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John Madden says more protection of quarterbacks is needed

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Some people think the NFL excessively protects quarterbacks, taking too much of the contact out of football and making it a league full of glory-boy passers who whine to the referees every time they get touched.

John Madden is not one of those people.

In fact, the Saints bounty investigation has Madden, the Hall of Fame coach who had a three-decade career as a broadcaster, telling Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times that he’s more certain than ever that quarterbacks need more protection. As co-chair of the safety panel that advises NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Madden would favor changing the roughing the passer rule to make it more like roughing the kicker: Once the quarterback has released the ball, you can’t touch him.

“They just let defenders beat the hell out of those guys after they throw it. We don’t let them touch a punter or kicker after a ball leaves his foot,” Madden said. “We need the quarterbacks. It’s a passing league and a quarterback-driven league. We need the Peyton Mannings in football uniforms out there playing — the Tom Bradys, the Drew Breeses, the Philip Riverses — we need those guys instead of them standing on the sideline.”

Madden’s Raiders played some rough, tough football, but he thinks what the Saints were doing was beyond the pale.

“The cart-off and knockout and those things, that surprised me,” Madden said. “I didn’t think that was in the culture. Obviously, it doesn’t belong in the culture, and I know the commissioner is going to get it out. If you’re going to hit someone, it’s usually a quarterback. So I think we have to really watch the quarterbacks and protect them. I know all about the ‘they wear skirts’ B.S., but we really have to protect them.”

Madden is confident that Goodell will come down hard in the Saints case and send a message that reverberates through the league.

“When [Goodell] does something and he gets them — and I don’t know what the discipline is — but I’ll tell you what, when he puts some teeth in the rules or whatever he’s going to do, it won’t happen again,” Madden said. “It will be gone.”

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72 Responses to “John Madden says more protection of quarterbacks is needed”
  1. dewalt2990 says: Mar 8, 2012 7:50 AM

    Grazing a QBs helmet with your finger gets you 15 and a personal foul on your stats….Madden’s right, maybe they should start ejecting these hooligans that think they’re playing football…..smh.

  2. tv426 says: Mar 8, 2012 7:50 AM

    Will they change their uniforms to dresses?

  3. fulanekiffin says: Mar 8, 2012 7:52 AM

    The Philip Rivers(es) haha

  4. sportsmeccabi says: Mar 8, 2012 7:53 AM

    Just give them flags why don’t you?

  5. staugslugga says: Mar 8, 2012 7:53 AM

    How old is John Madden? How is he still relevant?

    I think the quarterback needs to change. He needs to be bigger, stronger, faster to be able to withstand the freakish changes in the athletes.

  6. bleed4philly says: Mar 8, 2012 7:56 AM

    Here’s a thought: get rid of the intentional grounding penalty. If you can give yourself up by sliding, you should be able to do the same thing by throwing a forward pass to nobody. The qb avoids a sack and thus potentially getting hurt, and the defense gets the stop.

  7. tom35mt says: Mar 8, 2012 8:00 AM

    Great !!

    Just what we need, more rules, more contreversy, more whiny Quarterbacks, that will end flopping like soccer players.

    Please go back to whatever the hell you do anymore John, Thanks

  8. vicktator says: Mar 8, 2012 8:01 AM

    False.

  9. mikebe1 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:01 AM

    Sure just give them a flag to pull.

  10. hendawg21 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:02 AM

    Ok Madden has had too many concussions and is getting senile…already the QB’s are being overly protected some more than others and if you’re not then just whine like Mike “dog fighter” Vick and then you start getting some calls! I’m sorry but if you ever watch any old clips of games from the 60′s, 70′s QB’s and receivers got paid hell of a lot less and took a real beating and manage to survive the game. A good hit is a good hit however, there are some cheap/dirty shots those are the ones officials and the league should look to outlaw/ban. Let’s face it football is always has been a violent and physical game…all that needs to be done is to remove as I said before are the dirty/cheap shots.

  11. nyyjetsknicks says: Mar 8, 2012 8:06 AM

    Injuries are a part of football. Why can’t anyone seem to grasp that?

  12. giants56 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:06 AM

    If we can’t touch the QB after the ball is released,does that mean we can eliminate illegal contact down the field? And will the refs start calling holding calls on the tackles again? I’ll make that trade off.

