Jeff Fisher calls helmet rule “a huge victory for the NFL”

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Rams coach Jeff Fisher is a member of the NFL Competition Committee and has been the most vocal proponent of the new rule that bans runners from leading with the crown of their helmets outside the tackle box, and he was elated when the rule passed today.

Fisher told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network that the new rule is a major step forward as the NFL continues to try to take brain injuries out of the game.

“I think this is a huge victory for the National Football League,” Fisher said. “Here’s how the game should be played: Let’s bring the shoulder back. We’ve lost the shoulder in the game. Let’s bring it back.”

Fisher said concerns that flags will be thrown any time a running back tries to break a tackle are unfounded.

“It’s not going to be over-officiated,” Fisher said. “The key thing here is you can deliver a blow with shoulder, with face, with hairline. It’s just deliberately striking with the crown, the top of the helmet.”

Fisher said he understands that players oppose the rule, but he said that everyone who has studied it — from coaches to medical personnel to officials — has agreed that this rule needs to be passed.

“Every step along the way we’ve been unanimous,” Fisher said. “If the players knew the amount of time that went into this they’d have a better understanding.”

The owners definitely bought into it: The new rule passed 31-1, with only the Bengals opposed.

126 responses to “Jeff Fisher calls helmet rule “a huge victory for the NFL”

  1. “Last play of the game… 3rd and goal from the 4 yard line and the Vikes need a TD for the win. Peterson takes the handoff and breaks it to the outside!! Meets the defenders at the goaline and plows his way in for the TD!!! Minesota wins!!!…….. Oh wait!! Theres a flag on the field… Looks like Peterson lowered his head as he was fighting to cross the goaline. 15 yard penalty… Vikes lose. ”

    Disaster!

  2. Hey at least you won’t get sued! Well I mean you might lose half your revenue from fans not being interested in the game anymore, but at least you won’t get sued. Thats the key.

  3. Black day for the NFL. If a runner cannot lead with the crown of the helmet “outside of the tackle box”, then the runner won’t be able to run “behind his shoulder pads either”.

    If it is dangerous to lead with the crown of the helmet, what difference does it make where it occurs? Is between the tackles safer than outside the tackles?

  4. So obviously in Fisher’s world the Bengals are immaterial?

    To say that, “It’s not going to be over-officiated,” has to be some of the dumbest wishful thinking ever expressed. Just look at what the officials have done to hitting the quarterback. I see this change having a huge and very negative impact.

  5. Fisher just lost a lot of credibility among fans and a lot of respect from me. The NFL is turning into the premier puss sport in the world. As much as we joke about flag or touch football coming in the future it seems as though its not that far fetched. Soon all aspect of what made football great in the past will be gone within ten years cementing this great sport fate to the likes of boxing and horse racing. NO ONE WILL CARE!!!

  6. The rule is probably fine as he has described it, but the problem is that the officials are going to be inconsistent in calling it and it’s going to turn into something unintended. I think coaches should be allowed to challenge penalties like this.

  7. How do you lower your shoulder without lowering your head some?

    we’ve seen it already with defensive players making a play on an offensive player only to have the opponent duck at the last moment and the incidental head to head contact happens.

    The game has been slowed as it is, this will slow it down even more.

  8. Helmets going to have a “hairline” painted on them now? How bout we have wet paint on the top of players helmets so we can see how much of it made contact with the other player.

    This is so impossible to officiate correctly it will just swallow any good intent the owners had.

  9. Not be over officiated like the defenseless receiver, the problem with rules like this is they are fast moving judgment calls and when the NFL tells ref to rule on the side of safety, more flags will be thrown on bang bang close plays then the review and fine not coming the following Monday but it’s cool because it only cost 15 yards.

  10. Jeff you’re an idiot, you don’t have chris johnson who just ran by everyone anymore.

    I guess this is why you let jackson walk, who needs a rb after this.

  11. “The key thing here is you can deliver a blow with shoulder, with face, with hairline. It’s just deliberately striking with the crown, the top of the helmet.”

