Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Wood, Rex sound off on Landry hit

October 24, 2016 - 4:32 pm
In the second quarter of Sunday's Buffalo Bills game against the Miami Dolphins, safety Aaron Williams was laid out by a high block from Dolphins wide receiver, Jarvis Landry. Williams would lay on the turf for some time before being helped off the field by the Bills' training staff. Williams would eventually be taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation of his neck and head area as a precaution.

Luckily, Williams was able to travel back to Buffalo with his teammates on Sunday evening and was around at the team's facility on Monday.

On the play, Landry was flagged for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Landry had earlier taken a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting, but he was not ejected from the game because he did not receive a second flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

On Monday, the Bills were back at One Bills Drive breaking down what went wrong in their 28-25 loss to the Dolphins.

While the primary focus of Monday's discussions was the poor play on both sides of the ball, the Landry hit was a topic that was talked about quite a bit.

Bills center Eric Wood was one player who spoke his opinion on the Landry hit. He joined Mike Schopp and the Bulldog as part of his weekly chat on Buffalo Football Monday and voiced his displeasure with the hit.

"I thought that his on Aaron Williams crossed the line, that's for sure," Wood said. "I'm going to give [Landry] the benefit of the doubt that it was a bang-bang play and that it wasn't pre-meditated. You know it is football, and we compete hard. But at the end of the day, Aaron Williams is a guy with a previous neck injury. After watching the replay, he tried to take his head off. I'm very anxious to see what the fine is. I don't believe that he's a repeat offender, so I'm anxious to see how that fine compares to the $12,500 that Jordan Reed got fined for shooting the football at the goalpost like a jump shot in basketball."

The National Football League has been trying to do all it can to crack down on hits like this one, and the players have been doing a considerable job at keeping hits clean. However, the league has been heavily criticized for its fines and punishments given to players for excessive celebrations. Wood is one of those critics and believes that player's safety is a more pressing issue than players celebrating and enjoying themselves on the field.

"To me, this could go for anything in life, but it almost seems like [the NFL] was worried about the wrong thing," Wood said. "The NFL has built the most powerful game in America, and probably across the world. They're doing something right, and they know a lot more than I do. But from my perspective, player's safety: let's keep that going. Cracking down on guys for having some fun out there, I don't see the importance of it."

Williams has had a history of injuries with his neck and head. Williams had neck surgery following a scary injury in the early parts of last season. Williams also suffered a concussion at training camp this season, which forced him to miss some preseason action.

While Landry probably did not know of Williams' history with upper-body injuries, Wood still believes that his hit was on a defenseless player.

"Like I said, I give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't know that Aaron Williams had previous neck injuries. That's kind of beside the point. We actually talked about that block in training camp as a team. Basically, on offense, special teams plays, and even interceptions, you can't take shots on defenseless players like that who aren't looking. To me, a shot on a defenseless player doesn't make you tough."

You can listen to the entire interview with Eric Wood below:

Along with Wood, Bills head coach Rex Ryan was also not in favor of the hit that Landry threw at Williams. While the hit that Landry threw was flagged for unnecessary roughness, Rex believes that he should have been out of the game.

"A play like that is unnecessary, and I get call. Absolutely that's appropriate," Rex said on WGR with Schopp and the Bulldog. "But to me, it's worse than that. It's a blatant thing. You clearly are targeting, launching, and you clearly hit the player in the neck and head area. It's got no business being in our sport. The sport is a physical sport, but it doesn't have to be dangerous. That's a dangerous hit in my opinion."

While the hit on Williams looked serious and threatening to his health, Rex was very pleased and thankful to have Aaron back at One Bills Drive on Monday.

"He's walking around, he's talking to everybody, he was in our meetings today. That's great to see. As far as how he is medically, he's still being evaluated by our medical department with the head and neck. But it's good to see him moving around and talking to everyone."

In case you missed the interview with Ryan, you can re-listen to it below:

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