New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper and his teammates know the opposing team’s quarterback must go down—and he must go down hard. It’s an old saying made famous by the Oakland Raiders of yesteryear (when they were good). But the Saints have taken it to heart in two playoff wins over the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings. New Orleans knocked Cards QB Kurt Warner out of their Divisional Playoff game and then beat up Vikes QB Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game. Their physical style of play, however, generated penalties in some cases—and fines.
When asked if the Saints played dirty, Darren disagreed (big surprise) to an extent:
“We don’t know if we want to call ourselves dirty, but I think I said this before—it is like taking a shower when you get up in the morning and are going to cut your grass. You are nice and fresh when you cut the grass, but at the end you have a little griminess to you. We want to call ourselves a little grimy; not dirty all the way, but just maybe a little grimy. That is how we like to play.”
Well, that was a rather unusual and slightly disturbing analogy. He might as well just admit some of the Saints defensive players play dirty. Their goal—whether they admit or it not—it to injure the opposing team’s quarterback. And I have to say, they’re pretty good at it.