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Ray Anderson says enforcement, not rules, will change

NFL V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson has spoken, and in so doing he apparently has contradicted his own words to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

After creating on Monday night the clear impression that the rules regarding hits involving helmets will be changed dramatically, Anderson said on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, “We’re not changing any rule.”  Instead, Anderson said that the league will be beefing up the enforcement of the existing rules.

“If there are flagrant and egregious violations of our current rules, we will be enforcing effective immediately discipline at a higher level,” Anderson said.  “We need to get our players firmly in line with the current rules, and that’s what our intentions are, effective immediately.”

But what about the widespread notion, pushed for the last 12 hours by ESPN, that “devastating hits” and “head shots” will be legislated out of the game? 

Said Anderson:  “I don’t know where the word devastating came from but that’s not my word.”

So whose word was it?

According to Mortensen, Anderson said, “We’ve got to get the message to players that these devastating hits and
head shots
will be met with a very necessary higher standard of
accountability.  We have to dispel the notion that you get one free pass
in these egregious or flagrant shots.”  (Emphasis added.)

Anderson also addressed one of the most debated plays of the weekend — the wicked shot delivered by Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson on Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson.  Though Mike Golic loudly has claimed that Robinson’s hit wasn’t illegal, Anderson disagreed.

“Technically under that rule that was a violation . . . and it will be subject to discipline,” Anderson said.  “Yes, it was a bang-bang play, you can make the argument that it was different from the others, but at the end of the day it was still illegal under the rules.”

Anderson is right.  And we’re amazed that anyone would argue Robinson’s helmet-leaning kill shot on Jackson wasn’t dirty. 

As to the question of whether preventing hits to the head will result in more hits to the legs, which could blow out knees, Anderson explained that the league regards injuries resulting from head shots to be potentially “life altering,” whereas hits to the knees are essentially “career altering.”  The league wisely has opted to protect against the former.

Anderson also addressed the criticism regarding the new focus on shots to the head, much of which is coming from former players in the media who are seem curiously willing to subject today’s players to risks that the former players no longer have to face.  “We understand that this is not just about the NFL,” Anderson said.  “This is about safety at our level at the college level, at the high school level, at the pee wee level, because we are the standard bearer and we are committed to safety at the highest level and so we will take all the criticism and all the backlash against those that say we are acting too aggressively in this regard.  We are not going to be apologetic, we are not going to be defensive about it.  We re going to protect our players and hopefully players at the lower levels by example.

We agree with the approach, and we’ll have more thoughts regarding the various issues and dynamics later in the day.  In short, we’re concerned that the NFL isn’t going far enough to protect players from avoidable head injuries, but we don’t want to see the NFL go too far.

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70 Responses to “Ray Anderson says enforcement, not rules, will change”
  1. brownsfn19 says: Oct 19, 2010 10:04 AM

    Just put flags on em and call it a day…this sport is getting ridiculous….you don’t wanna get hurt then GO PLAY GOLF for F-sake….

  2. realitypolice says: Oct 19, 2010 10:05 AM

    Cue all of the wanna-be’s who think watching thugs performing legal assault on defenseless players somehow makes them more manly than those of us who think football can plenty violent without intentional shots to the head.
    In 3…………2…………..1………….

  3. florio4prez says: Oct 19, 2010 10:12 AM

    I long for the day when we once again have players like Butkus who say,
    “After I hit him, I want to see the guy’s helmet rolling on the ground, with his head in it.”
    Oh, never mind.
    James Harrison has already brought back that glorious mentality.
    Borrowing from a 1979 SI cover story about the Stillers D,
    Miami. You’re next.

  4. Brian Spears says: Oct 19, 2010 10:14 AM

    Why don’t these NFL executive go back in the shadows do their jobs and shut up we do not want to know their names or hear them speak. We like football, not morons who keep messing up the game.

  5. tian says: Oct 19, 2010 10:15 AM

    Give them some flags. I saw some strong shots within the three minutes I could tolerate in the Lingerie Bowl. I guess these chicks in panties and bras need to be suspended, too.
    In short, it’s football.

  6. shredofsanity says: Oct 19, 2010 10:15 AM

    “Derp, derp, I don’t wan’ no sissies playing in my futbawl league. Derp.”
    There. I’ve taken care of the “soft football” contingent’s valuable comments, so they have no need to say anything.
    This is the perfect way to handle it. They’re not changing the rules, they’re not “affecting the game;” they’re creating an acute adverse reaction to the “BIG HIT” type defense.
    Good job NFL. Now, go work on the OT rule.

  7. raiderrob21 says: Oct 19, 2010 10:16 AM

    AMAZING! BSPN fabricated/changed the words/inserted their own words???? I find that hard to believe. BSPN is a joke!

