It's official: Tuck rule gone, helmet rule approved

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  • The (owners are for it) argument is plainly disguised as them wanting the game to be safer and to look good for future lawsuits. This is just my opinion of course, but whoever voted against this would look as if they didn't give a crap about safety. Appearances are everything in this case!
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  • I bet you all will still watch anyways. Even after this doomsday announcement.
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  • Tech Worlds wrote:I bet you all will still watch anyways. Even after this doomsday announcement.


    Watch while hoping it doesn't have the impact I think it will. We'll see...
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  • Tech Worlds wrote:I bet you all will still watch anyways. Even after this doomsday announcement.



    True,still dont like it.
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  • Tech Worlds wrote:I bet you all will still watch anyways. Even after this doomsday announcement.


    Of course we will, but it doesn't mean we're not aggravated. We will watch but will enjoy the game slightly less.
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  • I think they could solve all these issues by just removing the face mask.

    Think about it... Who is going to lead with the head without a face mask?

    Problem solved.
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  • The crown of the helmet is the top of the helmet, which doesn't really have much to do with the facemask. Players would probably lead with the crown more often if they didn't have a mask. Plus, the facemask helps protect against accidental injuries like a foot to the face.
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  • This is all driven by one thing, the concussion lawsuits. The owners are trying to protect themselves from liability. Once the proposed rule was announced, they HAD to vote it in.

    I could just hear a litigant now, "They had the opportunity to protect running backs from concussion and voted it down." That's the society we live in these days. Don't like something? Sue!

    That's why electing lawyers to public office is always a bad idea. They will always pass laws that benefit their profession because they might be back out there practicing when they don't get re-elected. But, I'm sure most people recognize that.
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  • ivotuk wrote:This is all driven by one thing, the concussion lawsuits. The owners are trying to protect themselves from liability. Once the proposed rule was announced, they HAD to vote it in.

    I could just hear a litigant now, "They had the opportunity to protect running backs from concussion and voted it down." That's the society we live in these days. Don't like something? Sue!

    That's why electing lawyers to public office is always a bad idea. They will always pass laws that benefit their profession because they might be back out there practicing when they don't get re-elected. But, I'm sure most people recognize that.


    Or, if you don't like something, have it banned (made illegal). *cough* large sodas *cough*
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  • The Outfield wrote:The crown of the helmet is the top of the helmet, which doesn't really have much to do with the facemask. Players would probably lead with the crown more often if they didn't have a mask. Plus, the facemask helps protect against accidental injuries like a foot to the face.


    Incorrect

    They wouldn't lead with the head.

    The game would be played like it was intended to be played. Look back at the days of leather helmets. Guys were not turning themselves into missiles and flying in head first.

    The league would go back to old school football
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  • Upon review of every single play last year (not by me, by the rules committee) this penalty would have been called less then 30 times last season.
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  • Tech Worlds wrote:
    The Outfield wrote:The crown of the helmet is the top of the helmet, which doesn't really have much to do with the facemask. Players would probably lead with the crown more often if they didn't have a mask. Plus, the facemask helps protect against accidental injuries like a foot to the face.


    Incorrect

    They wouldn't lead with the head.

    The game would be played like it was intended to be played. Look back at the days of leather helmets. Guys were not turning themselves into missiles and flying in head first.

    The league would go back to old school football



    You didn't say leather helmets. You said no facemasks.
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  • Whatever. Same thing holds true. People arnt going to stuff thier face, or even the crown without facemasks on.
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  • JSeahawks wrote:Upon review of every single play last year (not by me, by the rules committee) this penalty would have been called less then 30 times last season.


    I'd be very interesting in seeing the distribution of those calls (ie among certain teams, certain players). 30 times is about 1/100th of 2012's total penalties.
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  • JSeahawks wrote:Upon review of every single play last year (not by me, by the rules committee) this penalty would have been called less then 30 times last season.


    Assuming it had been called correctly.

    Remember Kam's huge hit on Davis? That was 100% legal, yet it instantly drew flags from 3 different officials.

    People hate on the officials. I hate on Roger Goodell for making their job flipping impossible to do.
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  • JSeahawks wrote:Upon review of every single play last year (not by me, by the rules committee) this penalty would have been called less then 30 times last season.


