It’s not often that a coach praises his player for committing a penalty, but that’s exactly what Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels did when asked about Marcus Peters’ horse-collar tackle to prevent a likely Packers touchdown on Monday night.
McDaniels was asked after the game about Peters getting flagged for horse collaring Packers receiver Christian Watson to keep him out of the end zone at the end of a long gain. McDaniels said in that situation, he’d rather have his player commit a penalty and give the defense a chance to make a stop, which the Raiders did, holding the Packers to a field goal in a game Las Vegas ultimately won 17-13.
“Talked to Marcus, it’s the right penalty,” McDaniels said. “That’s a really smart play in a critical time in the game. If it’s the first quarter in the middle of the field you don’t want a horse collar. But if you’re saving a touchdown on a long play like that, you at least give yourself a chance to play a few more downs, which he did, and then the defense really rose up and played well.”
Strategically, McDaniels is right. But the horse-collar tackle rule was specifically implemented for player safety, and it’s hard to endorse a coach encouraging his player to commit a penalty that could injure an opponent.