  8. HarrisonHits says: Oct 19, 2010 10:16 AM

    “And we’re amazed that anyone would argue Robinson’s helmet-leaning kill shot on Jackson wasn’t dirty. ”
    That’s because Golic is an idiot who does no research. A fine example of this was weeks after Big Ben crashed his motorcycle a few years ago, Golic was still claiming Ben was driving legally long after he had been issued a citation for driving illegally by the police.

  9. florio4prez says: Oct 19, 2010 10:16 AM

    Lemme get this straight. Mort got the story wrong?
    Wake me up when there’s some real news.

  10. Viking Kong says: Oct 19, 2010 10:17 AM

    Dauta Robinson appears to have been avoiding “helmet to helmet” contact, which worsened the situation and caused injury to the reciever AND the defender. The NFL has made matters worse by trying to make these guys think that quick.
    There is too much speed involved in the game to avoid serious head injuries. If you don’t want your small, speedy deep threat to get hurt, don’t run him over the middle.

  11. Bill says: Oct 19, 2010 10:22 AM

    Its a voluntary job. Football is no longer the same sport played 10 years ago, let alone 75. Yet we talk of players being the best ever in comparrison to players who played under different rules. Change the rules, its no longer the same sport. The protection of quarterbacks, blocking restrictions, and now no devestating hits have led us to a new spectator sport simply being called football. The NFL can do whatever it wants. I just wish they would stop calling some players of today the best ever. They played under different rules, and cannot be compared.

  12. says: Oct 19, 2010 10:25 AM

    I played at the college level and I think the “defenseless receiver” rule is crazy. Two players moving at full speed are going to have a hard collision regardless of the circumstances. Robinson did not lead with his head; he lead with his shoulder. Had he wrapped up Jackson it would have been a perfect form tackle. The NFL thinks that, in a situation like that, the defender should aim below the waist. Ask anyone who has played football and they will tell you low hits are considered “dirty.” A shot below the waist in that situation would likely have caused serious damage to Jackson’s legs. In a different scenario, Jackson could have been jumping for the ball and Robinson could go low then causing him to flip upside down, like Don Bebee, and that is far more dangerous. I think the emphasis on hitting below the waist is going to lead to more injuries not less. I know the NFL likes scoring, but taking away “bang-bang” plays like that will concede the catch to the offense. Good hard play is slowly being eliminated in football. Before too long they’ll be playing touch football on TV.

  13. SuckitFlorio says: Oct 19, 2010 10:26 AM

    If there are 2,000 impacts in any given football game, which is probably low, and we’re now in week 6 with a 32 team league your talking about drastically altering a game based on less than 1/2 of 1%… tell me that isn’t knee jerk?

  14. Bradwins says: Oct 19, 2010 10:27 AM

    Its easy for idiots like Matt Millen to sit at a desk and act like tough guys – they don’t have to go out and play against these monsters armed with state-of-the-art weaponry (the helmets). These are not gladiators from ancient Rome, where their lives have no value. I don’t want to see football players that I loved to watch play end up dying in their fifties or forgetting who they are later in life.

  15. ChicagojoeD says: Oct 19, 2010 10:27 AM

    Jesus. These players are paid Millions of dollars to play the game the way it was meant to be played. The tom brady rule is a joke, and so is this “devastating hit” rule. I can understand helmet-to-helmet hits. But really, Soon enough they should just call it two-hand touch football.

  16. Leone510 says: Oct 19, 2010 10:29 AM

    “Now, go work on the OT rule.”
    Only Colts fans complain about the OT rule.

  17. butcher says: Oct 19, 2010 10:31 AM

    James Harrison’s shots were both dirty. Lowering your head to use the helmet as a weapon used to be called spearing. I guess now you can get away with it. The key to eliminating these head injuries is to have less protection in the helmet. Nobody will lead with their head then.

  18. hitnbombs28 says: Oct 19, 2010 10:31 AM

    “Anderson is right. And we’re amazed that anyone would argue Robinson’s helmet-leaning kill shot on Jackson wasn’t dirty. ”
    Ok Florio, explain to me how are you supposed to tackle a guy that’s coming directly in front of you with out going head first? If your head is on top of your shoulders, how can you hit with your shoulders without leading with your head?
    The only reason there was any helmet contact was cause of the whiplash effect which lowered jacksons helmet to into robinson’s as he was hit with a shoulder.
    Watch the clip starting at 0:35
    Now Florio tell me how you would tackle that guy at that speed right at you without possibly hurting him? Hit him in the abdomen and you could break ribs, in the legs and he could be having season ending surgery… what do ya do?

  19. badabingtime says: Oct 19, 2010 10:34 AM

    I think we all want CONSISTENCY in officiating.
    Last year the refs threw Dante Wesley out of the Panthers-Bucs game for launching himself at a player. There were similar hits this weekend, but no ejections. Not consistent at all.