    Actually no, all they determined is that after reviewing video of every play last year, there were 30 plays in which it would have been the correct call. When you factor in officials' mistakes while working games in real time, I'd be willing to better the number of flags that would have been thrown had this rule existed last year would easily be 2 to 3 times that amount.

    It's easy for the league to sit back now and say "this isn't going to happen that often." But officials make mistakes and plays happen fast and they are going to err on the side of throwing the flag if a play looks bad. Look at the Chancellor hit last year: three flags came flying in on a play that was obviously clean once people saw the replay. The same thing will happen with this rule.
    Last edited by Shadowhawk on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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  • I think it so Goodell-esque that he finally bans a rule 12 years too late because it's too difficult to make judgement calls on, only to add a new rule in it's stead that is a hundred times more frequent and is just as hard for officials to rule on in real time. At least the tuck rule didn't change the way QBs played. This new rule probably will for RBs, and it could actually increase injuries. Can the Commissioner be impeached? He simply needs to go.

    I know that if I was the commish and I had legions of players and coaches telling me a new rule was a bad idea, I'd probably table it. Sure, the owners voted on it, but the owners aren't football players. They don't have to deal with this kind of thing. And where is the input from officials? Officials just love being at the center of controversy, so I'm sure they'd love all these new opportunities to screw up at their job.
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  • Maybe the officials were consulted.

    I have no idea to what degree the competition committee debates and vets these types of issues before making the decisions they do.
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  • I don't understand what being outside the tackle box has to do with player safety.
    Is it not possible to suffer a concussion if you stay between the tackles?
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  • kearly wrote:
    JSeahawks wrote:
    People hate on the officials. I hate on Roger Goodell for making their job flipping impossible to do.


    That's kind of where I'm at too man. They have been forced into the "throw flag, sort it out later" routine by shitty policies and gray area language in the rules.
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  • Shadowhawk wrote:
    JSeahawks wrote:Upon review of every single play last year (not by me, by the rules committee) this penalty would have been called less then 30 times last season.


    Actually no, all they determined is that after reviewing video of every play last year, there were 30 plays in which it would have been the correct call. When you factor in officials' mistakes while working games in real time, I'd be willing to better the number of flags that would have been thrown had this rule existed last year would easily be 2 to 3 times that amount.

    It's easy for the league to sit back now and say "this isn't going to happen that often." But officials make mistakes and plays happen fast and they are going to err on the side of throwing the flag if a play looks bad. Look at the Chancellor hit last year: three flags came flying in on a play that was obviously clean once people saw the replay. The same thing will happen with this rule.


    So we should just have no rules because officials make mistakes? This rule seems much easier and obvious to call/or not call then holding or pass interference.
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  • el capitan wrote:I don't understand what being outside the tackle box has to do with player safety.
    Is it not possible to suffer a concussion if you stay between the tackles?


    I think it's the magnitude of the impact. Would you rather tackle a helmet coming at you with a 3-yard head start or a 30-yard head start? It seems the injuries could go up if a player is allowed to build momentum and speed, then collide with the defender like a missile.

    In the open field the ball carrier has many choices, in a crammed space with multiple 300-pound linemen all around, the choices are limited. They aren't saying concussions won't happen, but that the rule will penalize the ball carrier who has many choices and still chooses the most potentially harmful one.
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  • About fricking time. I can't believe it took this long to ban offensive spearing. It is the one thing I could never understand is why the ball carrier could lead with his head. My personal opinion is that there is an outrage because most people don't understand the rule and are ignorant on the subject. If it where me I would ban all forms of offensive spearing especially inside the tackles. Keep your head up, forward body lean and run hard.
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  • JSeahawks wrote:So we should just have no rules because officials make mistakes? This rule seems much easier and obvious to call/or not call then holding or pass interference.


    Um, no, what I am saying is that just because the league only found 30 instances in which the rule could have legitimately been called last year, that doesn't mean that it would have only been flagged 30 times and probably would have been called many more times than that.

    And what's the basis of your assertion that this is an easier call to make than others? Considering how badly officials have blown roughing and defenseless receiver calls, I don't believe that they'll do any better with this call. They will see the runner's head and shoulders drop, they'll see his helmet hit the defender trying to stop him, and it's my opinion that they will likely throw the flag at this point even if the runner didn't hit the defender with the crown of his helmet. When you combine the speed of the game with the fact that the official likely wont get a perfect look at the hit, I think they could easily jump to the wrong conclusion.

