49ers LB Greenlaw says he has apologized to Eagles security staffer
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw says he has exchanged apologies with the Philadelphia Eagles security official after a sideline dustup led to both being ejected.
Greenlaw and Eagles chief security officer Dom DiSandro got ejected during San Francisco's 42-19 victory over Philadelphia after Greenlaw was called for unnecessary roughness on a tackle of DeVonta Smith near the Eagles sideline.
The hit drew the ire of the Eagles and DiSandro got in between Smith and Greenlaw as they argued and pushed Greenlaw away. Greenlaw then put his hand in DiSandro's face and both ended up getting ejected.
Greenlaw said Wednesday that he and DiSandro sent apologies through intermediaries after the game and holds no ill will.
“He seemed like a genuine guy, seemed like a guy that everybody loved in the building,” Greenlaw said. “Honestly, I really hate that it escalated and went to that. That’s never something I ever been a part of or seen in the game.”
The NFL sent a memo to teams on Wednesday reiterating a policy that states non-player personnel are prohibited from making physical contact, taunting or directing insults to opposing players or officials. The memo also said only game officials or coaches should try to break up any altercations. The league said any violations could lead to fines or suspensions.
The situation between the Eagles and 49ers is under review, a person familiar with the process told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has made no announcement.
DiSandro joined the Eagles in 1999 and also serves as a senior adviser to general manager Howie Roseman. The 45-year-old DiSandro, a burly tough guy who refrains from interviews, oversees all safety and security matters for players, coaches and executives. He also directs security at the team’s training complex, is responsible for security measures related to team travel and logistics, and provides education on the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The penalty was the third personal foul on Greenlaw this season and his second ejection in the past two years. He also got tossed from a game last season for a hit to the head of Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.
“I’m not a dirty player,” Greenlaw said. “I play by the rules. Just because you tackle a little physical doesn’t make you a dirty player.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan said he agreed with the penalty called on Greenlaw and said Greenlaw apologized after the game for the infraction. But he doesn't want Greenlaw to change the way he plays.
“He is our most physical hitter," Shanahan said. "We’ve got a lot of guys who hit, but I think he shows up more than others, which when his own teammates say that, I think that’s the respect they give him. I think Dre’s unbelievable at it. How physical he plays and how hard he goes. The fact that it always looks close, but I know Dre is not a dirty player at all.”
Greenlaw's teammates appreciate his ferocity on the field and say his style of play fuels the entire defense with defensive end Nick Bosa calling Greenlaw the Niners' enforcer.
“It’s just his mentality,” Bosa said. “When you turn on the tape, you see guys, if they take a hit early in the game they’re looking for him and they’re getting down way faster than they normally would. You see running backs just call it quits early in games, guys that you watch on tape and you’re ready to play because you know they can go and then you don’t feel them the rest of the game because of the stuff our defense does and Dre is a leader in that.”
NOTES: DT Arik Armstead could miss a game or two, according to Shanahan, with injuries to his knee and foot. ... OL Spencer Burford (knee), RB Elijah Mitchell (knee), TE Ross Dwelley (ankle) and CB Darrell Luter Jr. (hamstring) didn't practice. ... WR Ray-Ray-McCloud (rib) was limited.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report
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