  20. jmac1013 says: Oct 19, 2010 10:35 AM

    I’m an Eagles fan and I don’t think that Robinson’s hit on Desean was dirty or illegal.
    “Anderson is right. And we’re amazed that anyone would argue Robinson’s helmet-leaning kill shot on Jackson wasn’t dirty.”
    Helmet leaning is not illegal. That’s how you tackle. It wasn’t helmet to helmet. It wasn’t a blow to Desean’s head. It was shoulder to shoulder.
    For the people complaining about that hit what should have Robinson done differently. I keep hearing/reading people saying what players shouldn’t be doing. What can the players do in place of the hit? How else can you separate the player from the ball?
    What about plays in the endzone? Simply tackling the receiver will result in a touchdown. A defender needs to either deflect the ball or separate the receiver from the ball in order to prevent a touchdown.

  21. -RoNiN- says: Oct 19, 2010 10:37 AM

    Well the “BIG HIT” type defense is what makes WR’s worry about going over the middle.. give them NOTHING to fear about catching the ball, and you take a HUGE competitive advantage away from the defense!!!
    What MY problem with this is, is that these are FOOTBALL players.. they KNOW the risks of playing FOOTBALL!! They know the risks involved with their position, and they CHOOSE to play.. no one is FORCING them to play!!! Suppose this babying occured in the FIGHT game.. whether it be boxing, kickboxing, or MMA.. it takes away from why people WATCH IT!!! These football players make MILLIONS, so what, they get knocked out every once in a while.. fighters get knocked out WAY more!! When they don’t want to take that risk any longer, they RETIRE!! The issue is, these football players have gotten to9 the point that they are payed SO much money, that GREED keeps them in the game!! They simply do NOT want to walk away from the next multi-million dollar contract!! It boils down to GREED!!!
    The only thing i can think of that would be even REMOTELY acceptable, would be to suspend the person inflicting the “devastating hit” for the exact same amount of time as the person that took the hit misses!! The person is out for a couple of plays, the defender is out for the exact same plays.. the person is out for 2 weeks, the defender is out for the same 2 weeks!! This wouldn’t stop the highlight reel hits, but it might make them think to tame it down just a LITTLE!! You’d be accountable to the team.. do something TOO “devastating” and miss the next few weeks, and now the team is without you for a few WEEKS.. but put a good hit on a WR and he is out for a play or 2, not as big a deal. I know that’s not an idea without flaws, but i think you get the gist of what i’m getting at.

  22. realitypolice says: Oct 19, 2010 10:39 AM

    Viking Kong says:
    October 19, 2010 10:17 AM
    Dauta Robinson appears to have been avoiding “helmet to helmet” contact, which worsened the situation and caused injury to the reciever AND the defender. The NFL has made matters worse by trying to make these guys think that quick.
    If Dunta Robinson had been executing a proper tackle like all football players are trained from pop warner on- square to the target, low base, arms out, head up, pads first, there would have been no adjustment to make.
    Instead, he was launching himself like a missle, head down, arms down, not in control of his body, trying to deliver a kill shot and make Jacked Up on ESPN.

  23. tian says: Oct 19, 2010 10:40 AM

    # realitypolice says: October 19, 2010 10:05 AM
    Cue all of the wanna-be’s who think watching thugs performing legal assault on defenseless players somehow makes them more manly than those of us who think football can plenty violent without intentional shots to the head.
    In 3…………2…… ……..1……….. ..
    Spoken exactly like a guy that was too scared to play the game when he was a child. Uh, when we played football, we were taught not to lead with the head. Back in 3rd Grade.
    They are talking about suspending players, not because they had helmet-to-helmet contact; but because the receiver was “defenseless.” All I’m saying is that it’s part of the game. Its a risk you take to play. If you don’t like it, do the smart thing: DON’T PLAY! Like you did.

  24. Ska4Life says: Oct 19, 2010 10:44 AM

    I’m an Eagles fan and own a DeSean Jackson jersey, but why did this single incident draw immediate attention from the league? It hasn’t been the worst case of it. It seems like the league really let this one take off while giving tons of other similar incidents pass by. I just don’t see what was so special about this one to warrant all the hype/attention/immediate rule changes. Stuff like this should happen over the off-season, not on a whim.

  25. steelersmichele says: Oct 19, 2010 10:46 AM

    I think Anderson changed his tune in the past 12 hours after realizing that suspending players while not setting up guidelines for a suspension (it was implied that you could get suspended for a legal hit) would create too many problems.
    My question is this: Will the players be able to appeal the suspension? And will the union support a player who gets suspended?

  26. Red32 says: Oct 19, 2010 10:47 AM

    Well, they better make damn sure the hit in question is illegal (unlike the one in the ATL-PHIL game), and not just a good, hard hit. Also, is it just going to be enforced one-way? What if an offensive player lowers his head causing an otherwise clean hit to appear illegal, who gets the penalty?