    Let me ask you a question: what if this rule had been in effect last year and a flag had been thrown on Lynch's TD run against the 49ers because he knocked helmets with Goldson on the way into the end zone? How would you feel about the rule then?

    This is a bad rule IMHO because it's another judgement call. The NFL is putting more of the game in the officials' hands instead of the players' hands.
    Last edited by Shadowhawk on Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Pete Carroll on the rule change:

    “It’s a challenging proposal in that it’s for the officials to determine whether there was intent,” Carroll said. “We feel as coaches that it’s going to be very challenging for those guys to call. But it’s a good move to teach football players of all levels how to not lead with their helmets.”

    Carroll also said that he’s not worried about the rule change altering the game of Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for a career-high 1,590 yards last season.

    “He’s a mixture, a very unique talent in the way he plays,” Carroll said. “But he is not a guy that definitely leads with his helmet all the time.”
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  • Fudwamper wrote:My personal opinion is that there is an outrage because most people don't understand the rule and are ignorant on the subject.


    Actually, I think most people understand the subject and the rule very clearly. They just don't think this is something that officials will be able to call effectively and anticipate a lot of penalties called incorrectly on plays that are still legal, just like we see every week with roughing the passer penalties and hits on defenseless receivers.
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  • Meanwhile, Marshawn just retweeted this video:

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  • 5280Hawk wrote:Look, It wasn't even close, the OWNERS voted it in 31-1 That includes our best pal Paul.

    In the article it says its the crown of the helmet, think the top halo ring tha can't be used to hit another player. The facemask and "hair line" will not be called.

    Doesnt sound that bad, and it will keep guys healthy.

    You mean a series of minor rule changes isn't going to catastrophically alter the nature of the most popular and profitable sport in America?
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  • Shadowhawk wrote:
    Fudwamper wrote:My personal opinion is that there is an outrage because most people don't understand the rule and are ignorant on the subject.


    Actually, I think most people understand the subject and the rule very clearly. They just don't think this is something that officials will be able to call effectively and anticipate a lot of penalties called incorrectly on plays that are still legal, just like we see every week with roughing the passer penalties and hits on defenseless receivers.


    THIS is the take I can get behind. Well said. Whether it's the "most" people or just the loudest, I think Fud might be referring to the ones who say "ruining the game" without any elaboration, or the ones with the "two-hand touch" snippy comments and that's it. I don't get that argument, because that's the way I was taught to play – to keep your crown clean and learn how to use everything else (shoulders, forearms, hands, even facemask) to get it done.

    But officials' subjectivity is probably the only thing I don't like about the game, so I can see the ire for bringing in a new subjective rule. It's all going to be in the application. IF, like some people say, this is all because of lawsuits and PR, then maybe it will be enough just to have the rule on the books and refs will be told to use that ruling very sparingly. On the other hand, they might try to make an example out of some guys early and get carried away with it. The behind-the-scenes emphasis that the league delivers to the officials will determine how prevalent it is.
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  • Shadowhawk wrote:
    JSeahawks wrote:So we should just have no rules because officials make mistakes? This rule seems much easier and obvious to call/or not call then holding or pass interference.



    Let me ask you a question: what if this rule had been in effect last year and a flag had been thrown on Lynch's TD run against the 49ers because he knocked helmets with Goldson on the way into the end zone? How would you feel about the rule then?
    .


    I'd be fine with it. Bad calls happen. Move on to the next play. I've never been one to complain about officiating.
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  • JSeahawks wrote:
    Shadowhawk wrote:
    JSeahawks wrote:So we should just have no rules because officials make mistakes? This rule seems much easier and obvious to call/or not call then holding or pass interference.



    Let me ask you a question: what if this rule had been in effect last year and a flag had been thrown on Lynch's TD run against the 49ers because he knocked helmets with Goldson on the way into the end zone? How would you feel about the rule then?
    .


    I'd be fine with it. Bad calls happen. Move on to the next play. I've never been one to complain about officiating.


