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Vinny Testaverde thinks the NFL is overprotective of quarterbacks

vinnytestaverde Getty Images

Vinny Testaverde’s career as an NFL quarterback spanned 21 seasons, so he experienced first-hand the way the league shifted toward an increased emphasis on protecting quarterbacks from big hits. And Testaverde doesn’t think that shift was a good thing.

In an interview on Mike and Mike in the Morning, Testaverde said he thinks the NFL has made such a priority of keeping offensive players safe that defensive players are no longer able to do their jobs correctly.

“I think they’re being a little overprotective,” Testaverde said. “When I came in the league, you could hit a quarterback high, you could hit him low, you could hit him late. Today, you can’t do any of that. So I think they’re just being a little overprotective of the quarterbacks and certainly a little overprotective of the receivers.”

Testaverde worries that the NFL’s emphasis on player safety has gone so far that the league has forgotten what makes the game of football great.

“It’s a contact sport,” Testaverde said. “It’s a violent game and you’re going to have some big hits.”

Many of those big hits were legal when Testaverde was drafted in 1987 but are not legal anymore.

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19 Responses to “Vinny Testaverde thinks the NFL is overprotective of quarterbacks”
  1. jimthebuilder27 says: Nov 20, 2012 10:51 AM

    He’s right, I’m surprised that teams are even able to play defense with all the rules that favor the offense now!

    And what’s with all the rules to protect offensive players, when the defensive players have fewer rules to protect them and they are getting hurt at an alarming rate?

  2. fuglyflorio says: Nov 20, 2012 10:56 AM

    Does it seem like there’s way too many ex-QBs with something to say?

  3. howiefeltersnatch says: Nov 20, 2012 10:59 AM

    I like the commercial when he was trying to do a magic trick and pull the metal rings apart and he couldn’t

  4. whitdog23 says: Nov 20, 2012 11:02 AM

    why does football need to be ‘violent’ to be cool?? just hit hard and legal ….you’ll look just as good and the play will be more effective

  5. maltarz says: Nov 20, 2012 11:05 AM

    He would have said this earlier, but he couldn’t remember what the NFL was.

  6. cardmagnet says: Nov 20, 2012 11:06 AM

    Since they’re so overprotective, Vinny could probably still compete since he wouldn’t get all of those hard hits, and I guarantee he’d do better than Sanchez or Tebow.

  7. hehateme2 says: Nov 20, 2012 11:17 AM

    I wonder how many yards Marino could throw for under these new rules?

  8. rajbais says: Nov 20, 2012 11:20 AM

    I agree!!! That’s why it was dumb to name Peyton Manning the #8 best player of all time!!!

    I am happy to hear that the older guys don’t whine and act like annoying curmudgeons, But it is very inconsiderate to greatly push the more modern day guys way above the legends.

  9. metrocritical says: Nov 20, 2012 11:22 AM

    It is important to remember that the tinkering with the system is ultimately tied towards keeping the NFL operating at peak popularity and viewership. Currently, the game’s popularity is tied to high scoring, big play offenses which involve a level of pass attempts per game well beyond what anyone (outside of Don Coryell) would’ve imagined in 1987. The rule changes not only protect the QBs but the game itself. An extra 15-20 pass attempts per game exposes the QBs to a lot more injury than in the old days and there aren’t enough competent starting quarterbacks now to fill out league rosters. Imagine turning the rules back to 1987. Then imagine game after game of the Dan Orlovskys versus the Caleb Hanies. If people want exciting passing plays they need to have players capable of executing those plays.

  10. promickey says: Nov 20, 2012 11:25 AM

    Well everyone is entitled to their opinion. However his opinion indicates to me that Vinnie was hit in the head to often.

    The NFL is a quarterback league and taking away the main draw due to often injured quarterbacks will not serve the NFL and the millions watching every week.

  11. vikefan284296 says: Nov 20, 2012 11:28 AM

    But offensive linemen can cut defensive linemen at the knees on outside runs. what a load of crap.

  12. jjb0811 says: Nov 20, 2012 11:33 AM

    Urlacher said it best, crack backs are more dangerous. So in the NFL eyes, it’s safer to go to the backside of a player’s knee than hit him in the shoulder pad/helmet area. Yeah, I’d say the game is skewed heavily in favor of the offense.

  13. roadtrip3500 says: Nov 20, 2012 12:02 PM

    As one network guy just pointed out on the radio, the Sunday night and Monday night games involved 4 top teams and should have been great offensive-defensive showdowns.

    Only 1 of the 4 starting QBs made the games. And the results were as expected – the two retread backups played like it, and the Bears had no experience or enough video to react to Kaepernick’s running.

  14. monkeesfan says: Nov 20, 2012 1:07 PM

    The league is also forgetting that these players by and large can take the hits – we need to get over the myth that former players are dying off because of football head injuries. If the league wants to be protective of players, then TRUST in their toughness. If they want to increase scoring, then adopt the CFL/Arena League rule and let receivers get a running start behind the line of scrimmage at the snap, and get rid of the 5-yard chuck rule.

  15. richwizl says: Nov 20, 2012 1:13 PM

    Of course VT is right, the rules favor the Offense and the Defense is wondering if it’s ok to make a hit or not. If you don’t want to get a concussion, avoid football and hockey at all costs; these are rough sports.

  16. staffordsrightbicep says: Nov 20, 2012 1:14 PM

    I think all of the quarterbacks knocked out in the last week would disagree with you, Vinnie. And all of those occurred WITH the current QB safety precautions.

  17. madmax80 says: Nov 20, 2012 1:53 PM

    Testaverde tends to always see things as black and white issues.

  18. fergie22 says: Nov 20, 2012 2:59 PM

    if the league was serious about quaterback safety they would do something about the bears o-line they are gonna get- multiple qb`s killed what a joke

  19. siriusred67 says: Nov 20, 2012 7:49 PM

    The league only protects certain QBs. You want to hammer Ryan Fitzpatrick into the ground or take out his knee? Have fun. You lay so much as a pinkie on Tom Brady? That’s a 15-yard penalty, and you can expect to receive a fine from the league by Tuesday.

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