Dunta Robinson draws the wrath of the league

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson was fined $40,000 for his hit on Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin during the third quarter of the Falcons’ 35-31 victory on Monday night.

Robinson was fined after putting a similar hit on Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson last season. He was docked $50,000, but the amount was reduced to $25,000 on appeal. He’ll likely appeal again.

With 6:12 left in the third quarter, Robinson leveled Maclin. The league said Robinson violated player safety rules.

Falcons coach Mike Smith and Robinson were convinced that Maclin was running and not a defenseless player. Robinson was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty.

“I saw him catch the ball,” Robinson said. “Last year, they said the receiver didn’t have time to see me. He was a defenseless receiver. But I saw him catch the ball. I saw him run, trying to get upfield to score. So me as a defender, if I whiff on him, he’s probably going to run around me [for] a long touchdown.”

Robinson felt he had no choice but to take a shot at Maclin, who had already scored two touchdowns. In last year’s game, Jackson had two scores before Robinson decked him and both players suffered concussions.

“This is a physical football game,” Robinson said. “That’s the way I play. If I don’t play that way, I wouldn’t make it in this league. I definitely didn’t think it was a dirty play. I’m not a dirty player. I don’t go out there and hit players illegally.”

Smith concurred with Robinson.

“In terms of Dunta’s [hit], that was not a defenseless player in my opinion,” Smith said. “It was called a defenseless player. It was not a defenseless player. He was a runner. He had taken two steps.”

Smith, a former defensive coordinator, approved of Robinson’s tackle.

“It was a clean shot, the way we coach it, and the flag was thrown so it was a penalty,” Smith said.

The Eagles were irate with Robinson.

“It’s two-for-two now,” said Maclin of Robinson’s record with the Eagles. “Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as Jackson was last year. I was all right. It almost shocked me.”

After the game, Philadelphia coach Andy Reid wouldn’t say if he thought Robinson deserved another fine or more punishment from the league.

“That’s up to the league,” Reid said.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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114 comments Add your comment

Falcons Fan

September 19th, 2011
6:59 pm

No fines for the hits Philly put on us? This is crazy. Ryan and White got hit in the head also.


September 19th, 2011
7:04 pm

Marginal call. Believe the league will lower the fine when they look at at the film available. it was a close call!


September 19th, 2011
7:08 pm

I am a homer but that hit was way too much. I’ve always hated that torpedo shot DB’s take on receivers. I’ve never felt sorry for any of the DB’s that Hines Ward teed off on for that reason. Why can’t he put his head into his chest? Go Birds.


September 19th, 2011
7:09 pm

WE won despite refs calling everything eagles way Halleluja


September 19th, 2011
7:10 pm

That hit was not illegal, quit being little girls and play football. Remember when guys played football and didn’t cry when they got hit? Oh well, guess this country has turned all the young men out there into va jay jays.


September 19th, 2011
7:12 pm

At least dog killer got knocked the f out. That was priceless. And if you claim to be a falcon fan but still wear a prick jersey, you are not a falcons fan. Period.


September 19th, 2011
7:18 pm

I guess the head to head shot by Jackson, the DL for the Eagles, was OK and Robinson’s was not. Come on man. Call it fair both ways, although Jackson’s hit on Ryan (to the head) was much worse….but not called.


September 19th, 2011
8:10 pm

robinson needs to find some dog fights so we can get rid of him and owens they both stink


September 19th, 2011
8:16 pm

So Robinson waits until a receiver gets 2 touchdowns before he decides to get physical?

Come on man!


September 19th, 2011
8:23 pm

Cullen Jenkins better be docked for his shot to the head of Ryan too but then he plays for the media darlings.

Can’t forget Jason Babin and him trying to break Ryans leg.


September 19th, 2011
8:27 pm

would you feel the same way if julia jones or rosey white had taken a cowardly hit from a db who’s only claim to fame is being a cheap shot artist?