    Well, I'm glad to hear that, because we are going to get burned by more than a few bad calls because of this rule.
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  • It should be pretty simple for the refs to see if, outside the tackle box, in a one on one situation, the runner lowers his head and spears the defensive opponent with the crown of his helmet. Much easier to call than a helmet to helmet on a defenseless receiver IMO. I'm sure there'll be instances of it being called incorrectly, but I highly doubt it's going to have a serious, negative impact on the game. People just love to have a freak out.
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  • Shadowhawk wrote:
    JSeahawks wrote:
    Shadowhawk wrote:[quote="JSeahawks"]So we should just have no rules because officials make mistakes? This rule seems much easier and obvious to call/or not call then holding or pass interference.



    Let me ask you a question: what if this rule had been in effect last year and a flag had been thrown on Lynch's TD run against the 49ers because he knocked helmets with Goldson on the way into the end zone? How would you feel about the rule then?
    .


    I'd be fine with it. Bad calls happen. Move on to the next play. I've never been one to complain about officiating.


    Well, I'm glad to hear that, because we are going to get burned by more than a few bad calls because of this rule.[/quote]

    So will other teams. Bad calls even out over time
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  • Tech Worlds wrote:
    Shadowhawk wrote:
    JSeahawks wrote:[quote="Shadowhawk"][quote="JSeahawks"]So we should just have no rules because officials make mistakes? This rule seems much easier and obvious to call/or not call then holding or pass interference.



    Let me ask you a question: what if this rule had been in effect last year and a flag had been thrown on Lynch's TD run against the 49ers because he knocked helmets with Goldson on the way into the end zone? How would you feel about the rule then?
    .


    I'd be fine with it. Bad calls happen. Move on to the next play. I've never been one to complain about officiating.


    Well, I'm glad to hear that, because we are going to get burned by more than a few bad calls because of this rule.[/quote]

    So will other teams. Bad calls even out over time[/quote]

    Yes, but the league should be taking steps to limit bad calls, not implement rules that will increase the number of bad calls even if all of the teams get equally screwed.
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  • Shadowhawk wrote:
    Tech Worlds wrote:
    Shadowhawk wrote:[quote="JSeahawks"][quote="Shadowhawk"][quote="JSeahawks"]So we should just have no rules because officials make mistakes? This rule seems much easier and obvious to call/or not call then holding or pass interference.



    Let me ask you a question: what if this rule had been in effect last year and a flag had been thrown on Lynch's TD run against the 49ers because he knocked helmets with Goldson on the way into the end zone? How would you feel about the rule then?
    .


    I'd be fine with it. Bad calls happen. Move on to the next play. I've never been one to complain about officiating.


    Well, I'm glad to hear that, because we are going to get burned by more than a few bad calls because of this rule.[/quote]

    So will other teams. Bad calls even out over time[/quote]

    Yes, but the league should be taking steps to limit bad calls, not implement rules that will increase the number of bad calls even if all of the teams get equally screwed.[/quote]

    Not necessarily, if a greater need outweighs the need to minimize erroneous penalties. The particular contact prohibited in this rule is particularly dangerous and potentially catastrophic, and is a good way to become quadriplegic. If you don't buy the safety angle, then think in terms of money : failing to ban it leaves the nfl open to lawsuits on the subject when someone gets hurt.
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  • jkitsune wrote:Not necessarily, if a greater need outweighs the need to minimize erroneous penalties. The particular contact prohibited in this rule is particularly dangerous and potentially catastrophic, and is a good way to become quadriplegic. If you don't buy the safety angle, then think in terms of money : failing to ban it leaves the nfl open to lawsuits on the subject when someone gets hurt.


    I know the physics of what happens when you take a hard enough blow straight down from the crown of your head, but I would argue that this rule actually has a detrimental effect on player safety. How many football players have been paralyzed due to hitting someone with the crown of his helmet? I can think of three: Dennis Byrd in 1992, Curtis Williams in 2000, and Eric LeGrand in 2010. (Mike Utley broke his neck in 1991 but that was due to an awkward fall after a missed block, not hitting someone with the crown of his helmet.) I don't minimize or make light of those incidents, but that is three cases in years, decades worth of seasons, games and hits.

    On the other hand, this rule negatively impacts player safety in regards to the lower body. First, if backs are focusing on keeping their heads up, they are going to run higher as a result. That leaves their lower bodies more vulnerable. Since defenders are going to try to go low on ball carriers for reasons of leverage, if the ball carrier is running higher that means defenders are going to have a clear shot at their legs. Knee injuries are already frighteningly common and if running backs can't go low to protect themselves, we're going to see more knee injuries as a result. (And I know that Jeff Fisher and others came out and said that backs would be able to go low to protect themselves without a penalty, but it's going to get called.)

