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.