  27. Testify says: Oct 19, 2010 10:53 AM

    florio this was football…the very reason why these illiterate players get paid so much. I will gladly go out there and risk myself for that kinda money. yes accidents happen but its a risk they know and accept…Meanwhile, people in military service get paid peanuts and risk their life

  28. realitypolice says: Oct 19, 2010 10:55 AM

    tian says:
    October 19, 2010 10:40 AM
    Spoken exactly like a guy that was too scared to play the game when he was a child. Uh, when we played football, we were taught not to lead with the head. Back in 3rd Grade.
    Nope. Spoken like a guy who played football through high school, went to a college without a football team, started playing rugby and 25 years later is still active as a player and coach. I’ve played in New Zealand, England and Germany and have broken more bones than you can name.
    Actually, it’s usually couch potato wanna-be’s who want to see football be more violent so it will more closely resemble the pro wrestling they watch on the NFL’s off nights.
    Athletes who have been there know that the game is violent enough without players using the 8 pound chunk of metal and hard plastic on their head an offensive weapon.

  29. Eric says: Oct 19, 2010 10:55 AM

    I don’t think Dunta led with his helmet or there was any intentional contact, it looked more like he crushed Deseans shoulder (which Reid says is sore). I hate the Falcons and love the birds and don’t think it was that dirty..

  30. kellyb91985 says: Oct 19, 2010 10:56 AM

    I’m a big Pats homer and I’ll admit the hit Meriweather laid on Heap was dirty as hell. And I really think the key to whether or not its dirty is if the player launches himself. The Harrison hit on Massaquoi was dirty. I think the hit on DeSean Jackson was clean. In fact, had he not been DeSean Jackson, I doubt we’d be talking about it.

  31. Ollie says: Oct 19, 2010 10:59 AM

    All of this is a direct result of poor tackling. Players now just fly and dive into a runner shoulder or head first without even putting their arms out to wrap up . When the art of tackling was taught it was hit with shoulder, with arms out and head up in the front of the runner.
    Then you have your arms around him and can wrap him up. Now they either knock the runner off his feet or miss the tackle altogether. today it is not tackling, it is hitting.
    One only needs to watch film of Jack Ham in the 1970’s to see how its done. He never missed too many tackles. He never knocked too many out.

  32. thehouseofho says: Oct 19, 2010 11:01 AM

    # Bradwins says: October 19, 2010 10:27 AM
    Its easy for idiots like Matt Millen to sit at a desk and act like tough guys – they don’t have to go out and play against these monsters armed with state-of-the-art weaponry (the helmets). These are not gladiators from ancient Rome, where their lives have no value. I don’t want to see football players that I loved to watch play end up dying in their fifties or forgetting who they are later in life.
    You do know that Matt Millen was a linebacker back when there were even less rules regarding player safety than there are now, right? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fully agree with what he said, but the guy’s speaking from first hand experience. He’s not some kind of fantasy football player.

  33. -RoNiN- says: Oct 19, 2010 11:01 AM

    @ tian
    LMAO.. I was thinking the EXACT same thing.. we had those kids at my school too.. you know what we called them? Soccer players!! LOL

  34. jgowdy138 says: Oct 19, 2010 11:04 AM

    You, sir, are an idiot. They could wrap you up in all the pads in the world, and you take a hit like desean did, or your boy massaqoui…and you would be on the ground crying like a little girl. They have to start protecting these receivers better. Granted, catching a pass across the middle heading right into the loving arms of a LB is gonna suck, thats why they call it the middle, only a few select guys get action there, and usually on a few select type of plays.
    Overall assumptions of the league “softening” are inaccurate, especially considering the fact that the players are getting bigger, faster stronger all the time. (LBs that can run a 40 in 4.4, and weigh 240 lbs. they are weapons!)

  35. Jonathan says: Oct 19, 2010 11:08 AM

    “Defenseless Players”–Florio, this term term is thrown around repeatedly, but it’s never defined. Can you do a post on what exactly this means? Anderson said it’s clearly defined in the rulebook with multiple examples, but it’s not easy to find an online PDF of the NFL rulebook.

  36. connie says: Oct 19, 2010 11:10 AM

    Harrison is a total idiot. He only wants to hurt someone not injury them.
    How many people take a gum and shoot someone then say I just wanted to scare him I didn’t want to kill him.
    Thats Harrison the big bully.Someone should break his leg because you can’t hurt his head.
    This all starts with Tomlin saying these are clean hits until one of his players gets hurt with a clean hit. And I hope its RAPER BEN

  37. SuckitFlorio says: Oct 19, 2010 11:12 AM

    Again Andy Reid, Kevin Kolb and Jason Avant all said they thought the Robinson hit was clean… i’m inclined to go with their judgement rather than some hack reporter from PFT…

  38. longestlegs says: Oct 19, 2010 11:12 AM

    The most informative thing I learned in this thread was that Matt Millen apparently did not play football at a professional level. Something new every day!