    Dennis Byrd's example as mentioned above is illustrative because he did not intend to lead with the crown of his helmet on the play when he was paralyzed. In his autobiography, he says that he held his head up until the last second, but when he saw teammate Scott Mersereau coming at him he instinctively ducked. Even if backs focus on keeping their heads up, there are situations when they will duck their heads because of pure instinct. So there is no way this rule change will eliminate hits with the crown of the helmet.

    This is a rule that looks good on paper but is going to prove to be very bad in real life. It's not going to keep players from leading with the crown of their helmets and it's going to lead to an increase in knee and other lower body injuries.
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  • HawkAroundTheClock wrote:
    Shadowhawk wrote:
    Fudwamper wrote:My personal opinion is that there is an outrage because most people don't understand the rule and are ignorant on the subject.


    Actually, I think most people understand the subject and the rule very clearly. They just don't think this is something that officials will be able to call effectively and anticipate a lot of penalties called incorrectly on plays that are still legal, just like we see every week with roughing the passer penalties and hits on defenseless receivers.


    THIS is the take I can get behind. Well said. Whether it's the "most" people or just the loudest, I think Fud might be referring to the ones who say "ruining the game" without any elaboration, or the ones with the "two-hand touch" snippy comments and that's it. I don't get that argument, because that's the way I was taught to play – to keep your crown clean and learn how to use everything else (shoulders, forearms, hands, even facemask) to get it done.

    But officials' subjectivity is probably the only thing I don't like about the game, so I can see the ire for bringing in a new subjective rule. It's all going to be in the application. IF, like some people say, this is all because of lawsuits and PR, then maybe it will be enough just to have the rule on the books and refs will be told to use that ruling very sparingly. On the other hand, they might try to make an example out of some guys early and get carried away with it. The behind-the-scenes emphasis that the league delivers to the officials will determine how prevalent it is.


    That is what I was getting at. It is an easy call to make. Lower your head in a spearing fashion coming through the line at a safety or DB and get called for spearing. Really that is all this rule is doing. Enforcing offensive spearing.
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  • The NFL's equivalent to the "charging" foul. I'm over it.
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  • I like the rule. Player safety is important. I know people are worried about the definition of contact sports and the entertainment value. Eventually the player has through live through suffering from brain disease or other life long injuries where there is no fan there to help. Not all players make millions and given the Market everyone wants younger players. Once you age you keep suffering. No one deserves a life like that just for a moment of fame. Commonsensical rules that protect players from neck and head injuries needs to be in place. That's my strong opinion. All teams will have to abide by them, so they will all adapt. The argument that it will be called wrongly can happen to both teams, so doesn't make sense to be upset?
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  • Officials get the "tackle box" thing wrong a lot already on intentional grounding calls. This will be no different. Just more likely of seeing flags fly when we hear helmet to helmet contact.
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  • Shadowhawk wrote:
    jkitsune wrote:Not necessarily, if a greater need outweighs the need to minimize erroneous penalties. The particular contact prohibited in this rule is particularly dangerous and potentially catastrophic, and is a good way to become quadriplegic. If you don't buy the safety angle, then think in terms of money : failing to ban it leaves the nfl open to lawsuits on the subject when someone gets hurt.


    I know the physics of what happens when you take a hard enough blow straight down from the crown of your head, but I would argue that this rule actually has a detrimental effect on player safety. How many football players have been paralyzed due to hitting someone with the crown of his helmet? I can think of three: Dennis Byrd in 1992, Curtis Williams in 2000, and Eric LeGrand in 2010. (Mike Utley broke his neck in 1991 but that was due to an awkward fall after a missed block, not hitting someone with the crown of his helmet.) I don't minimize or make light of those incidents, but that is three cases in years, decades worth of seasons, games and hits.

    On the other hand, this rule negatively impacts player safety in regards to the lower body. First, if backs are focusing on keeping their heads up, they are going to run higher as a result. That leaves their lower bodies more vulnerable. Since defenders are going to try to go low on ball carriers for reasons of leverage, if the ball carrier is running higher that means defenders are going to have a clear shot at their legs. Knee injuries are already frighteningly common and if running backs can't go low to protect themselves, we're going to see more knee injuries as a result. (And I know that Jeff Fisher and others came out and said that backs would be able to go low to protect themselves without a penalty, but it's going to get called.)