Falcon Phil

September 19th, 2011
8:28 pm

$40,000? that’s chump change for dunta–he’s got millions. Philly needs to quit crying and complaining.

masters degree

September 19th, 2011
8:35 pm

The REFs would never allow RYAN to get hit Like VIC… period.. they are people too.. screwed up and highly charged racially like most of America

Boca Baby

September 19th, 2011
8:49 pm

You knew something like this was going to happen. After last week’s lackluster performance in Chicago you just had to know that Van Gorder was going to have them out for blood. I am not in favor of cheap shots and the call was borderline. But there was also a message sent on this one: “Go over the middle and pay the price!”

Boca Baby

September 19th, 2011
8:50 pm

masters degree: take you racial bigotry somewhere else.

Shirly Hemphill

September 19th, 2011
8:52 pm

His cat makes more than that.


September 19th, 2011
9:03 pm

The hit on Ryan was just as egregious. No flag.

Chuck Allison

September 19th, 2011
9:10 pm

Boca Baby, obviously, if it is racist to call somebody racist or a bigot, then you and Masters Degree would have to share the same designation. But then, you probably never considered that racism could go both ways.


September 19th, 2011
9:21 pm

I am not a fan of either team. If that is the way the Falcons are taught to tackle, then not very many of them are going to make it to the end of the season. I have never heard of leading with your head, and not raising your arms as the correct form for tackling.


September 19th, 2011
9:31 pm


YOu are wrong dude…you are taught to keep you head up and tackle. This rule is BS because you cant help but lead with your head as it is higher then your shoulder.

Capt czy

September 19th, 2011
9:32 pm

Not a bad hit. Guy was running. This ain’t dancin’ with the stars. It’s not choreographed.


September 19th, 2011
9:39 pm

Tee Ach You Gee.

Chandler Going Deep..

September 19th, 2011
9:48 pm

“Smith, a former defensive coordinator, approved of Robinson’s tackle.

“It was a clean shot, the way we coach it, and the flag was thrown so it was a penalty,” Smith said”

Coach Smith your an idiot..That was an horrific shot!…Don’t worry though cause the way your line is playing payback is a __________ and IceMelt won’t last past Thanksgiving..

What a Jerk of a coach to sanction that crap from Robinson..

I hope Rodgers puts up 50 on you nit wits!!!

Mr. Panic Button

September 19th, 2011
9:48 pm

There should be no fine for that hit. The only reason their helmets came together is because Maclin lowered himself to prepare for the hit he saw coming. So according to league rules: 1) defenseless player and 2) lunge yourself into the player. Robinson did not do either. Maclin took 3-4 steps after he caught the ball and saw the hit coming; as well as, Dunta didn’t leave his feet to lunge at him. He needs to continue these types of hits but lower his shoulder to center mass of the body always looking at the target (not with the head down). Now let’s go bust up so more.

Mr. Panic Button

September 19th, 2011
9:50 pm

And the other reason the NFL even entertained a fine was the MEDIA blowing this up. Christina Collinsworth with her giraffe neck needs to STFU.

Ronald Millsaps

September 19th, 2011
9:58 pm

“panic”– Shut up.

Dunta Robinson perhaps needs to be suspended without pay instead of just fined, and let’s see some fines to CBS, et al, for some of the sleazy ads and commercials that are so commonplace.

Great win.

Randal Patrick McMurphy

September 19th, 2011
10:04 pm

Robinson is a f’n punk… no excuses. Second FLAGRANT infraction of the same type – 8 game suspension w/ no pay,.. minimum. If ever an example should be made, the NFL has one served up on a platter right here…


September 19th, 2011
10:13 pm

Normal people lean forward when they run, thus the head is in front of the rest of his body. The only way not to “lead” with your head is to run like Forest Gump. It’s pretty hard to make a tackle running like that.

“Christina Collinsworth” I like that. His coach must have dropped him on his head when he was a rookie.


September 19th, 2011
10:22 pm

Help please? How does an offside penalty ‘a free play’ become an offsetting penalty for offenive holding?
Somebody tell Weems ‘don’t let the punt hit the ground!

Overpaid crybabies

September 19th, 2011
10:22 pm

Thugs and crybabies….that’s what they are.


September 19th, 2011
10:23 pm

I would like to see some fines for the clear head to head shots on Ryan and White. You won’t hear a peep from the media or the NFL though. Collingsworth mentioned the Ryan hit, but acted like he was afraid to point out the officals missed a call. Must be an a clause in ESPN contract probhitting speaking ill of the NFL.