  13. Patriot42 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:06 AM

    No defensive player should be able to come within 5 yards of the QB during the game but before and after games these players can kiss his ring.

    I think this will be the rule in the NFL

  14. bullcharger says: Mar 8, 2012 8:06 AM

    Madden coached the Raiders and the “Assassin” who paralyzed a guy. I’m sure he wanted his guys to kill thr QB. What ever Madden says now is total BS.

  15. salmen76 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:11 AM

    Troy Aiekman suggested this years ago. In fact, he said if the QB would be off limits once he threw the ball he would have played several more years before retiring. Back then i thought he was being a wuss. But now John M has a point. Punters and kickers are getting more protection than the NFLs high-dollar QBs. It would probably cause most QBs to become quick-trigger QBs. In other words, if QBs know they’re protected once the ball is released QBs will learn a quick release real fast. I’d be down for it. Sacks would go way down. QB injuries would go way down. Geaux Saints!

  16. shoooootum says: Mar 8, 2012 8:13 AM

    Who Dat Nation, This is the time we need to stick together and not let these comments from these bumba’clods distract us.
    Every Defense in the league is out to hit hard/hurt players/knock players out the game however we got caught “SO WHAT”. We are Who Dat’s, we are Fighters, we are the best fans in the league. So, anytime you read a nasty comment from a Who Dat Hater let it make you stronger.

    - Who Dat Bioooch

  17. wtfru2 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:18 AM

    When talking about the Tom Bradys, the Drew Breeses, the Philip Riverses—- John didn’t mention this year’s super bowl winner Eli Manning. The guy gets no respect—

    I see a controversy brewing.

  18. humbleminded85 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:21 AM

    What I never seem to understand is the timing of comments like these. All these years he was a player/coach and now he thinks QB’s shouldn’t be touched? How do you control momentum? If a DE is coming untouched and the QB throws a nano second before he gets to him, the DE should do what? Fall to the ground like a sniper just shot him? This isn’t about the “put a skirt on them anymore” this is about trying to control the uncontrollable.

  19. commonsensedude says: Mar 8, 2012 8:22 AM

    I guess Madden was shaken up about the news of the bounty program and one of its supposed targets in particular. “There are some quarterbacks who should never ever have a bounty put on them. Let me tell you who tops the list of those quarterbacks … Brett Favre!!”

  20. FinFan68 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:22 AM

    If he is sure “It will be gone” after Goodell’s discipline, then why does he feel they need to protect the QBs more? The truth is the attitude that brought forth “bounties” won’t go away. It is ingrained in the psyche of the modern era athlete. It’s like trash talking, boasting, showboating, etc. While the intent to injure is despicable, the players will always use “big hits” as a badge of honor. Most of them already rationalize their actions by saying they intend to hurt but not injure and if an injury happens, it is just part of the game.

  21. noeffinway says: Mar 8, 2012 8:24 AM

    I knew it would eventually happen….Madden has finally gone mad!

  22. bigzant82 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:25 AM

    thumbs up!!!
    if u miss madden on tv broadcast and on the madden video games just a lil

  23. raider17 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:27 AM

    No question we need to protect the QB. The problem is how. At the expense of another player? How can you stop 300 pounds of adrenaline on a dime? It’s not just a matter of dirty play.

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  24. deljzc says: Mar 8, 2012 8:30 AM

    I would only agree to greater protection of quarterbacks if the rules somehow changed to allow defense again.

    Maybe go back to allowing more contact with receivers? Maybe emphasize calling holding penalties? Change pass blocking rules?

    I don’t know specifics but if they want to take out fear and physical intimidation that good defenses have, then they have to replace it with something.

    The league will turn into 7 on 7 if they don’t. What happens in the trenches won’t matter anymore.

  25. cardsfann1 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:33 AM

    I almost don’t want to buy Madden ’13 now after hearing Big John say this!!! I couldn’t disagree more with him! I am not one for killing the qb after the play but it is ridiculous on sundays now with the penalties called for hits on the an.

  26. mavajo says: Mar 8, 2012 8:34 AM

    I agree with Madden. People piss and moan about the “wussification” of football, but get over it. Everything in life changes with time — that includes football. I’m sure people thought A/C was for prisses too at one point.