    Dennis Byrd's example as mentioned above is illustrative because he did not intend to lead with the crown of his helmet on the play when he was paralyzed. In his autobiography, he says that he held his head up until the last second, but when he saw teammate Scott Mersereau coming at him he instinctively ducked. Even if backs focus on keeping their heads up, there are situations when they will duck their heads because of pure instinct. So there is no way this rule change will eliminate hits with the crown of the helmet.

    This is a rule that looks good on paper but is going to prove to be very bad in real life. It's not going to keep players from leading with the crown of their helmets and it's going to lead to an increase in knee and other lower body injuries.



    Well, it will also get rid of that other thing the NFL is being sued for and people have killed themselves over and that's some weird thing called a concussion. I'd sure hate to see Lynch get a concussion because he led with the crown of his head. Granted it was another game back in the day, but Herman Edwards did state that Jim Brown rarely if ever led with his head. Not to mention there were practically no rules in the game around that time I mean the horse collar was still in effect, but good luck doing that to Jim Brown and see if it works lol. I don't like the rule either, but I'd rather have a healthy Marshawn Lynch get hurt with a knee injury than a Head injury which I don't mean to be rude but it seems that's what you'd prefer over a Knee other lower body injury?

    Even if Lynch suffers a horrible ACL, MCL or LCL injury Adrian Peterson showed you can come back from that; although I'm not foolish to think that everyone's comeback would be like his.
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  • Easy solution: Make all personal foul calls reviewable and give coaches an extra challenge for personal foul calls.
    Reaneypark
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  • It's all going to come down to how the league tells the refs to emphasize the call. With the defenseless receiver rule the refs are told to err on the side of throwing the flag. Now if you believe Jeff Fisher, which I'm fairly inclined to do personally, this rule will be emphasized the opposite. The refs will be told to err on the side of letting the players play. I tend to go with what Sando surmised and say that this is a penalty that is called more often in the film room by the league than it is on game day by the officials. I forsee some fines being handed down but relatively few yellow flags on the ground.
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  • The scary part about this rule is the PENALTY for it. Now if it was just a basic 15 yd i would not be that scared. But do you guys realize, that if on 3rd and 10 from the 20 Lynch makes a 40 yd run all the way to the opposing 40 and gets flagged for this at the end EVERYTHING is ERASED and on top of that there is 15 yd from the line of scrimmage. so we eould end up having 3rd and 25 from our own 5yd line instead. The potential for us (or yeah okay other teams to) to get absolutley SCREWED by this rule is ENORMOUS. cant you easily se the hawks getting into field goal range at on a beautiful play at the end of a playoff game, and then a laaaate flag comes up.... if it was just 15 yd from ther spot and you still get a first down i would be fine with it, but this becomes like an extra "holding" but waaaay down the field.. meaning we as fans can never feel safe EVER cause there are so many ticky tack ways that we COULD get screwed
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  • Swedishhawkfan wrote:The scary part about this rule is the PENALTY for it. Now if it was just a basic 15 yd i would not be that scared. But do you guys realize, that if on 3rd and 10 from the 20 Lynch makes a 40 yd run all the way to the opposing 40 and gets flagged for this at the end EVERYTHING is ERASED and on top of that there is 15 yd from the line of scrimmage. so we eould end up having 3rd and 25 from our own 5yd line instead. The potential for us (or yeah okay other teams to) to get absolutley SCREWED by this rule is ENORMOUS. cant you easily se the hawks getting into field goal range at on a beautiful play at the end of a playoff game, and then a laaaate flag comes up.... if it was just 15 yd from ther spot and you still get a first down i would be fine with it, but this becomes like an extra "holding" but waaaay down the field.. meaning we as fans can never feel safe EVER cause there are so many ticky tack ways that we COULD get screwed


    Wouldn't it be half the distance???
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    KARAVARUS
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  • According to the new VP of Officiating's interview on NFL Network its spot of the foul - 15 yards not return to the line of scrimmage -15 yards. Basically as costly as a personal foul after a run. Not that I especially like the new rule.
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  • Lady Talon wrote:According to the new VP of Officiating's interview on NFL Network its spot of the foul - 15 yards not return to the line of scrimmage -15 yards. Basically as costly as a personal foul after a run. Not that I especially like the new rule.


