 26 Jul 2007

33 comments, Last at 27 Jul 2007, 7:15pm by B


by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 10:04am

I was in Atlantic City watching that in the Tropicana's sports bar, and the whole place went absolutely insane. It was just such an absolutely dialed-in, dead-to-rights hit. It reminded me of all those great defensive squads the Eagles have had over the years. I'd like to get back to that - offensive football is lame.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 10:13am

The best part was when Reggie Bush tried to get up and couldn't, and was crawling around on the field like a little baby.

Best. Hit. Ever.

by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 10:44am

Rubbish. The new Steelers punter hits harder than that. :)

by Tom, UK (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 10:57am

Such an awesome hit. It's the kind of thing where you see and Eagle doing that and think it's Brian Dawkins before you realise where it happened on the field.

It's one of the reasons some of the more hysterical sections of Philadelphia fandom are suggesting we ditch Considine and move Sheldon to Safety.

by Reggie Bush (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 11:15am


by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 11:36am

The best part is that it's a good tackle, not one of those stupid safety "sportscenter" hits. I approve.

by mattman (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 12:12pm

Awesome as it was, that might not even be the best hit of Sheldon Brown's career. Sadly, it looks like the video of Brown destroying Reggie Swinton of the cowboys twice in one game is no longer on youtube.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 12:21pm

Am I the only one who is a little bothered by the celebration of big hits, both here and on SportsCenter? I know maybe I'm in the minority, but I enjoy football for its strategy, and technique that requries both strength, timing, and agility, and athletic prowess. If I enjoyed large men slamming into one another, I'd watch wrestling, or (if I wanted to watch something real) UFC.

by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 12:23pm

I'm supposed to be at work the day the DBs will be signing autographs at training camp. Strangely, I think I'm going to get suprisingly ill next Friday.

by oh yeah (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 12:58pm

does anyone remember brian russell's hit on chad johnson last year when he was with the browns?

by Tom (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 12:59pm

Re 8:

You probably aren't the only one, but you are in a very small minority. The visceral satisfaction is just so great.

by Krusty (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 1:03pm

Someone watched a Browns game?

by Karl (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 1:17pm

re 8:

both are to be appreciated. both are very important parts of the game. and come on - are you really trying to tell me, whether you're waiting for a hit like that or not, when you actually do see it happen nothing inside of you goes "oh my god that was insane!"

besides - a hit like that is the culmination of "strength, timing, agility, and athletic prowess". just bc defensive guy doesn't have ball in his hands doesn't mean what he does shouldn't be appreciated.

whatev, to each his own.

by Vern (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 2:01pm

I know I scrolled down to the point to post something, but the "college girls" ad on the right made me forget what it was.

by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 2:03pm

Does anyone have a video of that hit John Kitna took on a blitz this season? Can't remember who against, but for my money that was a better hit than the Bush one.

by C (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 2:14pm

That hit was amazing. Credit Reggie Brown for actually returning to the game.

by Jimmy (formerly James C) (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 2:19pm


Was it Shantwae Spencer coming off the corner? If not he nearly killed someone else.

by vikinghooper (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 2:22pm

Best hit of the year was Vikings safety Greg Blue " Blue up" a Bills running back in week three.

I will allow that the setting of Sheldon's hit on Bush allowed for higher viewership.

by Happy Fun Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 2:51pm

re #8:

No, it's not just you.

I realize that football is an inherently violent game, what with large men colliding at high speed, but it's not why I enjoy watching.

I don't so much mind seeing big hits in the context of the game. I start to get a little weirded out when a highlights show focuses on a hard hit, particularly when it's not integral to the outcome of the game. ("Wow! What a hit! Oh, but the offense scored a touchdown on the next play anyway.") I'd much rather see key moves, key plays, key stops, key decisions, even key kicks.

And I don't care for "Jacked Up" in the slightest.

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 3:01pm

Clearly an impressive collision, but it was visually aided by the fact that both of Bush's feet are off the ground at the time of contact.

