During the third quarter of Saturday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings, rookie Nick Bosa put a hit on Brian O’Neill that got him flagged for unnecessary roughness.
The hit from Bosa on O’Neill was deemed to be blindside and it occurred after Richard Sherman got an interception.
Following the game, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer stated he the hit called a “cheap shot,” and so he agreed with that assessment.
On Monday, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was made aware of those comments and pushed back on it:
“I think people say ‘cheap shot’ when somebody gets hit violently and to me ‘cheap shot’ means your intent is to try to hurt someone,” Shanahan said Monday, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Bay Area. “And I don’t think he’s thinking about that at all. That’s a normal block in football for a long time. The guy wasn’t completely out of the play. It was a guy who could’ve made the tackle, and Bosa went and hit him. That’s a rule. You can’t do that right now. You can’t hit a guy in that position.”
Shanahan said players are taught not to initiate contact with a player whose head is turned and not ready to engage.
“Basically got to set a screen, which means let him hit you and just take it,” Shanahan said. “That’s part of this game. That’s what you got to do. And that’s what we’ll coach him up to do because you will get a penalty for that. But to say it’s a cheap shot means you’re trying to hurt someone and stuff, and I know that wasn’t the case.”
Vikings were heated by the hit because O’Neill never returned to the game afterwards and would later be diagnosed with a concussion. The Vikings offensive line would be dominated all game long and would soon the team would get blown out.