Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
He's making an effort to tackle the quarterback after the ball was thrown. It certainly blows the theory that Kimo was purely an innocent victim of the mean ol' lineman's push. Whether or not he knew the ball was out (I think he did), he didn't let up. He still grabbed the QBs leg, and it still should have been a late-hit penalty.
My position has never been that Kimo was "purely" driven by the offensive lineman. His momentum and direction was, however, aided by said offensive lineman. You had a 300-pound guy trying to drive to the QB. The offensive lineman helped him get there.
Kimo hit Palmer during his follow-through and couldn't see Palmer's arm. Couldn't see it.
There wasn't enough time to react to a ref's call of "Ball Out", even if the ref yelled it at the top of his lungs the moment he released it (which was a fraction of a second before Palmer was hit). And there's no way to stop one's momentum while in mid air.
And you might want to watch the end of that play again. Kimo could have done any number of things to exacerbate the situation. He could have kept rolling. He could have wrenched the leg or tried to keep his legs moving. But he didn't. In fact, as soon as Kimo figured out what the situation was, he let go of Palmer's leg and made every effort to discontinue contact. Again, Kimo would have rolled that knee over had he no arms at all. Frankly, I'm astounded that Palmer's leg wasn't snapped in two- and it might have been had Kimo not had that arm down to partially support his weight.
And if that was a late hit, then the NFL does just need to abolish the pass rush. A late hit is not a hit that happens at any
point after the QB releases the ball. The ref has to be able to perceive that there is an opportunity (i.e. enough time) for the defensive player to do something different than connect with the QB. In this case, there simply wasn't. Happened too fast. Palmer was hit even before the camera tracking the play had panned him offscreen. Happened so fast that Palmer wasn't able to transfer weight to his right leg, which is why his left leg gave out. I have little doubt that we'd have seen less damage done had the hit actually BEEN truly late because then Palmer wouldn't have had all his weight on that leg.