Bill Cowher built his reputation as a head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers with his players playing tough, physical, hard-hitting football. Yesterday, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called the hit that broke Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone, delivered by the Minnesota Vikings’ Anthony Barr, “totally unnecessary.”

The NFL Today on CBS host joined the latest episode of The Jim Rome Podcast and was asked about the hit.

“I don’t think it was anything maliciously done as far as trying to drive him into the turf,” Cowher said. “I don’t think he’s that kind of player, he doesn’t even have a history of that.”

While Cowher didn’t agree with McCarthy’s assessment, he more than understood why he was frustrated by the loss of his two-time league MVP.

“I understand Mike’s position. It’s very frustrating. You’re talking about your franchise quarterback, a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Cowher said of Rodgers. “We’ve saw what he’s done, even in recent weeks, the magic he provides when he’s on the field. So I think it’s some frustration in it from Mike’s perspective, but as I looked at it I didn’t see malicious about it at all.”

Cowher, a great defensive coach and a former linebacker who spent five seasons in the NFL, said that once a quarterback like Rodgers gets out of the pocket, his mobility leaves defenders little choice when trying to stop him.

“Guys like Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, these guys make a lot plays running with the football outside the pocket, so there are times you got to make sure they’re runners and they’re not just quarterbacks,” Cowher said. “And so when you leave the pocket you do become a runner. You do become subjected to being looked upon that way and being tackled.”

You can listen to The Jim Rome Podcast on iTunes, or wherever podcasts can be found.

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