Add Jerome Bettis to the list of current or former NFL running backs who don’t like the new rule against runners delivering forcible blows with the top of the helmet.
“It really makes no sense,” Bettis said today on Mike and Mike in the Morning. “The running back now is going to have some indecision with his helmet and his head. . . . Whenever a running back has indecision, there’s potential for injury.”
Bettis said that when he would lower his helmet during his playing career, it wasn’t his intent to hit an opponent with the top of his head. Instead, lowering the helmet was just a byproduct of lowering his shoulders.
“I don’t put my head down saying I’m trying to lead with the crown of my helmet, I put my head down because there’s trouble on the way,” he said. “I’m putting my head down because I want to get my shoulders lower.”
Bettis also said he worries that officials are going to have a hard time determining what constitutes delivering a forcible blow with the top of the helmet, and what is just an ordinary open-field collision.
“We’re creating so many plays that are subjective for the referee, that before you know it the referee controls the outcome of the game because these calls can go either way, and then the referees start taking too prominent of a role in deciding the outcome of the game,” Bettis said.
That’s the same argument that Bengals owner Mike Brown made in explaining his vote against the new rule. But considering that all 31 other owners voted for the rule, it’s clear that’s not an argument that has a lot of support with the people who make the decisions in the NFL.