  27. saint4life says: Mar 8, 2012 8:35 AM

    More protection for QB’s, really?
    So all these players want to make MILLIONS of dollars but they also want a bubble placed around them so they dont take a hit? What has become of this game? I love watching the QB get crushed!

  28. chrisbntx says: Mar 8, 2012 8:35 AM

    If that is the case the NFL will have to add a balk rule similar to baseball. No more pump fakes, etc. Any smart QB could make a defender coming after him ease up just by going through the throwing motion. Punters and kickers can’t fake a kicking motion and have no reason to so to compare the them to QBs doesn’t make much sense. The most surprising thing about this article is the fact Madden advises anybody on anything.

  29. hooks024 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:35 AM

    Do they need to protect the quarterback because it’s a quarterback’s league, or is it a quarterback’s league because they ar overprotective?

  30. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 8, 2012 8:38 AM

    MORE protection? The next move is to put a red shirt on ‘em so they can’t be hit at all. The whole player safety issue has gotten out of hand.

  31. rockyburnette says: Mar 8, 2012 8:40 AM

    Put him on an ice floe and set him out to sea. It is a suggestion that merits ridicule. That’s not Football, period. Love his coaching work and the early announcing, but Madden has been an empty suit since mid 90′s. This suggestion borders on a war crime. We’ve gone as far as we can go re protecting QBs. Enforce the existing rules, fine persistent or malicious violators, and continue to invest in modern technologies to enhance protective equipment.

  32. sakatak says: Mar 8, 2012 8:40 AM

    Totally agree

  33. sonvar says: Mar 8, 2012 8:41 AM

    No thanks John Madden QBs get enough protection as it is and giving them kicker style protection is ridiculous. If anything kickers need less protection or at least a rewriting of how roughing the kicker works.

  34. carpetpissers says: Mar 8, 2012 8:42 AM

    Is that a picture of Madden? Or Goodell age enhanced 20 years? I can’t really tell the difference.

    Why not just put flags on their hips, John?

  35. JC says: Mar 8, 2012 8:47 AM

    I find it ironic that a coach who literally made his career by coaching tough, “mean” teams is actually saying this. It makes you wonder how many yards Marino, Montana and others would have thrown for had things been this “easy” for them.

  36. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:47 AM

    Love Madden always, but COME ON — they’re already overprotected. Next thing you know, they’re going to install automatic throwing machines to replace QBs at this rate. You can never hit them as it is, especially Brady.

  37. okiny says: Mar 8, 2012 8:50 AM

    With all due respect (and I actually mean that) for John Madden and all he has done for the game, I don’t think he could be any more wrong.

    This would lead to QBs working on their pump fakes more than their fade routes. Quick fakes would make penalty frightened defenders pull up and allow far too many big plays, to the point every game would end up looking like the pro bowl. Why not make defensive linemen give a “5 Mississippi” count before rushing, while we’re at it?

    I’m sure Mr. Madden has good intentions but upon further review, there’s no way that even he can say he agrees with this in the long run. One of the greatest (and most underrated) attributes of a QB is their ability to stay in the pocket and take a hit immediately after throwing the perfect pass.

    QBs (even the mediocre ones) make some pretty good coin. Let’s make them earn it, John.

  38. raiders757 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:50 AM

    If they make anymore rules protecting the QB, it might as well become flag football. The leagues become too soft as it is, and if it continues, you can bet viewership will start to go down.

  39. veetan says: Mar 8, 2012 8:53 AM

    Up next: Flag Football!!!!

    Everybody – EVERYBODY – cheers at the raw brutality that is the NFL. Remember the wildly popular, “Jacked Up” segment on MNF a few years ago? All this situation in N.O. did was expose the underbelly of an extraordinarily violent “sport” that we all knew was there – but now feign disgust so we feel better about our own blood-lust. What a bunch of self righteous B.S.

    Fact is: it’s a violent sport full of ‘roid raged maniacs who are well paid to inflict pain and suffering to the opposition on every single play. That’s league wide – thats the way it is at every level – that’s the way it’s always been – and that’s the way is always will be.