  39. aligreene says: Oct 19, 2010 11:13 AM

    you guys can give all your opinions,its still football people are still going to get jacked up,knocked out,enforcement will help but its still football….cant wait until sunday

  40. overwatch says: Oct 19, 2010 11:13 AM

    Florio says:
    …we’re amazed that anyone would argue Robinson’s helmet-leaning kill shot on Jackson wasn’t dirty.
    Don’t play semantics. “Dirty” deals with intent, “illegal deals with results.
    I don’t think Robinson at all intended for any helmet-to-helmet contact. He led with his shoulder. He certainly intended for the hit to be violent, but there isn’t anything wrong with violent play so long as there isn’t the intent to injure or the intent to use illegal methods (i.e., spearing) as part of your play.
    Robinson led with his shoulder. His head is off of the center line at the point of contact. He led with his shoulder. Period.
    So the play wasn’t dirty. Was it legal?
    My Armchair-VP-of-Officiating says it wasn’t. Jackson’s concussion notwithstanding, he could have gotten the concussion just from the force of stopping his momentum. With that sort of sudden stop, it was likely that he’d have had a concussion even without any helmet-to-helmet collision. His brain would have bounced against the front of his skull. Like others, I think it was the collision of bodies (and momentum) that brought Jackson’s head forward and caused the helmet-to-helmet contact. So my initial take was that it was legal.
    Now, Anderson this morning told M&M that the hit was illegal. That’s fine. They can interpret the rule as they want to; it’s their league. However, look at what he pointed to as the illegality of it: not the violence; not the intent; not that it was dirty; just the fact that Robinson’s helmet slid up into the chin area of Jackson’s helmet. The hit itself was clean and legal (and I challenge you to find 3… heck, even 2… former players or coaches who call that hit illegal), but then the helmet slid up.
    And now the NFL wants to police that more. Fine. But they are taking the violence of the hit and tacking it on to the illegality to give them some basis for stepping up their enforcement… something not unlike Florio taking the violence of the hit and tacking it onto some sort of surmised evaluation of Robinson’s intent to arrive at “dirty.”
    One I find knee-jerkish. The other, shamefully ignorant.

  41. says: Oct 19, 2010 11:18 AM

    @ Baldwins
    Matt Millen played several years of linebacker in the NFL as recently as the mid- 90’s, I think that he can speak to the facts of the game. I didn’t realize that Roman gladiators lives had no value.

  42. ItalianStallion says: Oct 19, 2010 11:24 AM

    Dunta put his head down and tackled with the crown of his helmet, which is called spearing, and is a penalty. Does nobody teach players to tackle with their head up anymore? That’s the reason Dunta was so shook up after the play as well, becuase it’s dangerous to both players.

  43. Ollie says: Oct 19, 2010 11:26 AM

    Connie, you can’t hurt people with gum!!
    Just kidding, know what you meant.

  44. FriarBob says: Oct 19, 2010 11:26 AM

    You know, we can argue for decades over whether Dunta’s shot was “cheap” or “dirty” or whatever else. Because unfortunately we don’t even have standard definitions for those words.
    But regardless of whether it was a cheap shot (which it wasn’t) or dirty (which by the definition of “intent” it wasn’t, but by the definition of “illegal” it was), the fact remains it was still an unsafe (for both of them) and illegal hit. Dirty or cheap don’t really matter after that.
    What makes me laugh is people who try to pretend it wasn’t illegal because they’re Falcons fans. This is sad, but completely understandable. They’re your team so you excuse what they do. Vikings fans excuse Jared Allen, Steelers fans excuse Harrison, and many other teams have a player or two (or more) who is a “hitter” and they excuse him when he makes an illegal hit because he’s “their guy”. And I think that this is the biggest problem that we have to work on. Yes we need to enforce the rules on the books, with ejections and suspensions and whatever else. But most importantly, we need to get to where the fans no longer excuse illegal hits because it’s their team making them.

  45. says: Oct 19, 2010 11:34 AM

    I just wanted restate the fact that forcing players to hit lower in that situation will likely cause more “devastating” hits to the legs and knees. That is going to end more careers than concussions. Just a thought. Torn ACL recovery 1 year, concussion recovery 2-3 weeks. Knee injury to a reciever career ending/altering. Concussion not really.

