NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger says that if he was Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, he'd put a bounty on Ezekiel Elliott.
Baldinger, a former NFL offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles, was on 97.5 The Fanatic this morning to preview Sunday's big Eagles-Cowboys game. During it, he goes a long, strangely personal rant about Ezekiel Elliott, and even says that if he was coaching the Eagles, he'd put a bounty on the Cowboys' star rookie running back.
Brian Baldinger's full comments from the show. They begin around the 3:17:00 mark of the show, available in podcast form here:
"They've got this running back Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth pick in the draft. He shows up at the draft in New York with a belly shirt on, a tuxedo collar, just arrogance. Just screams arrogance. The powder blue shirt. He's got 703 yards. He leads the league in rushing. Everybody talks about how good the offensive line is. He's the difference maker.
And it just bugs me. If I'm Jim Schwartz right now, I'm putting a picture of Ezekiel Elliott in that belly shirt from the draft up there. This is the guy that right now, the Cowboys are making their bell cow. He's their leader, he's what makes it go. The quarterback's been good, but this is the guy. It's the running game, it's the time of possession.
And I just want you guys to have the same amount of... I want you guys to be irked like I am. I want you to go to bed tonight thinking about this guy, and how pretty he is, and how good he is, because all these backs are the same. They're all pretty, and they're all special, and they do all these commercials until they just get tattooed.
Until you just pound them into the turf. Until you just drill 'em. Until their head hurts. So that bumble bee is flying around in their helmet, so he just didn't know how hard he just got blasted.
You can do the stuff at Ohio State, you can do it in the first six weeks of the season, and you can be in first place and everybody in Dallas can tell you that there's Emmitt Smith, there's Tony Dorsett, and now there's Ezekiel. Well he hasn't been hit by an Eagle yet. He hasn't been tattooed into that pretty little turf that Jerry built down there. Where the ball just comes apart from the body. There it is attached to the rib, and it becomes an appendage just floating around inside of AT&T Stadium.
This is the guy that we gotta hurt. This is the guy that we gotta take out of the game. There's gotta be 10 guys that want to hurt him every single play. In fact, we may even put a little bounty on Ezekiel Elliott. Let's get to Alfred Morris.
I'm sick of hearing everybody talk about how good the offensive line is, and how good this guy is. This is the guy that makes them go. This is the guy we've gotta take out.
Obviously, player bounties are a very touchy subject in the NFL. In 2012, the New Orleans Saints were subject to heavy sanctions, including a full-year suspension for head coach Sean Payton, over a high-profile bounty scandal. That doesn't even get into the fact that he pretty clearly believes Elliott should get hit so hard he suffers a concussion. The fact that Brian Baldinger, an employee of the NFL via the NFL Network, would promote a bounty against one of the league's star players, even in a hypothetical "pregame speech" situation like this, is incredibly stupid.