    Goodel will punish the Saints harshly, but their real mistake was being so dumb that they were blatent about it. The nature of the beast would’ve taken it’s natural course and had the same results. They were the best team that year, and are still a contender for at least a few more. Wouldn’t it be great if, for the sake of true football fans, the Saints won it another Superbowl or two? Then maybe all these sissy hypocrytes would shut the hell up.

  40. pacificnw7722 says: Mar 8, 2012 8:56 AM

    Once the quarterback has released the ball, you can’t touch him?

    The momentum of a pass rush is something very hard to turn off…..good luck with that.

  41. hawkjuice says: Mar 8, 2012 8:58 AM

    oh good more bubble wrap for the qb’s. Why not just take sacks out of the game. Stop rushing the passer, and just let him stand there all day and throw. No wonder Marino’s record got shattered.

  42. hank10 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:04 AM

    Madden has a point about kickers/punters having more protection after the fact, but how practical is it for QBs? A QB holds the ball till the last possible second in the pocket or rolling out, pass rush is on top of him, he throws the pass, gets hit 0.0005 seconds later and the defender is penalized?

    Might as well have one designator pass rusher per play. Have him check in with the referee a-la the eligible O-lineman and only he can go after the QB. Yeah, sounds silly but this is the path the league is heading down.

  43. dcbluestar says: Mar 8, 2012 9:05 AM

    Wait… did Madden really just say Rivers was a Quarteback?!

  44. rr2000k says: Mar 8, 2012 9:07 AM

    Oh, please. You can barely touch them already!

  45. laxfootball12 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:07 AM

    yeah john? how bout you tell your game developers to protect me on a play action pass…i actually find it really fun n exciting to get sacked n fumble the ball away every time i try to play fake..thanks man lemme know..yours truly, ethan albright

  46. kevsright says: Mar 8, 2012 9:08 AM

    Shut up, Madden.
    You’ve lost your last marble..
    The QBs are already protected excessively, to the point where you can’t even utter a curseword within their tender little hearing range.

  47. maddenisfordorks says: Mar 8, 2012 9:13 AM

    Yes – finally! Let’s keep the millionaires padded and comfy-cozy.

  48. eagleswin says: Mar 8, 2012 9:13 AM

    I think John just misses Favre. He spent so many years idolizing him.

    QBs are already protected more than any other position. Let it go.

  49. psuravens19 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:16 AM

    If they protect the QBs more than they do now, NFL Games will start looking like the Pro Bowl.

  50. kmdp4 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:16 AM

    Right John,

    It makes no difference that rushing a kicker or Punter is totally different then rushing a QB. You are trying to block the kick not tackle the Kicker, you are trying to tackle the QB. How is a player coming full speed to sack a QB going to stop if the QB release the ball a step before the guy gets to him. This is real life not cartoons, we don’t have the automatic stop button in real life.

  51. rwmilli says: Mar 8, 2012 9:17 AM

    Yeah I totally agree, and get rid of the D line while your at it…if theres no touching the QB we can scratch any D linemen, have 2 linebackers and 9 DBS, so much more Fun to watch

  52. kiltherl says: Mar 8, 2012 9:19 AM

    Madden: “Yeah, they have to wear a bra too”

  53. azheat says: Mar 8, 2012 9:20 AM

    BOOM !!

  54. ndallasruss says: Mar 8, 2012 9:21 AM

    What will really help the safety of the quarterbacks is when they finally make them wear belts with flags velcroed on. The only way a defender can be credited with a sack is if they pull off one of the flags before the quarterback throws the ball.

    Additionally, to give the quarterback a chance, the defense will have to count to “three Mississippi” before rushing up to three defenders across the line of scrimmage towards the quarterback.

  55. bkostela says: Mar 8, 2012 9:29 AM

    just think john, if all this protecting was being done from the start, brett favre could have played another 10 years!

  56. rufustfireflyjr says: Mar 8, 2012 9:30 AM

    The problem is, they can’t protect the QBs any more than they currently do without fundamentally changing the nature of the game. Citing kickers isn’t a valid comparison because teams aren’t trying on every attempt to get to get to the kicker before he kicks it, as is the case with QBs. Shoot, on many kicks, there’s no attempt to rush the kicker at all. Methinks that John may have played too often without a helmet during his youth.