  46. Cornerdenizen says: Oct 19, 2010 11:39 AM

    @Tian: Very well put.
    Its like theyre trying to legislate basic physiology along with the laws of physics. Okay, so you lead with your shoulder…but guess what? Your head follows. Unless you’re plastic man and your shoulders, neck and head move completely independently of one another, you’re always gonna have some part of the helmet involved in a collision.
    There’s a way to cut down on the defenseless receiver phenomena and it involves the quarterback. Just like the offensive tackle has an obligation to protect the quarterbacks blindside, so is the qb obligated to keep his receiver out of danger. On deep crossing routes, slants, or any route that’s run into the heart of the defense, throw the ball low. Throw it where your receiver has to go to the ground, underneath the defender to catch it. Sure, it requires more precision, but the qb is the highest paid guy on the field.
    You cant totally eliminate violence from a violent game, but you can find ways to keep guys out of danger.

  47. songbre says: Oct 19, 2010 11:39 AM

    I’m all for the “BIG HITS” BUT for all the people on here talking bout, “they get millions to play”, “they get this, they get that”. These are probably some idiots who NEVER played the sport in there life, or last time was when they were in diapers …
    Violence does make the sport but like the guy said earlier, “These aren’t gladiators of old” where they fight and go home to no life. Alot of these player have families and and lives to live AFTER football. They need to be able to go home and BE with that family.
    All you idiots on here talking bout they are “to soft” or “wusses” how much do you want to bet that you wouldn’t say that to there faces !!! They throw there bodies and lives around for the love of the game and YOUR ENTERTAINMENT !!! So it’s easy for your sorry asses to sit back in you nice safe house or bar WATCHING the hits, as opposed to getting KNOCKED ON YOUR ASSES !!! You’re not taking ANY risk what so ever, and it’s always these people who have the most mouth, that’s funny …
    Love the game, enforce the rules and I will Still enjoy the play on the field, because it is still a game that only a few have the priviledge of playing and your no less of a man for wanting to have your mind in tact AFTER the battles are over …

  48. Brazy says: Oct 19, 2010 11:41 AM

    Harrison’s hits were spears. He lead with his head both times, that is the kind of hit we need out of the NFL. If you lead with your head down, like a spear, that is when people get hurt and has no place in football. As a youth you are taught to be a face hitter. Lead with your face. Harrison on both plays lead with his head, like a spear. It’s a penalty and should be grounds for ejection/suspension if you put a guy on the shelf with that kind of hit.

  49. SuckitFlorio says: Oct 19, 2010 11:42 AM

    ItalianStallion – Dude you can’t possibly have watched that video and call it spearing… I have seen at least 2 dozen people comment on the hit and have watched the video replay at least a dozen times and its not even close to spearing. Get a clue!

  50. protectthishouse54 says: Oct 19, 2010 11:42 AM

    jmac1013: “Helmet leaning is not illegal. That’s how you tackle. It wasn’t helmet to helmet. It wasn’t a blow to Desean’s head. It was shoulder to shoulder.”
    How is it that he sustained a “severe concussion” then, as the Eagles have put it?

  51. steelersmichele says: Oct 19, 2010 11:44 AM

    Connie, I don’t know how many people use GUM to shoot someone. I do know that in almost all of your posts you want something violent to happen to someone. You’re upset that Harrison only wants to hurt someone and not injure them, yet you say someone should break his leg. Then you mention you want Ben to get hurt with a clean hit. Why are you such a violent person yet claim to be against violence?
    I’ll tell you what I’d like: you to lose your internet connection!!!

  52. Bradwins says: Oct 19, 2010 11:44 AM

    @thehouseofho –
    Yes. I know Millen USED to play football. Maybe there were less rules, but the players weren’t nearly as big, strong and fast. The equipment was not nearly as good (for example, as helmets have gotten better they have become better weapons more than they have become better suited to prevent brain injuries to players being hit). So to me it is easy for Matt Millen to sit there and talk like a tough guy, but he is not out there playing the game in this environment.
    And even if the dangers weren’t greater, our knowledge about the dangers of blows to the head clearly is. This is purely a case of hubris at the expense of common sense and dignity.

  53. kellyb91985 says: Oct 19, 2010 11:45 AM
    While it may take a lot longer to recover from a torn ACL, you can’t actually be comparing a brain injury to a leg injury. Thats just ridiculous.

  54. SuckitFlorio says: Oct 19, 2010 11:51 AM

    protectthishouse54~- you dont think you can sustain a severe concussion from whiplash? Or from slamming your head on the ground, or from a knee to the head…? I could go on, the point being it doesnt take a helmet to cause a concussion of any kind!

  55. kellyb91985 says: Oct 19, 2010 11:56 AM

    @Jonathan – I’ve always thought “Defenseless WR” meant that they had a crappy QB. Thats the definition I’m going with.

