Igor Olshansky responds to Tom Nalen's claims

May, 24, 2013
5/24/13
2:11
PM ET
Former Denver Broncos center Tom Nalen said Friday that in a 2006 game he tried to injure former San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Igor Olshansky, who is also a former Dallas Cowboy.

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"I wouldn’t consider myself a dirty player," Nalen said according to Pro Football Talk. "I know people will bring up the Igor Olshansky play in 2006, but if people would look at the play before that and realize why I did what I did -- and even on that play I missed the cut -- so you know definitely, I wanted to blow his knee out on that play because of what happened the play before. But that, you know, is that dirty? I don’t know. It’s revenge, kind of, so."

Olshansky said he remembers the play and has forgiven Nalen.

"He's a Hall of Famer and I've pretty much forgotten about it," said Olshansky, who still lives in Dallas. "It was a big deal at the time, but thank God it worked out for everybody. I wouldn't do something like that. For him to do it, it's something he's got to live with."

Nalen was holding a news conference after he was being named to the Broncos' Ring of Fame and brought up the Olshansky play. Nalen said he went after Olshansky because of the previous play where he claims the defensive lineman grabbed his face mask.

Based on Pro Football Talk's account of the play, the Broncos and Chargers were playing when the Broncos were trying to spike the ball. Nalen dove into Olshansky’s legs, prompting several punches to be thrown. Olshansky, who threw the punches was ejected from the game. Both players were fined for the incident. Olshansky said he was on a bullrush where a defensive player puts his hands up into a lineman's chest, but denied grabbing a face mask.

"I don't grab people's face mask," Olshansky said. "It's the offensive linemen that are the grabbers instead of the defensive linemen. What I want to grab is the quarterback or the running back. That was a play that I thought was common knowledge."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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