Many people, including Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, were stunned and angered by the actions of Greg Hardy on Sunday. The Dallas defensive end knocked a clipboard out of the hands of Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, this after Dwayne Harris returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown – the decisive score in a 27-20 Giants win. Hardy also got into a shouting match with various coaches and teammates, including Dez Bryant.
Not exactly a great look for a guy who was suspended for the first four games of the season following a domestic-violence incident.
Yet, while Hardy is getting criticized both locally and nationally by media for his actions, Doug Gottlieb didn’t see what the big deal was. His reasoning? Hardy is a great player who makes a lot of money. If he freaks out on somebody for making a mistake, it is what it is. Maybe he chose the wrong time and place to do it, but somebody needed to understand that what happened was not okay.
Mark Schlereth agreed completely.
“I don’t put too much into it as well,” the three-time Super Bowl champion and ESPN NFL analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think one thing you have to understand is you went down the road with Greg Hardy and you get all of Greg Hardy. You get his passion. You get his reputation, if you will. But you’re right about one thing: He is a great football player, man. He can flat out rush the passer. He plays exceptionally well on that defensive line. So you’re going to put up with some of the other stuff based upon the fact that that guy can flat out play.
“Knocking the clipboard out of a coaches hand, that’s not appropriate and not professional, and that would be something that I would want to address as a coaching staff,” Schlereth continued. “But the passion on the sidelines and being upset about returns and being upset about losing a game that frankly you should win, I mean, the Giants really didn’t do a whole lot. They had an interception returned for a touchdown. They had the kickoff return for a touchdown. When you lose a game by seven points when you give you those kind of plays, I hope that everybody on the team is passionate. I hope that everybody on the team is angry about that. But blowing up on the sideline and being angry about it – that doesn’t really do a whole lot for me. I’ve seen that happen a bazillion times. I don’t think there’s a cause for concern there at all.”
Neither do the Cowboys. Dallas head coach Jason Garrett said that Hardy will not be disciplined for his actions.
“The professionalism of knocking something out of a coach’s hand is probably not right, but I get it,” Schlereth said. “I get it. I’m with you. I looked at that and I was like, if you want to make a big deal about it, I understand. That’s kind of what we do. But I really don’t think it’s a big deal.”