  56. steelersmichele says: Oct 19, 2010 12:08 PM

    songbre says: Alot of these player have families and and lives to live AFTER football. They need to be able to go home and BE with that family….They throw there bodies and lives around for the love of the game and YOUR ENTERTAINMENT !!! So it’s easy for your sorry asses to sit back in you nice safe house or bar WATCHING the hits, as opposed to getting KNOCKED ON YOUR ASSES !!! You’re not taking ANY risk what so ever.
    Yes, they have families and throw their bodies around. They also get paid a hell of a lot of money to do it. Ask any player and the say the money is worth the risk. 99% are in it for the money.
    Do I honestly care about their well-being? I don’t want any player to get a career-ending injury or have brain damage, but at the same time, if they break a leg or pull a hamstring, there is a back-up ready to take their place. Hard to hear, but it’s the truth. I like football and my team. When players leave to go to another team for more money, they don’t care about me or their fans from that team, so why should I really care about them?
    Do you think the players think about you or the average Joe who spends their vacation money on season tickets? Do you think they care there is a recession and people are out of work and losing their homes? My friend is a Ravens fan and lost her job. Is Lewis or Flacco helping her out? Nope. Some players help, but most could care less.
    Don’t give me the crap that they have families and should be able to live after football and we need to look out for their well-being when most could give a damn about the well-being of their fans.
    They want money and will do anything for money. That’s why they want to keep 60% of the revenue. It’s not my job to worry or care that much about their safety. It’s my job to watch football and be entertained. It’s their job to give me a good game.

  57. thecuz says: Oct 19, 2010 12:08 PM

    As an ex-college linebacker, i want to say i dreamed of shots like the one put on D.Jack. Doesn’t come any better than that. Florio, did you run girls track in high school ’cause it sure wasn’t football. Football is not for everybody and hitting is just part of the game. Are you going to tell your defensive guys dont come in to hard or watch where u are hitting. First the defensive player has to fight off offensive fat slobs and then get to the ball carrier that has more moves then fred astaire then he has to wrap up and tackle any which way he can. You take the aggressiveness out of the game and then you have football for people that ran girls track in high school. Football is a hard sport and if you dont like it Florio, go watch the marbles tournament in Wildwood, NJ. Seems more your style and let the men play the sport.

  58. pakasprz says: Oct 19, 2010 12:15 PM

    I have to applaud the NFL for what they are doing. I am a former high school football player and my life has been altered tremendously due to concussion, and I played on the offensive and defensive line.
    I suffered over 50 minor concussions, the bell ringer types that just give you black and purple spots before your eyes, just from playing outside linebacker my senior year.
    Kids at the high school and pee wee levels aren’t up to speed on concussions like NFL players are and by the time some of these players reach the NFL level they unknowingly have already suffered numerous concussions.
    Also, there is another way to deliver a big hit without ever delivering it to the head of a player and that is with a good form tackle to the gut, which is just as effective.
    Numerous friends from high school who were football players or were friends with football players are now refusing to let their kids play football. Simply, if the NFL doesn’t do this there won’t be any quality players left they will be playing soccer or other sports.

  59. Bradwins says: Oct 19, 2010 12:31 PM

    Nice rambling sermon on the manliness of football players. Nobody is for eliminating big hits, though. Its just the diving helmet first into the head of players trying to make a play on a ball in the air that bothers those of us who survived football with still-functioning brains. Hit a guy as hard as you want. Don’t launch yourself helmet-first into another guy’s face as you are both running 20mph into each other and he is trying to catch a ball coming from the other direction.
    There is nothing more unfair to the defenders or “soft” (new PFT-standards appropriate term) about this rule than the fair-catch rule. I don’t see anyone complaining about that rule. Should the punting team be able to crush the returner as he stands there trying to catch the ball falling out of the sky? Its just needlessly and excessively dangerous to the weel being of the players.
    Just because you play football shouldn’t mean you are consenting to having your brain turned into yogurt.

  60. clintcooper says: Oct 19, 2010 12:43 PM

    Typical waffly wimpy stance from the NFL. First they indicate they will issue suspensions for flagrant hits, and now they are backpedaling. Get some balls NFL. Decide what you’re going to do and then do it.

  61. goat2060 says: Oct 19, 2010 12:48 PM

    Bring back leather helmets!!!

  62. Andy says: Oct 19, 2010 12:50 PM

    All I have to say is that this is crazy! If you cannot take a hit, then why play football. Football is known for hard hitting. It is sad to say, but players hit hard to hurt and knock the player out of the game. Why do you think that Quarterbacks get hit so hard… it is not for fun, it is to knock them out of the game. Hitting is part of the sport. You take hitting out of football then you have then you have two hand touch, o wait… they might touch to hard.
    Lets go to hockey… What about fighting? It is going to take someone to get knocked out by getting a blow to the head with fist to quit fighting. What? Are they going to tell the players to quit hitting each other in the head when they fight? No!! That is what makes hockey.. Hard hitting and fighting. If you take those out of the equation then you have polo.
    All I am trying to say is that those players get paid to do the job. When they signed up for the job, they knew that they would be getting hit hard. They make millions and they are complaining.
    Their highschool coach warned them in the beginning…”If you cant handle it, then quit!”
    and did they, no… so it is their problem!