    If this is the case, fine. Watch tapes of Butkus hiting people, thats how he did it. Same thing with LT. No need to be a human missle leading with the top of the helmet.

  12. I’ll trust the opinion of one of the most respected coaches in the NFL over the mindless goons on this blog.

  13. When the heck did fisher become a softy……..he must be bucking for an NFL office gig after his coaching career is over.

  14. if we just dont buy outrageously priced tickets to games and nfl products the league will be forced to listen to us the fans. lets hit em in the wallett. No games for me until the NFL stops making a mockery of football. the legendary gridiron has become Roger Goodell’s bouncy fun house

  15. “Last play of the game… 3rd and goal from the 4 yard line and the Vikes need a TD for the win. Peterson takes the handoff and breaks it to the outside!! Meets the defenders at the goaline and plows his way in for the TD!!! Minesota wins!!!…….. Oh wait!! Theres a flag on the field… Looks like Peterson lowered his head as he was fighting to cross the goaline. 15 yard penalty… Vikes lose. ”

    ================================

    Did you even read the article? Unless Peterson drove the crown of his helmet into a defender then there would be NO PENALTY. It says NOTHING about lowering your head and shoulders and bowling over an opponent. Just that you cant use your helmet as a weapon on the field.

  16. I’m sorry, but anyone who doesn’t think this rule will be over-officiated is either kidding himself or lying through his teeth. I hope Jeff Fisher’s Rams lose their home opener because of a blown helmet call. Maybe then he’ll figure it out.

  17. I played with Jeff @ USC, he was on the starting defense as a CB and I was on 2nd team offense. I used to smack his helmet sideways as he was around 5’7″ and I was 6’1″ ! I cannot believe his for this new rule. This is ridiculous, so what is the runningback to do, just open his chest up to get Blown Up???? This is a JOKE !!

  18. It’s idiotic to hit people with the crown (top) of the helmet in any case, either tackling, blocking, or as a running back. You’re asking for a neck injury (spinal compression, disk, etc), potentially a serious one.

    ROFL, if a running back needs to be able to lower his head and hit with the crown to be good, then he has no business being a RB.

    I suspect this rule will protect the running backs more than the defensive players.

  19. You’re a shill for the owners, Fisher! A disgrace to the players you were on the field with and coach now! Use your face or your hairline??? Are you kidding me with this? The NFL has become like the government: offer platitudes and rhetoric and trust that the majority of fans/citizens are too ignorant to see through the lies to the truth. The only truth here is the fear of upcoming litigation and money being lost. Learned a lot from your Senator daddy, didn’t you, Goodell?!

  20. You had Steven Jackson. One guy that loved lowering his head to get more yardage. Now that you don’t have him no more you say it’s a victory that this passed? Someone jealous?

  21. If this is the case, fine. Watch tapes of Butkus hiting people, thats how he did it. Same thing with LT. No need to be a human missle leading with the top of the helmet.
    =================================

    100% right, I’m glad someone finally understands this. Somehow this rule became associated with lowering of your head, which means you couldn’t lower your shoulder also. The rule says NOTHING about lowering your head or shoulders, all it says is you can’t “spear” an opponent with your helmet. This should be common sense. No need to have people launching themselves as human missles at opponents trying to hit them with their helmets. Incedental contact with your helmet is different (and pretty obvious) compared to intentionally trying to lay someone out with your helmet.

  22. still think it’s an overanalytical and reactionary move, BUT……if they limit the flags to ONLY when it’s clear that the crown of the helmet INITIATED contact, then i suppose i could live with it.
    ALL of these defenseless receiver, and the 45 other layers of the new personal foul penalties should be reviewable. not automatically reviewed, but reviewable nonetheless. officials make mistakes from time to time, so why not be sure. if you think it’s worth a challenge, use it. if not, live with the call.

