Chris Baker lauds NFL for 'right call'

ByJohn Keim ESPN logo
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Washington Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker made it clear after the game and again a day later: He wasn't going to apologize for his block on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Baker felt all along he made the right play.

Now he feels vindicated, thanks to Troy Vincent saying not only won't Baker be fined but also that there was nothing wrong with the play.

Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, repeated his stance Wednesday on Twitter that he took in a Washington Post story a day earlier.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Vincent explained his decision, including:

If QB is pursuing play, he is considered potential tackler & can be blocked. He was moving toward play and, therefore, open to being blocked

- Troy Vincent (@TroyVincent23) September 24, 2014To which Baker tweeted:

Thank You @TroyVincent23 for making the right call

- Chris Baker (@cbaker92redskin) September 24, 2014A melee ensued after Baker's block on Foles during an apparent interception return in Washington's 37-34 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters ran at Baker after the play and was ejected for throwing punches. Baker, too, was ejected for his role in the brawl.

On Tuesday night, Baker tweeted that he deserves an apology for getting ejected on what was ruled to be a legal play.

I deserve a public apology for getting ejected and talked about by you commentators for just doing my job #knowtherules

- Chris Baker (@cbaker92redskin) September 23, 2014Foles had been running in the direction of the ball carrier -- Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland -- though the Eagles quarterback had started to slow down. Still, the fact that he was going in the direction of the runner mattered to the NFL.

The Eagles, though, remain puzzled by the play, as coach Chip Kelly told reporters Wednesday that "I'm still under the impression you can't blindside a player, whether it's a quarterback or not a quarterback.

"I'll touch base with league officials before we play again. That's news to me that that's a legal hit. I know the referee threw the flag pretty quickly and threw him out of the game. I don't know if they're going to reprimand the official for making that call."

The Redskins have stood by Baker. On Monday, coach Jay Gruden called it a bang-bang play and said that if "Baker doesn't block him and Breeland gets up and runs and gets pushed out of bounds by Foles, then we're probably going to be all over Baker for not blocking the quarterback."

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