  63. SuckitFlorio says: Oct 19, 2010 12:54 PM

    Does no one remember week 2, there were at least 2-3 penalties for roughing the passers where the QB was barely touched. Making some blanket statement about violent hits is only going to increase this number. Knee jerk over reaction~!

  64. rexranius says: Oct 19, 2010 1:03 PM

    Spoken exactly like a guy that was too scared to play the game when he was a child. Uh, when we played football, we were taught not to lead with the head. Back in 3rd Grade.
    That was the dumbest thing I’ve read on these boards. You cannot tell me that your coaches taught you to lead with the head? You obviously didn’t play past the 3rd grade because coaches NEVER teach that.

  65. Nard100 says: Oct 19, 2010 1:11 PM

    Viking Kong – There is too much speed involved in the game to avoid serious head injuries. If you don’t want your small, speedy deep threat to get hurt, don’t run him over the middle.
    Excellent point. Steve Young made a great point along the same lines last night.
    But let’s be honest the new legislation (I’m sorry but thats what it is) is the product of the following:
    1. The hits themselves
    2. The defiant statements by SOME players making the hits.
    3. The college player who is now paralyzed from the neck down due to a helmet-to-helment hit.
    #2 really had to prompt some sort of action on the part of the league, but I think it would have been better as a “going forward” type of action. this way everybody has an understanding before action is being taken.

  66. tccfootball says: Oct 19, 2010 1:13 PM

    Let me start by saying Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungey should be shunned by every current and former NFL player for their comments on Sunday. Football is a voilent game and is meant to be played that way. The problem is in the coaching and today’s players.
    The coaches don’t teach fundamental tackling anymore starting from Pop Warner through college. Very few players will wrap up a ball carrier trying to get them down. Now all I see are defenders diving at someone’s legs, pushing someone out of bounds, or grabbing ahold and taking a ride until the runner falls down. It’s sickening. Coaches need to stress the fundamentals of football from day 1. If that means putting your best player on the bench for not doing things correctly, have the backbone to do it.
    As for the players, I have absolutely no sympathy for you. You know when you start playing the risks associated with the game. Instead of peanilizing those who actually play the way football was meant to be played, why not fine or suspend the guys who refuse to wear the protective gear available to them. How many helmets do you see popping off a guys head without the chin strap being unbuckled in a game?? If it was worn properly with the correct amount of air and strapped up tightly enough it wouldn’t happen, plain and simple. Another HUGE problem with helmets are guys having dreadlocks. I’m sorry, but helmets aren’t built to accomodate hair styles, they’re built to protect the head from injury. Fewer and fewer players are wearing leg pads and as a result the numbers of leg injuries have been steadily increasing but it’s funny how there’s no mention of this.
    Then there’s the media which is mostly made up of people with no clue about the game saying how violent and unsafe it is. If you don’t like it, turn the channel. These are the same people who spearheaded and glorified the “remove dodgeball from schools” issue.
    Football is a great game that is being taken away from its roots by people who are clueless about how the game is meant to be.

  67. thecuz says: Oct 19, 2010 1:32 PM

    @ Bradwins
    You must have been been a member of the girls track team! LOL!!!

  68. FMWarner says: Oct 19, 2010 1:55 PM

    Everyone in this thread insinuating that those in favor of protecting players are “on the girls’ track team” or “were too scared to play football” should get jacked up by James Harrison. Let’s see what you say after that. If you still have the power of speech.

  69. thecuz says: Oct 19, 2010 2:53 PM

    Has anyone asked if the equipment technology is keeping pace with the speed of the game. Someone mentioned before the players dont have helmets strapped or fail to wear their pads. While this is true and adds to injury, i am asking is the equipment the players are using keeping up with today’s football athletes (faster, stronger) where collisions are more dangerous today than years back. I dont know if this is also a part of the problem.

  70. says: Oct 19, 2010 7:31 PM

    I played college football and had three concussions. One of them knocked me out for 3 minutes. Two weeks later I was out there playing again with no problems, and still no problems to this day. One of my best freinds, we played in college and HS together, tore his ACL as a Sohpamore and never was able to play again. He still has occasional pain and walks with a slight limp. I was lucky that I only had a couple of concussions and able to have a full range of motion in my limbs. The NFL is taking away the high hits ( and low hits on QBs) on defenseless recievers wich will lead to more injuries over all than the high hits. Also, helmets provide more protection than any equipment, including braces that can be put on the knee. Thats why guys in the NFL are mostly saying that hitting high is not dirty if you don’t lead with your head, because if you go low you are most certainly goning to be called dirty. Everybody that plays football gets their “bell rung” every now and then. It is part of the game and players know it. Hitting low, on someones planted foot will almost certainly cause significant injury. That’s why when you see a linemen who has been cut block he is almost always pissed off, because it is considered dangerous.

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