  23. Jeff Fisher, the coach who is King of mediocrity, will declare a victory where he can get one because in his overrated tenure they are rare. (Look it up, you’ll be shocked he’s so meh, far more non-winning seasons than winning ones)

  24. So what happens first time a rb is running into a pile and a defender gets him around the ankles causing the rb to lose leverage and the crown of his helmet makes contact with a defender??? Penalty on the offense??? This is a joke

  25. The intent of the rule is fine but the officials will only get it right half the time. A bunch of great runs will be called back, momentum killed, and games decided by suspect calls just like we have now with the “defenseless” player calls and the hits on the QB.

    It’s getting harder and harder to watch.

  26. We all agree the rule blows. Clearly, the NFL is trying to take the “crown” out. If that’s the case, I propose that all helmets have a halo circle around them that differentiates what is crown and what is not. At least a ref will be able to make the distinction better. Perhaps its reviewable by the booth. A balance needs to be struck to help refs with what is clearly a judgment call.

  27. I guess the phantom calls in madden will also apply this call when you go to buck someone in the open field. Just use the spin button. I meant to press B!!! Damn you NFL!!! Not that Madden is relevant anymore.

  28. Florio, please post a clarification to stop people from getting their panties in a bunch.

    The rule says NOTHING about lowering your shoulder or head. People here are obviously assuming this rule means you can’t lower your shoulder, which isnt’ true.

    ALL the rule says is you can’t hit people with the crown (tip) of your helmet. You can still lower your shoulder and head and bowl over defenders all day long. You just cant drive the tip of your helmet into a defenders face or chest and use your head as a weapon.

  29. One year from now, we may be hoping they amend, tweek or get rid of the rule after we see how it is officiated. I hope it works as they say it will, but I have serious doubts it will.

  30. I’ll say it. In 2013, it’s a cop out to use the main device that is designed for your own safety on the field to batter the opponent. Leading with the crown of helmet in the open field — where the runner has momentum — is cowardly. These helmets are not the same helmets from a generation ago.

  31. Never again will i spend my hard earned money to go watch this nonsense. This is a sad day. A bunch of pansys and the real sad thing is its all about money and lawsuits. I think the fans need a voice in this. Someone needs to rise up and b our voice

  32. In related news Jeff Fisher suffers from Napolean Complex. Can we please get this mustached mouthpiece off of the competition committee? He is just a puppet who is not tall enough to get on the rides at Universal Studios.

  33. “Every step along the way we’ve been unanimous,” Fisher said.

    The new rule passed 31-1, with only the Bengals opposed.

    ——————-

    …Someone. Please. Get this man a dictionary.

  34. I don’t think most people understand that for the past couple of years the concussion lawsuit has been driving the decisions the commissioner has made/is making. That lawsuit is winnable, and it will prove that – whether we like it or not – the NFL withheld information about hits and brain damage and they did so cravenly with greed/money as their reason. Roger Goodell desperately wants his legacy to be that of the “good guy” who put safety above greed, but it’s all about money in the long run, even the helmet rule. He is suuuccchhhh a hypocrite.

  35. WHO DEY.

    Make all the jokes about our team and owner that you want. At least he was the only MAN with balls enough to oppose this ridiculous rule.

  36. That is why I love baseball. The times may change, but the game stays the same!

    …and the players don’t bash each others brains in either.

  37. Honestly, I think going back to Leather helmets would solve all these problems. You wont want a blow to the head so you wont use your head like a weapon.

  38. Fisher is a moron. This doesn’t happen enough to affect player health but it will happen enough for officials to screw up a game by calling this nonsense.

  39. Yes, Jeff, it’s a huge victory for corporate NFL. For the fans, for the players, and for the long-term health and safety of the players … not so much.

  40. Of course Jeff Fisher is a fan of this rule. He has to face Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch twice a year. His backfield couldn’t run over a wet paper bag. I now hate Jeff Fisher and the Rams. Mike Brown is a hero.