ESPNs show has gone from the Jacked Up segment to Come on Man. Says it all.

not so fast

September 19th, 2011
10:24 pm

Hey MASTERS DEGREE. What is wrong with America is idiots like you who have to make everything racial. You are the one who is racist for even making that statement. STFU. Your name would be better suited as Al Sharpton Jr.

not so fast

September 19th, 2011
10:25 pm

Enter your comments here


September 19th, 2011
10:38 pm

I like turtles.


September 19th, 2011
10:44 pm

Can anything be done about the helmet to the head hit on Ryan or does their have to be an official’s call on the play?

K From Da Wood

September 19th, 2011
11:13 pm

I don’t care wether the hit was clean or dirty. Dunta Robinson is going to seriously injure himself if he continues to lead with his head down like that. When he breaks his neck or ends his career how many of you so called fans will give a damn then!


September 19th, 2011
11:31 pm

Master’s Degree, you have got to be black to insert the race card. Go back to school and earn a reas Degree if you can read.


September 19th, 2011
11:32 pm

Keep the hits coming.

Bird E

September 19th, 2011
11:38 pm

The Eagles are such a bunch of Yankee sissies… they talk smack about how hard they play and hit other teams but when someone stands up and punches them in the chops they start crying foul!!

Their Defense hit our players late, hit them high, launched themselves, and don’t get me started on the punishment Ryan took… The Refs must have gotten paid to be blind, what a crock of… well, you know.

Dunta does need to keep his head up on his tackles/hits….

Falcon Jim

September 19th, 2011
11:48 pm

Bring – it, BABY ! ! ! ! !

Falcons fan from up North

September 20th, 2011
12:14 am

Is the league going to look at that vicious hit against Matt Ryan? The media is making such an issue of Dunta Robinson’s hit but what about the helmet to helmet hit on Matt Ryan???


September 20th, 2011
12:42 am

It seemed all the ATL # 7 Jerseys must of been the pride of the GETTO last night.

Matt the Brave

September 20th, 2011
12:51 am

Uh, when did the NFL turn into the Powder-Puff league? I mean, really? Let ‘em play!


September 20th, 2011
3:40 am

“That’s the way I play. If I don’t play that way, I wouldn’t make it in this league.”

This is the attitude you want out of a defensive back or safety. That element of fear gives them an advantage over wide recievers. It is no coincidence that later in the game Maclin dropped an easy pass that would have converted a fourth down.

Dunta Robinson is the man. He could prove to be a key component of our defense this season.


September 20th, 2011
5:40 am

Im going ot agree with the majority of fans that the hit was not dirty. When in fact you saw on teh replay that Maclin actually lowered hid head to prepare for the hit meaning he was not defensless because he saw it coming after he took 2 steps. And about the helmet to helmet to Ryan I agree it should have been called, but its football people are going to get hit in the head. The one call that really stuck out to me was Abraham coming off the edge, and basically tapping the qb in the back, and then holding on to him to keep him from falling to the ground was a bs call. I think the officiating of this game was horrible. There is only so much a man of Abrahams size can do when he is running full speed.


September 20th, 2011
6:43 am

He launched himself like a missile and his arms were at his side.

Mr. Panic Button

September 20th, 2011
7:14 am

R. Millsaps…you know what you can do.

DC Dirty Bird

September 20th, 2011
7:39 am

Penalties are becoming more about the result of the play than the dynamics of the play.


September 20th, 2011
7:51 am

There was nothing even marginally dirty about the hit, picture perfect (as was last years) didn’t hit him with his helmet didn’t even hit the recievers head with his shoulder, and no he didn’t “launch” himself like a missle, what clip were you watching, both feet on the ground at point of impact, which btw results in a far more violent blow


September 20th, 2011
8:00 am

some of you posters are funny. I wonder if the ones that believe that that was a dirty hit by Robinson have ever played football? Maybe we should just take tackling totally out of the game and play flag football. and Nick @ September 19th, 2011 7:10 pm you must be a girl because no real man would use words like va jay jay!!!