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Rooney still hopes to expand the horse-collar rule


Pittsburgh’s proposal to expand the prohibition against horse-collar tackles to protect quarterbacks in the pocket was voted down by the NFL owners on Wednesday. But the Steelers aren’t giving up on it.

Steelers President Art Rooney II told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he still believes it should be illegal to yank down a quarterback in the pocket from behind by the inside of his jersey or shoulder pads, and he’s going to continue pressing his owners to eliminate that exemption from the rules.

I still think there’s hope we’ll get it passed at some point,” Rooney said. “I think this one kind of snuck up on them. If we can get the competition committee — at least some members of the competition committee — to take it seriously, then there’s a chance.”

Rooney said the Competition Committee wants to allow horse-collar tackles on quarterbacks in the pocket because its members think there’s less risk of injury when a quarterback is standing still than there is when a runner who’s moving forward is yanked backward.

“The committee doesn’t think [quarterbacks] have the same risk as the runner because of this torque issue,” Rooney said. “When they’re running and you pull them down from behind it’s a more violent kind of tackle than if the guy’s just standing there.”

Rooney (who was also the only owner to vote against the rule to make every turnover automatically reviewed by the replay assistant) seems to be out of step with his fellow owners. And that’s something of a surprise: At a time when the NFL seems to be doing everything in its power to protect quarterbacks, this year the league voted won a new protection for passers.

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13 Responses to “Rooney still hopes to expand the horse-collar rule”
  1. 69firebird says: Mar 30, 2012 10:41 AM

    This just in… Rooney moves to expand rooney looney rule to include all non white QB’s because they are the only ones who can run fast enough to avoid the horse collar tackle

  2. dukemarc says: Mar 30, 2012 10:49 AM

    Rooney tell your QB to go down instead of fighting thru sacks to throw interceptions.

  3. aequitas83 says: Mar 30, 2012 10:56 AM

    I think this has more to do with Ben than anything else. It’s one of the few ways pass rushers can bring him down, especially while being blocked. Take that out of the equation and the Steelers’ quarterback will be even tougher to bring down than he already is.

    I can’t think of a QB or team that would benefit more from that rule than the Steelers.

  4. effosugoblue says: Mar 30, 2012 11:05 AM

    His QB should stop horse collaring college chicks.

  5. willycents says: Mar 30, 2012 11:08 AM

    Perhaps the Rooney Rule should be expanded to state “A minority QB must be sacked before a non-minority QB can be sacked in each game.” That will take care of the horse collar tackle problem for the Steelers starting QB and preserve his health. Just thinking….lol….

  6. gator2006 says: Mar 30, 2012 12:13 PM

    Wayne Rooney with the equalizer!

  7. jbythebay says: Mar 30, 2012 12:18 PM

    Man that family just loves rules

  8. ajf5291 says: Mar 30, 2012 1:12 PM

    I thought Pittsburgh was one of the franchises criticizing the “No Fun League?”

  9. therealjr says: Mar 30, 2012 3:10 PM

    If your name is Rooney, stop making rules.

  10. charger383 says: Mar 30, 2012 4:57 PM

    another stupid rooney rule, another good reason to not like the Steelers

  11. audient says: Mar 30, 2012 7:01 PM

    Speaking of rules and no fun… my comment got horsecollared.

  12. Deb says: Mar 30, 2012 7:18 PM

    I wish football fans who take the trouble to comment on a site like this knew enough about football to grasp that the Rooney Rule picked up that name because Dan Rooney chaired the committee tasked by all the owners with devising that rule. He didn’t personally come up with that rule.

  13. db105 says: Mar 30, 2012 7:20 PM

    Rooney is a clown.

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