  41. What amazes me more than anything, is that the fields of material design, protection technology, space exploration science, etc., shows that the knowledge and ability to design better equipment CLEARLY exists… Yet, the Billionaires that own the NFL cannot find the scientific designs to make the equipment modifications that would prevent these type of rule changes. This seems to defy normal patterns of technology. Humans are getting stronger and faster than the ability of technology to keep up? …But it does follow the same goofy pattern of fossil-fuel dependent technology versus non-fossil fuel technology. Why not pay a few NASA engineers to assist with designing better equipment!?!

  42. For everyone saying people don’t get the rule that’s not true we understand the rule but we also have seen how the refs call these types of penalties how many teams has a LB or DB been flagged for leading with their helmet but they hit on a WR or TE with a shoulder pad.

    We understand they can’t lead with their helmet but how many times are going to see a call go the wrong because refs side with safety.

    I just think it’s a recipe for disaster that will drag out NFL games even longer.

  43. Let’s just play flag football, I think with all the lawsuits, that’s where we’re headed, so to speak.

  44. As long as they only call it when the very top of the helmet is used to hit the defender it’s not going to be a big deal. The obvious problem is the scared refs will throw a flag on any hard hit delivered by the running back. Keep your head up.

  45. trojan33sc says: Mar 20, 2013 1:12 PM

    I played with Jeff @ USC, he was on the starting defense as a CB and I was on 2nd team offense. I used to smack his helmet sideways as he was around 5’7″ and I was 6’1″ ! I cannot believe his for this new rule. This is ridiculous, so what is the runningback to do, just open his chest up to get Blown Up???? This is a JOKE !!

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    I can see by these comments that a great many of you have never even played collegiate football. You have NO CLUE what you are trying to evaluate. “KISS IT ” you Clowns !!!!!!!!!!!

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  46. Sadly, this type of stuff is going to make the nfl lose viewers.

    We Americans are blood lovers. We love the grit, the injuries, and the pain.

    If we want to watch a sport without this, we’d watch basketball, baseball( nearly unwatchable to me) and soccer.

    I hope roger digs his own grave and the nfl gets some competition.

  47. “he said that everyone who has studied it — from coaches to medical personnel to officials— has agreed that this rule needs to be passed.”

    So who was left out of the decision…oh yeah, the players.

  48. Now that I feel like I got punched in the gut & we are ‘officially’ going down the road of domesticating the game by officiating natural instinct out of it I assume noone will be getting hurt anytime soon.

    Brace yourselves (without lowering your head of course) because the owners are covering their wallets & turning their back on the sanctity of the game with more of this to come for sure.

    NFL has just entered my ‘probationary period’ from now until the first 4 games of this season to see how this rule plays out in real time in the officials interpretation of it during football games. Fun stuff!!!

    You are officially on notice NFL that I will walk away from my love of football because it would have ceased being the game of football and I will stop watching games or having anything to do with the NFL if I don’t like what I see during this time. I’m sure I’m not alone!

  49. I’ve got my RoseBowl ring, where’s yours ??? The bottom line is a runningback has now been rendered defenseless and cannot advance the ball for additional yards (gee kinda thought that was part of his job requirement, nor can he now passblock !) THINK ABOUT IT !!!

  50. “If the players knew the amount of time that went into this they’d have a better understanding.”
    Well maybe someone should make it a point that they do, so that they can…..! Multi billion dollar business and they didn’t think of that..

  51. I can see all of the bad calls now. An RB will get low to cover up the ball just before getting hit and flags will be thrown for leading with the helmet. This rule will lead to judgement calls on the field which will lead to a lot of bad flags being thrown. No different than the garbage defenseless receiver rule.

  52. Of course it won’t be over officiated. Look what a great job they do calling holding, pass interference, roughing the QB….

  53. Watch..The patriots will get all these calls in their favor. All this does is allow the Refs to insert themselves into the game. They will call some penalties, but not all penalties. Somebody keep track of how many times opposing teams to the Patriots are called to stop a rally to help the Patriots.

    I hate these calls..

    We don’t need the violence out of the game, we need the REFS out of the game.

  54. Look at the money these teams will save on helmets. That’s got to make every players mother a very happy person. The dad on the other hand will be loading his gun and writing the “note”. What’s worse than this stupid helmet rule? PLAYING FOR THE PACKERS..

