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August 24, 2011 @ 2:26 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/2 Votes

Foster Fined For Hit On Ochocinco

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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As expected, Tampa Bay rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster was fined by the NFL for his big hit on New England wide receiver Chad Ochocinco last Thursday night, which drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty.
Tampa Bay rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster has yet to receive his first NFL game check, but when he does once the regular season starts, it will be a bit lighter due to the fact that he was fined an undisclosed amount by the NFL for a hit on New England wide receiver Chad Ochocinco in the Bucs’ 31-14 loss to the Patriots last Thursday night.

In the first quarter Foster dropped in coverage and unloaded on Ochocinco, breaking up a pass intended for the former Bengals Pro Bowler. Foster’s helmet, forearm and shoulder hit Ochocinco in the head, which drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty and gave New England a first down. After the game on Friday, Ochocinco mentioned the hit on his Twitter page, saluted Foster for doing his job and hoped he wouldn’t be fined. Ochocinco even volunteered to pay the fine in his Twitter post, but that is not allowed by NFL rules.

On Wednesday at One Buccaneer Place, Foster acknowledged that he was fined for the hit.

“Actually I just got the letter right now,” Foster said. “I just got the letter, so I’ve just got to pay and keep on going from there. Hopefully he is going to pay for my fine (laughs). I’ll just pay and keep on moving, you know, and learn from it.”  

Foster was appreciative of a highly recognizable veteran like Ochocinco going out of his way to respect his hit publicly in his Twitter post.

“It was cool,” Foster said. “Definitely growing up, I mean when we were younger he was one of the guys you would always see on TV and everything, so it was cool to get respect from another guy. At the same time, it is just playing football. I try to go out there and hit everybody.”

It appears as if Foster, who has started the first two preseason games at middle linebacker and is slated to start the third exhibition contest this week at home against Miami, is the early favorite to remain the starter for the regular season. Yet the Bucs’ third-round pick in 2011 is not looking past this week’s tilt against the Dolphins.

“I am excited,” Foster said. “I cannot wait. It's going to be fun to get out there and play. [I] get to play for a long time – three quarters [or] two and three quarters, or whatever. That is exciting to me to get the feel of the game and go out there against the Dolphins, who are a good team. I cannot wait.”

Foster is slated to be the middle linebacker only in Tampa Bay’s 4-3 base defense as strongside linebacker Quincy Black moves over to the middle when the Bucs go to two linebackers in nickel defense. Yet against New England, head coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris threw Foster out there in pass coverage situations to see how the rookie would respond.

“Oh I am real comfortable,” Foster said. “We have a great [nickel linebacking corps] – Quincy and Geno – work well together. You know what I mean? Quincy is a crazy athlete, so put him out there and let him do his thing. But at the same time, I understand the concepts and can make the calls and everything. It's just the fact that I am with the second group.

“I’ll just keep working every day and get more familiar with everything [and] keep talking to Quincy and Geno. Sooner or later I will be there, but until then I am just working on what I need to work on, which is everything, so I am feeling good.”

Foster may be feeling good, but he is a few thousand dollars lighter in the pocket as a result of his hit on Ochocinco last Thursday night.
Last modified on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 16:19

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  • avatar

    Foster made a great play and layed a good hit. The league needs to be careful with how they handle these situations. As a fan I don't want to see players get injured regardless of who it is or what team they play for, but the game is physical and injuries are a part of it. The league shouldn't micro-manage the gameplay to a point where the fans and the players feel their sport is compromised.
  • avatar

    Speaking of cRuud...I wonder if you asked the Warden directly how Foster should have hit 85 instead, what could he have done differently to avoid the fine and still tackle him? Pulling a cRuud is all I can think of.. after he went by grab the ankles...
  • avatar

    Was Barrett Ruud ever fined for a hit?
  • avatar

    I want to see if Oco is going to pay that fine on foster. I think it is a shame that they are jumping off this rookie, How about the veterans that are worst. Tampa lost a game or two because of bad calls! HOW ABOUT A BREAK LEAGUE.
  • avatar

    Thats just ridiculous. It was a clean hit. Even Ochocinco said it. I hate this commish, hes trying to make this flag football with all this
  • avatar

    Awww man! Watching Foster lay the lumber live was worth the price of admission for me:) Its a bummer he got fined. Have to give credit to Ochocinco for acknowledging a clean hit. Keep it up Foster!!! Were rooting for ya!
  • avatar

    For crying out loud! This is a B.S. fine! Saw that reply numerous times and I just don't get what the "warden" is trying to accomplish with this. I take that back. The owners are trying to find ways of reducing the "after football" benefits by turning this game into chess instead of a contact sport.
  • avatar

    BS - period.
  • avatar

    Break out the flags!!! It's time for a little flag football this year! NO HITTING allowed!!!
  • avatar

    it is what it is...good hit young buc
  • avatar

    Thats BS. All of the commentators and even Ocho all agree he was just playing football and it wasn't dirty. He shouldnt have been fined for that especially when he doesnt even have any money yet.
  • avatar

    The owners are changing the game to protect their pocketbooks. They don't want to have to pay the players health insurance for 40 or so years after they are done. It's a PR ploy for the litigation that will come sooner or later. It is crap, as that play is what football has been about forever. The kickoff change is another example of their BS PR tactics. They are ruining the game.
  • avatar

    Too bad he had to get fined on a truly excellent play and now he'll be singled out like Harrison was last year, which will make subsequent fines greater. The guy doesn't make enough money to be held up as the NFL's example player of the year.
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