    15 yards from the spot of the foul?
    I mean, if AP runs outside the tackles, spears a guy at the 40 yard line then has a free run to a TD they have to call it back surely?

    Oh I just realised that's exactly what you said
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  • Shadowhawk wrote:
    jkitsune wrote:Not necessarily, if a greater need outweighs the need to minimize erroneous penalties. The particular contact prohibited in this rule is particularly dangerous and potentially catastrophic, and is a good way to become quadriplegic. If you don't buy the safety angle, then think in terms of money : failing to ban it leaves the nfl open to lawsuits on the subject when someone gets hurt.


    I know the physics of what happens when you take a hard enough blow straight down from the crown of your head, but I would argue that this rule actually has a detrimental effect on player safety. How many football players have been paralyzed due to hitting someone with the crown of his helmet? I can think of three: Dennis Byrd in 1992, Curtis Williams in 2000, and Eric LeGrand in 2010. (Mike Utley broke his neck in 1991 but that was due to an awkward fall after a missed block, not hitting someone with the crown of his helmet.) I don't minimize or make light of those incidents, but that is three cases in years, decades worth of seasons, games and hits.

    On the other hand, this rule negatively impacts player safety in regards to the lower body. First, if backs are focusing on keeping their heads up, they are going to run higher as a result. That leaves their lower bodies more vulnerable. Since defenders are going to try to go low on ball carriers for reasons of leverage, if the ball carrier is running higher that means defenders are going to have a clear shot at their legs. Knee injuries are already frighteningly common and if running backs can't go low to protect themselves, we're going to see more knee injuries as a result. (And I know that Jeff Fisher and others came out and said that backs would be able to go low to protect themselves without a penalty, but it's going to get called.)

    Dennis Byrd's example as mentioned above is illustrative because he did not intend to lead with the crown of his helmet on the play when he was paralyzed. In his autobiography, he says that he held his head up until the last second, but when he saw teammate Scott Mersereau coming at him he instinctively ducked. Even if backs focus on keeping their heads up, there are situations when they will duck their heads because of pure instinct. So there is no way this rule change will eliminate hits with the crown of the helmet.

    This is a rule that looks good on paper but is going to prove to be very bad in real life. It's not going to keep players from leading with the crown of their helmets and it's going to lead to an increase in knee and other lower body injuries.

    Very well-reasoned reply. I suppose we'll have to see how it plays out in real life. I suspect the impact of the rule is going to be less dramatic than you suggest, but I definitely see your reasoning.
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  • This offensive spearing rule is actually already in place in high school (NFHS rules) and most youth leagues adopt it as well. As a referee and coach, I've seen many cases of running backs absolutely demolishing defenders - clearly using their helmets as weapons. There is a fine line between "ducking", "lowering the shoulder", "getting small", etc... and taking on a would-be tackler with nothing but your helmet.

    I don't think refs, coaches, and players are going to have hard time with the new rule as long as they equally educated about legal moves at the same time. As far as fans go, you'll get the usual complaints of taking the toughness out of football but this is one rule that has the potential to save the health of all players. Personally, I dislike all of the "safety" rules that are tailored to certain positions (QB's come to mind). On the other hand, this is one that has both the runner and the defender's safety in mind.

    One of the funniest coaching meltdowns I have ever seen on a football field was when a kid (10 yrs old) had two long touchdowns in a row called back for using helmet as a weapon. After the 2nd time, the coach went nuclear on the ref who called it and the situation didn't get much better when the ref told him he'd call it every time and if it happened it again he was going to be inclined to eject the kid from play if he continued. Most youth coaches are so used to Sunday football rules and most are very surprised when informed of the real HS rules.

    It is nice to see more consistency across all levels of play, especially when it comes to safety issues. We all know that kids see the pros play a certain way and try to emulate those actions.
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  • I hate this rule, a lot.

    We need to take these type of subjective ref calls OUT of the game, not put more in. Why not just fine the running backs for leading with their head plays after the fact? Why are we creating scenarios where the refs are making judgement calls that will cost penalty yards and decide game outcomes?

    This is awful.
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