  55. In a parallel universe in which there is justice and karma, Shawn Merriman is pulverizing Jeff Fisher’s knees with Kevin Mawae’s helmet.

  56. Defensive players are being flagged for accidentally brushing their hand against a QB’s helmet. You’re right Jeff, the rule won’t be over officiated. Whatever. Rules are fine but as long as there is absolutely no common sense in the officiating of the rules, the NFL is turning into a joke.

  57. sdb0ltz says:
    Mar 20, 2013 1:03 PM
    Funny how Roger Goodell doesn’t even want to show his face right now he gets Jeff Fisher to do his dirty work.
    ——————–

    Exactly what I thought – let’s get one of the coaches most associated with a tough mindset for football and have him expound on the virtues of this new rule.

    On a sidenote – would this new rule have giving Steven Ridley a 15 yard penalty on top of the concussion he got from Bernie Pollard?

  58. Concussions will go down, the dislocated shoulders and, broken clavicles will go up.

    I think in the open field, most power runners have a good stiff arm to use instead of a battering ram style.

    Defensive players are at risk for concussion to.

    Should the Rams change their helmet now though?

  59. What is all the crybaby reaction all about? If you use your head to tackle or make a tackle you risk severe injury or death to you or your target.

    So it makes sense to remove it from the game. I coach little league and have done so for years and we consistantly preach to NOT use the head.

    It honestly baffles me that this is an issue. Why would you want to use your head in the first place?

    Quit your crying people!

  60. If the rule is only for the crown of the helmet, then there is no reason for people getting so upset. A running back getting low doesn’t have anything to do with using the crown of the helmet.

    There has been a rule as long as I can remember called “spearing”, where if a defender uses the crown of the helmet to hit an offensive player, it’s a 15 yard penalty. This seems to be the same thing. A running back shouldn’t be using the crown of the helmet except maybe at the goal line or short yardage situations. Using the helmet to attack defenders is a lot different than getting lower to defend yourself.

  61. Like all of Jeff Fisher’s team, soft. He somehow many Stephen Jackson look soft. I’m sure if Eddie George played for another team, he probably be much better statistically. Jeff Fisher, the 8-8 specialist. Most overrated coach in the NFL today.

  62. HOOOLLLDD on a minute….Hold on a minute. Nobody said you couldn’t wear a helmet, nobody even said you couldn’t hit with your helmet, you just can’t hit with the crown of your helmet in the open field…in my best Virgil Earp voice.

  63. Bring the shoulder back in the game? Really? And when a bunch of guys get blown up with broken collar bones or dislocated shoulders, then what? What if my RB is 6′ 1″? is he to let the defense plug him constantly in the chest (remember, the DB’s may be smaller than him so he has to watch for his contact to their helmet)? Or vice versa, my rb is Darren Sproles who is 5’8″. Even lowering his shoulder means he is going to spear someone. And isn’t spearing already a penalty?

    I hope one of these guys loses a game or does not get into the playoffs because of such a call and when the coach gripes some media guy tell him to shut up and blame his owner.

  64. nepo784,
    Where did you read the ball carrier is just supposed take the hit & get blown up? The rule is that a back cant use the crown of the helmet as a weapon. Your comment has nothing to do with the rule.

  65. lol, do you people throw overreaction parties that make you all feel better.. go there and whomever says the most over-the-top comment gets an award and a standing ovation? Need to express extreme views to get all the attention and agreement from other overreacting folks. i think there needs to be an Overreactors Anonymous group.

  66. One step closer Basketball,,,,,,,,,,,whistle on every play and let the refs dictate the outcome. Look on the bright side. It gives the refs one more way to change the outcome so Vegas can keep the money rolling the way it was “intended” to roll.

    Nice Job Fisher, congratulations on your huge victory.

  67. I’m just tring to figure out how I would have gotten past the tire run in High School. If my head was up I might still be stuck in that thing.