Still, I would probably still be on the ground today if that happened to me.

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 3:11pm

Bart Scott's hit on Big Ben was my personal fave last year, but then again I'm a Ravens fan.

by Reinhard (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 3:19pm

Sheldon Brown was a good ten or even fifteen yards away when that ball was thrown. Only great instincts, recognition and explosiveness enabled him to make that play; otherwise he would have been flying in out of control and gotten juked.

I think I remember Paul Brown saying that the essence of fooball is that you can take a great player and hit him so hard so often that he's no longer great.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 3:39pm

22: That, and Drew Brees floated it up there for so long that one had to wonder whether he was pissed off at Reggie about something.

There's a reason it's called a "hospital pass"...

Anyway, does this mean that the Saints, Eagles, or both are doomed this year?

by Frick (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 3:42pm

It's nice to see such great technique in that picture.

Leading with your head down and wrapping up.

I could be wrong on the head being down, I can't see the video, but it appears that way in the picture

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 3:44pm

There's a difference between a big hit for a reason and a big hit in lieu of attempting to actually make the tackle. This was the former - if you read the excerpt, when the play started, Brown's job was just to rush Bush and nail him. He'd be completely out of position for any other play, but the Saints overran the flare play the previous game, and the Eagles wanted to make them hesitant about doing it again.

And one of the reasons you don't run a flare pattern like that every play is because you're exposing a running back (who already gets a ton of pounding) to a clean shot if the play is read right.

So the great thing about that play was that 1) it was a good tackle, not just a good hit, 2) no one got hurt, and 3) it served a purpose. New Orleans knew that Philly could recognize those patterns. With a vengeance.

by D (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 6:46pm

Reggie Bush got jacked up.

by Doctor Hook (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 6:52pm


Yeah I think it is Spencer you're referring to, he definitely got a big one on Kitna in the SF@DET game. Amazingly, he then got fined for it because the top of his helmet connected with the bottom of Kitna's chinstrap. Which was clearly ridiculous.

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 11:22pm

Jack Tatum best hitter ever.

by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Fri, 07/27/2007 - 1:07am

*shrug* I'm kind of with #8, the only thing I really don't like about football is how prevalent and devastating injuries are. Good defense is nice, but wishing to break your opponent's ribs (one that you acknowledge was "defenseless") is not really fun for me. I don't really want to see Reggie Bush get hurt, I want to see Reggie Bush do the crazy stuff that won him a Heisman. It's a shame we didn't see Trent Green's hit on "Jacked Up" this year, isn't it?

It's all the same to me if someone gets dragged down or run out of bounds as if they get crushed or powerbombed. It's really more about what happened... loss of five, a sack, forced fumble, etc.

by Kevin Eleven (not verified) :: Fri, 07/27/2007 - 8:57am

Too bad Bush isn't as tough and macho as you, Billy Joe Badass.

Brown's hit on Bush was the nastiest I've ever seen in the NFL. A friend at work said "that rookie isn't used to getting hit like that". My response was that NO ONE is used to getting hit like that.

by Kevin Eleven (not verified) :: Fri, 07/27/2007 - 9:29am

Whoops- #30 was in response to #2's reference to Bush "crawling around like a baby" after the hit. I for one am honest enough to admit that I would have done the same, at best.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Fri, 07/27/2007 - 1:30pm

31 - I am not ashamed to admit that I'd be crawling around too. However, neither you nor I are professional athletes (at least I am assuming you're not) so presumably, we wouldn't be accustomed to absorbing hits by large, ill-tempered gentlemen.

Just sayin.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 07/27/2007 - 7:15pm

Re #8:

I have to say I agree with you for the most part about other aspects of football being far more interesting than some particularly intense hit. However, football is a physical game and knocking the stuffing out of a player will make him and the oc think twice before doing the same thing again. Also, it's much harder to play at 100% when you're beat up a bit, so even though there are better things than big hits for their own sake, they still do serve a useful purpose.