  57. kenboslice says: Mar 8, 2012 9:32 AM

    Get rid of intentional grounding. Problem solved

  58. joetoronto says: Mar 8, 2012 9:39 AM

    “They just let defenders beat the hell out of those guys after they throw it. We don’t let them touch a punter or kicker after a ball leaves his foot,” Madden said.

    It’s hard to argue with that.

    John, you’re still the man and you always will be. :)

  59. lolb23 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:39 AM

    the Philip Riverses would make an excellent band name

  60. ravensfreak00 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:44 AM

    They don’t need anymore protection. Defenders can’t really hit them anymore without getting flagged. Next step is to allow them to wear red jerseys so that defenders know they can’t be touched.

  61. headonaswivel says: Mar 8, 2012 9:48 AM

    May as well just let them wear flags… good lord.

  62. fishtank86 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:51 AM

    I understand the importance of protecting the quarterback. However, this is going too far. Either these quarterbacks learn to toughen up. Fines become higher for roughing the passer, suspensions for repeat offenders, or just throw the jerseys on the juggs machine and roll it out. The Phillip rivers and Tom
    Bradys and peyton mannings can go play that harmless heavy hit free sport of baseball. Next thing we hear is how wide receivers can’t be hit while they catch the ball.

  63. mjkelly77 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:52 AM

    I guess it’s just coincidental that this plea occurs when Peyton Manning is attempting to resurrect his dead career.

  64. nickster31 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:55 AM

    MORE protection? What are they going to do, have them wear the different colored jerseys so that the defense can’t hit them at all?

  65. marcuswelby70 says: Mar 8, 2012 9:58 AM

    “The cart-off and knockout and those things, that surprised me,” Madden said. “I didn’t think that was in the culture.

    Are you kinding me Madden! What a hypocrite. Did you forget some of the maniacs you coached, led by Jack “the assasin” Tatum.

  66. mhalt99 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:36 AM

    ok, fair enough. but for once can we protect someone besides the QB’s & WR’s…how about throwing a little nugget to the defense.

    There should be no place for any type of chop block engaged or not. No blocking below the waist period. No ducks, no dives. I don’t care if it is a cut off from the back side or a cut to “get the defenders hands down” on a three step drop. If there is a little 180 lb scatback in there on 3rd down and he needs to block to protect the qb (who has a ton of protection from the league) then he needs to take the guy on heads up. Part of the problem with that was with all of the 5 receivers out on a route set that big bad romanowski used to blow up…………… I long for the days when Herschel Walker was wearing his big shoulder pads and putting defensive ends on the ground…….by squaring up and knocking the guy right in the chest and putting him on his backside. Lets get away from the wussie (yeah I said it) low blocks that can get people hurt.

  67. gmen1987 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:37 AM

    Who Dat Nation, This is the time we need to stick together and not let these comments from these bumba’clods distract us.
    Every Defense in the league is out to hit hard/hurt players/knock players out the game however we got caught “SO WHAT”. We are Who Dat’s, we are Fighters, we are the best fans in the league. So, anytime you read a nasty comment from a Who Dat Hater let it make you stronger.

    - Who Dat Bioooch

    ================================
    Goobs,

    Who dat them former Saint coaches and employees who are now saying “Would you like fries with that?” Who dat?

  68. darthhitman77 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:56 AM

    I can just see it now, before long the defensive drills at the combine are going to include games of “red light, green light”

  69. 7370355q says: Mar 8, 2012 11:05 AM

    “Because you see when a quarterback gets hit, he has a higher probability of getting hurt, as opposed if he didn’t get hit.”–John Madden

  70. veetan says: Mar 8, 2012 11:20 AM

    Who didn’t enjoy seeing Bret Farve get the ever loving crap knocked out of him in that NFC championship game in the Superdome by the Saints. Man, that defense abused him like a freaking rag doll – and we all loved it. Yet, the old man kept getting up – and we all loved it even more than the hits!

    Now THAT was football!!!

  71. wrekognize says: Mar 8, 2012 11:51 AM

    The NFL is becoming more and more of a joke. I’m finding the NBA to be a better game as of recently.

  72. delpiero1980 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:31 PM

    Joe Montana would have won 7 Super Bowls in a QB-driven league and with all this protect the QB regime!!!!

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