Add NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock to the list of football observers who don’t like the NFL’s new rule banning running backs from lowering their heads into tacklers.
Mayock, who played defensive back for the Giants in the 1980s and is now the top analyst on the league-owned cable channel, said shortly after the owners voted 31-1 to pass the new rule that the owners were wrong.
“While I applaud the league for most of what’s going on with the safety concerns, and all players and former plays applaud that, I look at this rule and I say, at some point I think we’re crossing a line,” Mayock said. “To me, a running back has got to be able to drop his pad level. And when a running back drops his pad level, his head goes with it. That’s just the way you play football. And from a defensive player’s perspective — which I was — I understand and respect that. I think it’s part of the game, and I don’t think you can legislate all contact and all forcible head hits out of this game.”
Mayock said he believes the NFL’s owners dramatically altered the sport of football today.
“I’m not a fan of this rule at all. I think it crosses a line. We all love safety, but at some point, football’s got to be football,” Mayock said. “If a running back can’t drop his pad level, I don’t think it’s football anymore.”