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Goodell says low blocks and field quality are also safety concerns

Brian Cushing AP

Most of the NFL’s emphasis on player safety in recent years has focused on reducing hits to the head. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at his State of the League press conference that he’s concerned about knees as well.

Specifically, Goodell mentioned that he wants the league to focus on eliminating dangerous low blocks and improving field conditions as it continues to try to eliminate shots to the head.

“The Competition Committee’s agenda will include looking at eliminating certain dangerous low blocks; further taking the head out of the game and expanding the standards for the quality of our playing fields,” Goodell said.

Field quality became a particular concern after Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons both suffered serious knee injuries on a terrible playing surface at FedEx Field. Low blocks have long been a topic of discussion, especially among defensive players who think the NFL has put all of its focus on protecting the offense. But there was renewed enthusiasm for changing the rules to protect players from low blocks when Texans linebacker Brian Cushing suffered a torn ACL when Jets guard Matt Slauson took him out at the knee. Goodell said the league takes injuries like that seriously.

“In working with our Player Advisory Committee that Ronnie Lott and John Madden chair, we talked about that earlier this year shortly after the Brian Cushing injury. We need to review all of those low blocks,” Goodell said.

So hits to the head aren’t the only kinds of hits that Goodell wants to reduce.

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30 Responses to “Goodell says low blocks and field quality are also safety concerns”
  1. 52crabcakes says: Feb 2, 2013 3:53 PM

    so we really are going to have Sarcastaball one day! goodell, you are ruining the game for me.

  2. nepo784 says: Feb 2, 2013 3:55 PM

    Yea. No sh#t.

  3. billsncowboys says: Feb 2, 2013 3:55 PM

    Cut-Blocks = dirtiest play in football

  4. cliffordc05 says: Feb 2, 2013 3:57 PM

    The FedEx Field is a disgrace. It is hard to take the NFL’s stated concern for player safety when conditions at FedEx are allowed to continue.

  5. steelhammer92 says: Feb 2, 2013 4:00 PM

    Bernard Pollard’s prediction is looking more and more accurate. At the rate the NFL is going with rule changes; the league will eventually turn into touch football, and then fold because nobody will follow it anymore.

  6. bigbabies says: Feb 2, 2013 4:02 PM

    Other safety concerns include, but are not limited to:

    Tackling above the waist
    Tackling below the waist
    Blocking above the waist
    Blocking below the waist
    kicking the football
    throwing the football
    running half speed
    running full speed
    jumping
    raising your arms
    and talking smack

  7. psmith7716 says: Feb 2, 2013 4:05 PM

    Keep it up and this will be the National Flag Football League.

    Of course the fields need to be maintained at a certain quality level, but let us understand that the elements play an important role in field conditions.

  8. mec693 says: Feb 2, 2013 4:06 PM

    “we are now looking into intergrading certain flag football rules as well as two hand touch into our rulebook for the 2013 NFL season”

    -Roger Goodell

  9. commonsensedude says: Feb 2, 2013 4:10 PM

    Roger talks out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to player safety. He issues arbitrary fines for hits that, in some cases, don’t even result in on-field penalties. But he wants to improve player safety by having the players in this dangerous game play a season that has two additional games. Also, the guys should play really hard during the Pro Bowl.

    And by the way, if you can’t tackle too high and can’t tackle too low, what’s left?

  10. firegoodell says: Feb 2, 2013 4:10 PM

    If they eliminate the cut block it willbe almost impossible to run the ball because of backside pursuit from defenders chasing down plays. Injuries CAN NOT be legislated out of sports. I would think every player – playing every sport – is pretty much aware of the risks and dangers involved in said sport when they start playing.

    The NFL is becoming a mockery and I would not be suprised if all these “rules” continue to be implemented they will lose fans.

  11. demolition510 says: Feb 2, 2013 4:15 PM

    He need to be concerned about that maxi pad he need to change.

  12. bartlettruss says: Feb 2, 2013 4:15 PM

    I don’t think people should worry so much about this. What Goodell says and what he does are totally different things. If he cared about player safety Gregg Williams would be banned from the league for life.

  13. flavordave says: Feb 2, 2013 4:18 PM

    I ask everyone to read a great article this week in Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine about how lawyers are destroying the NFL. Goodell of course leading the way…

  14. mattolikesthevikes says: Feb 2, 2013 4:28 PM

    Pretty soon professionals will not need helmets and pads as they will be switching to belts with flags hanging off their waists. Wait, flag football may be too dangerous as well. Might get a hangnail from grabbing and missing.
    I miss hardcore football. Watching the Super Bowl replays on nfl network last weekend. Old school super bowls were hardcore. Players getting hit 5-10 yards out of bounce. Players use to get paid peanuts in comparison and their bodies went through the ringer. Now players are loaded and can’t be hit. Something’s wrong there.

