Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady came to the defense of Pittsburgh Steelers safety Damontae Kazee after Kazee was suspended for the remainder of the 2023 season on Monday.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner criticized Gardner Minshew’s pass rather than the hit by the Steelers defender.
“Nobody likes seeing players get hurt. But hard hits happen,” Brady commented on Sportscenter’s Instagram post announcing the suspension. “QBs should not be throwing the ball in areas where they are exposing their own teammates to these types of hits. Coaches need to coach better, QBs needs to read coverages and throw the ball to the right places, and defenders should aim for the right hitting areas.
“To put the blame on the (defensive) player all the time is just flat-out wrong. Need better QB play! It’s not OK QBs to get your WRs hit because of your bad decisions,” Brady continued.
The NFL suspended Kazee without pay for the rest of the regular season, including any playoff games, for repeated violations of rules protecting players’ health and safety, the league announced Monday.
Kazee was penalized and ejected from the Steelers’ loss Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts after violently hitting receiver Michael Pittman Jr.
Pittman walked off the field under his own power before the Colts ruled him out for the rest of the game due to a concussion.
Kazee plans to appeal his suspension and challenge his status as a repeat offender, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports.
“I understand they’re trying to clean up the game, but at this point, it’s a bit extreme,” Ron Butler, Kazee’s agent, told Anderson. “As for the notion of Kazee receiving a harsher punishment for being a ‘repeat violator,’ you have to remember most of his fines that were assessed this season got rescinded after appeal.”
Prior to the suspension announcement, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin described Kazee’s hit as “unfortunate.”
“I know he is not a dirty player,” Tomlin said Monday, according to Steelers Wire’s Allison Koehler. “He doesn’t aspire to do some of the things that came to light under those circumstances.”
Tomlin added that safety Minkah Fitzpatrick won’t be available for Pittsburgh’s Week 16 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals due to a knee injury.