  68. Running backs lower their heads and use the crown because if they don’t, they will lose a freaking eyeball or have their faces gouged. This is an absurd rule. You can do this (and are taught to) from pop-warner all the way through HS and College (if one is lucky enough), then when they turn pro, these guys are asked to learn an entirely new approach to what they’ve done. If anything has been shown, muscle memory is hard to near impossible to retrain (Tim Tebow, anyone?).

  69. I can’t imagine any coach or owner that would come out publicly against the wishes Roger Goodell. Can you?

    The league/the owners need, desperately, to demonstrate that they are going all-out in pursuit of concussion safety in order to make their defense against the concussion lawsuits iron clad.

    There are millions and millions of dollars they stand to lose. So enacting these rules–though ridiculous, impractical and unpopular–are to be part of their defense against the impending lawsuits….and everybody better be on board. Every owner, and every coach in their employ.

    So I’m not surprised that Jeff Fisher is playing the role of NFL mouthpiece, disappointed but not surprised.

  70. As if everything in our society isnt micromanaged enough. Just another opportunity for the league / officials to change the outcome of a close game. As much as I don’t want to believe it, I think the games are fixed to a degree, so that teams Goodell wants to be the faces of the nfl Flourish. Vince Mcmahon needs to bring back the XFL, play the games on sundays, charge half the price of nfl tickets, make it fan friendly, hurting Goodell in his wallet is the only way fans will be heard!!!!!

  71. Fisher then went on to describe the new Rams unis and how pretty the blue tutus will be, and that he hopes the other teams adopt them quickly so all the teams will look just fabulous on the field

  72. truthfactory says:
    Mar 20, 2013 1:02 PM
    “Last play of the game… 3rd and goal from the 4 yard line and the Vikes need a TD for the win. Peterson takes the handoff and breaks it to the outside!! Meets the defenders at the goaline and plows his way in for the TD!!! Minesota wins!!!…….. Oh wait!! Theres a flag on the field… Looks like Peterson lowered his head as he was fighting to cross the goaline. 15 yard penalty… Vikes lose. ”

    Disaster!

    ——————-

    That’s no different than if the backside OT was holding on the play. Fans will always complain about flags “deciding games” (although, not flagging it allows the team to get away with cheating).

  73. eastofmissball says: Mar 20, 2013 2:02 PM

    3RD AND 1 > PUNT IT…..
    ______

    Or you can run it up the gut, the rule is only enforced outside the tackle box, just like intentional grounding is inside it.

    You can still lower your head and pound it up the gut.

  74. Another reason not to like Jeff Fisher.

    Will somebody please anybody fire Goodell!!

  75. And Jeff Fisher is the coach of the Rams, in the NFC West, right? Having to go up against Gore and Lynch, both power runners. Also, he just lost Jackson, another power runner. No wonder he’s all for this rule…

  76. “If the players knew the amount of time that went into this they’d have a better understanding.”

    Why don’t the players know? Did the almighty NFL and NFLPA not inform them and if not why? You’d think something this instrumental in the game would be vetted thoroughly.

  77. vikings1packers0 says:Mar 20, 2013 1:48 PM

    Look at the money these teams will save on helmets. That’s got to make every players mother a very happy person. The dad on the other hand will be loading his gun and writing the “note”. What’s worse than this stupid helmet rule? PLAYING FOR THE PACKERS..

    How many Super Bowls have the Green Bay Packers won ?
    How many for the Vikings ?
    Stay Classy Viking fans stay classy

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  78. The craziest part is how all these rule changes just appear and are instantly adopted. No trying it out for a preseason to see how it’ll actually play out…straight to the rule book so if something does go wrong, it’ll be assured to go wrong big-time.

    Fisher says everybody was in agreement this rule was needed? It wasn’t even an idea until a few days ago…that’s some quick consensus.

  79. I’ll never understand why 32 old rich guys, half of whom probably never played football in their life, get to be the ones to vote on rule changes this significant. What a joke

  80. Next they’ll pass the rule that makes the players sell candy bars all season and turn the money into the league on “picture day!”

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