  15. mazblast says: Feb 2, 2013 4:30 PM

    bigbabies says: Feb 2, 2013 4:02 PM

    Other safety concerns include, but are not limited to:

    Tackling above the waist
    Tackling below the waist
    Blocking above the waist
    Blocking below the waist
    kicking the football
    throwing the football
    running half speed
    running full speed
    jumping
    raising your arms
    and talking smack
    —————————
    Here’s some you forgot–

    Tackling AT the waist
    Blocking AT the waist
    Catching the football
    Running with the football
    Running forward
    Running backward
    Falling
    Lowering your arms
    Extending your arms
    Throwing a block

    And, of course–

    Standing still

    None of these compare, though, to the high crimes and misdemeanors–

    Tackling Tom Brady or Eli Manning
    Beating the teams quarterbacked by Tom Brady or Eli Manning
    Wearing your socks too low
    Wearing your socks too high
    Covering the logo of a league sponsor
    Wearing shoes that aren’t the approved color(s)
    Not wearing freaking PINK clothing when the league office says to wear freaking PINK

  16. demolition510 says: Feb 2, 2013 4:31 PM

    Football will be played by remote control robots as predicted by the Jetsons.

  17. mcarey032 says: Feb 2, 2013 5:00 PM

    Welcome to the national touch football league.

  18. daknight93 says: Feb 2, 2013 5:16 PM

    well..the blame falls on the players and union reps for giving Goodell full power against them signing a 10yr. deal which is insane and Goodell is just doing his job with 100% authority over them and players need to just stop crying about suspensions and fines…if Godell want to eliminate low blocks and change how the game is played, then he has the power to turn old school football under Taglibeu and previous commissioners into his vision of flag football, then so be it cause it’s the players fault for signing and giving Godell power to see things how it fits his agenda.

    Signed
    frustrated NFL fan against Godell

  19. dannythebisforbeast says: Feb 2, 2013 5:40 PM

    Field conditions are a concern so does that mean the NFL will now have rainouts like baseball. get paid big bucks to be big boys such is the price of fame and fortune.

  20. NoHomeTeam says: Feb 2, 2013 5:44 PM

    Whooo — I’m getting a high from all the testosterone floating around on this thread.

    Better not let your wives or girlfriends sit in those La-Z Boys you spend most of your Sundays in, boys; I understand that such exposure can have potentially negative side-effects for the little wimmin.

  21. harry1941 says: Feb 2, 2013 6:14 PM

    The Redskins own is cheap,That field has been like that since the 50’s. I am for Godell. I seen many Jet players get hurt from low blocks.

  22. vegasvinnie says: Feb 2, 2013 6:28 PM

    I would imagine that forcing teams to play 3 games in 11 day stretches would be just as damaging to the players. In the case of the Ravens this year, they had to play 4 games in 17 days.

    But don’t pay any attention to that, it’s the reckless players that are causing the problems.

    Roger Goodell has replaced Bud Selig as the most moronic commissioner in sports.

  23. csilojohnson says: Feb 2, 2013 7:45 PM

    Considering how Goodell has handled this subject so far. I think it’s safe to say football will soon lose what little legitimacy it has left.
    How long wil the trend last? One day people will snap out of it and realize this sport had turned to crap 2 yrs ago.

  24. charger383 says: Feb 2, 2013 8:00 PM

    by 2022, pictures of old football games will be right beside pictures of knights on horseback jousting

  25. oldcat157 says: Feb 2, 2013 8:00 PM

    8 game suspension for low blocks. That will get rid of it. If you are just going to increase fines, no one will care and knees will continue to crack.

  26. nofunleague says: Feb 2, 2013 10:02 PM

    I wish I had the resources to visit a stadium next year and take 100’s of photos for sale in 10 years when football is extinct. I’ll bet the old timers are rolling over in their graves.

  27. silvercutlery says: Feb 2, 2013 10:17 PM

    I think some people take themselves a little too seriously and get a little too emotional.

    He’s not banning low tackling.

    He’s look to ban low back-side cut blocks.

    I bet the same ‘emotional Jane and Jenny’s’ here who cry that ‘this is outrageous’ screamed at the dirtiness of the Cushing hit.

    Which, to me, should be banned.

    Go watch the video of Cushing getting taken out, and tell me that should be legal. He was running to his left to take on a wide sweep, the OG was behind him and had no chance of getting there, so just threw all 330lbs onto the back of his knee.

    Cushing never saw him (obviously) as he was in front of him and looking forwards, all he knew was 330lbs of meat just launched into the back of his unprotected knee, shredding it.

    Im not a Houston fan, but that type of block needs to go.

    It rarely happens anyway, so it’s not like a major part of the game is being taken out.

  28. sfsaintsfan says: Feb 3, 2013 2:05 AM

    What about the frozen tundra of East Rutherford, NJ, home of the next Super Bowl.

    Forecast for Super Bowl Sunday:

    Current temp. 25F. Occasional snow showers. High 33F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 60%.

    Great weather for a Super Bowl?

  29. dclogicatlast says: Feb 3, 2013 9:42 AM

    So anytime there’s an injury from here on out were going to have a rule change? This all seems reactionary rather than rational. It is football after all.

  30. djaehne says: Feb 5, 2013 8:18 PM

    Just dress everyone up in 30 billion dollar “Iron Man suits.

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