The NFL’s Competition Committee has proposed a rule that would penalize runners for lowering their heads to initiate contact with defenders.
The NFL’s all-time leading rusher thinks that’s kooky talk. And he has a good point.
“If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off?’’ Smith told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “You’ve absolutely lost your mind.’’
Football is always about getting lower than the other guy. And if the running back doesn’t get his head low, Emmitt’s right; the running back is going to take a helmet square in the chin.
“As a running back, it’s almost impossible [to not lower your head],’’ he said. “The first thing you do is get behind your shoulder pads. That means you’re leaning forward and the first part of contact that’s going to take place is your head, regardless.
“I disagree with the rule altogether. It doesn’t make any sense for that position. It sounds like it’s been made up by people who have never played the game of football.’’
The rule still hasn’t been passed. At next week’s league meetings in Arizona, at least 24 owners will have to vote in favor of the change.
If the rule is adopted, look for a lot more criticism — from players and from fans. And if the players hope to prevent the rule from being passed, the time to make noise is now.