Brian Orakpo says face mask rule change is “disheartening”

AP

The NFL is clamping down on what the league considers to be “non-standard” face masks and Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo isn’t happy about it.

Orakpo is one of many players, including New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, to wear face masks that featured additional bars. Orakpo confirmed to Mark Maske of the Washington Post that he is one of a handful of players the league is requiring to change the face mask they use to a standard model.

It’s a decision that Orakpo isn’t happy with, though he’ll accept the change if he has to.

“I don’t know,” Orakpo said. “It’s kind of tough. Obviously it’s different. And it does have a sort of look appeal to it. But it’s also for protection as well. We’re supposed to be all about protection and we get denied for something that benefits us. It’s something that’s kind of disheartening.”

Orakpo said he is still hoping to get the decision reversed so he can continue to wear his current design.

“Hopefully we can,” he said. “We’re obviously in the process right now of trying to get it cleared again. But right now we’re denied so we just have to go with what they say.”

59 responses to “Brian Orakpo says face mask rule change is “disheartening”

  1. “And it does have a sort of look appeal to it.”

    Thats all it’s about for most of these guys. Ohh i wanna look cool on the field.

    Idk when or where the NFL decided they want to apply the brakes to the facemAsk changes, but most of the pple affected can only say “aweeee but it looks cool!!!” in defense. Give me a break

  2. Another example of how the so-called emphasis on player safety is a farce. A player wants to use a safer face-mask and the league prohibits him from using it.

  3. The league wants these guys to be robots on the field, no celebrating, no taunting, no hands on WR after 5 yds, no hits to the helmet…
    Goodell better be careful or he’s going to ruin football.

  4. It has nothing to do with “protection” and everything to do with the “sort of look appeal”.

    Trying to stand on the ” We’re supposed to be all about protection” line is disingenuous at best.

  5. The nfl needs to do some research in these new facemasks before they institute a ban. There may be a safety benefit, with smaller holes and no grab handle they could prevent players from getting their heads ripped off.

  6. This is such a stupid rule. Not only do these facemasks look awesome, but they make it far harder for fingers to get in there and grab causing an injury twisting the guys neck.

  7. The No Fun League at it again.

    Quite a surprise from a league that would not let Manning wear black cleats in tribute to Unitas.

    The NFL survives in spite of themselves.

    Has anybody seen the little clear bags they want you to bring to the stadium?

  8. I doubt any of these guys chose those facemasks for safety. If “looks” (individuality/”look at me”) isn’t the main reason I would be shocked. The safety angle here is just a ploy to shame the NFL into letting them do what they want.

  9. Hopefully the league has a legit reason. If the nontraditional masks pose a danger or some other reason I think it’s a fair change.

    Even if it is done solely for conformity, I”m not sure if I care even then. Especially if the main reason Orakpo or others are wearing these masks just to be different. If they have legit reasons to wear them then they should fight. If the main reason is to look like Batman villains, then not a big deal if they get their hand swatted.

  10. “We’re supposed to be all about protection and we get denied for something that benefits us.”

    B.S. The only protection benefit you get out of wearing a face mask that resembles the grill on a Mack truck is for your ugly mug when you lead with your helmet using it as a weapon.
    Good for the NFL.

  11. People want to throw Goodell under the bus for making the league too soft, but players are crying about facemasks and protection? If you want to be a bad-ass, then go out there and play like a bad-ass. I have nothing against Orakpo, but the players are coming across a bit soft.

  12. I hope they reverse what the NFL has done cause not only do the new facemasks protect the players but they look awesome as well.

  13. Regardless, Roger and the NFL absolutely NEED to make special exception and allow suggs to wear as many bars, visors, etc. as possible.

    Cause nobody wants to see that mug…

  14. This is more proof that Roger Goodell doesn’t care about player safety. These guys took the initiative to find a face mask that protects them better. But Roger says no. He says no just because he can. Roger Goodell remaining the NFLs Commissioner is a big JOKE. All he cares about is money and the bottom line and apparently he just likes to aggravate players just to be aggravating them. I have no respect for the 31 team owners and green bay for not trying to oust him. The NFL doesn’t even look like pro football anymore. I bet if that wild crazy league tried a comeback right now, the XFL i believe it was called, it would flourish. Stars would quit on the NFL in large numbers to play for a real pro league that will allow tough play and allow players other than QBs to make more money. Geaux Saints!

  15. I don’t understand the fear of letting these guys express themselves thru facemasks. I understood when the throat slash was banned, and when taunting became an issue, but this? Come on, it’s fun and as long as those masks don’t lend themselves to fingers getting caught n broken who cares?

  16. from an earlier article on this subject:

    “The specific medical reason allowing Tuck and Canty to wear the non-conforming face masks isn’t known.”

    Will you guys try to find this info out, please? It’s getting a bit tiring, reading these articles about the branches of the issue, when the root is just sitting there- maybe a half-inch below the surface. Dig it up!

  17. What’s the big deal? I’d like to hear an explanation from GoODell as to why this is being done. More bars on the facemask means less chance of getting hurt, and likely fewer facemask penalties.

    As for Brian, don’t worry pal. Changing facemasks is so easy, even a caveman can do it.

  18. @wecomefromthestars

    Tuck said it was for the neck issue he has been having and missed some time with the past few seasons. He doesn’t want linemen grabbing his helmet and shaking his neck.

  19. @wecomefromthestars

    basically chris canty designed the mask … he had his retina detached from somebody reaching in and hitting his eye .. so he’s medically cleared I’m assuming tuck for a similar reason .. so apparently … you cant wear that mask until AFTER your retina has been detached .. the nfl wont stop it from happening .. they just stop it from happening twice .. lol smh

  20. Just google for it and you’ll get your answer easily.

    Tuck has a neck issue. Canty did it for eye protection after getting seriously injured.

    Regardless of that fact, it’s stupid to disallow safer equipment if players are willing to use it. I’d hazard a guess that the cost of the titanium in the better helmets makes the cost increase significantly, and the NFL doesn’t want to pay for them.

  21. The equipment is safer for the player in question; its not safer for the league.

    Imagine getting your finger caught in one of these things while you’re tackling a runner. or getting a finger caught in it in teh bottom of a pile.

    We’re talking jammed finger, dislocated fingers, avulsion injuries, etc.

    If there isn’t a medical reason for it, I don’t see how its safer for the league as a whole.

  22. Riddell is the official helmet of the No Fun League. They are probably up in arms about another manufacturer being used on their helmet and getting press about it. Plain and simple

  23. Ware LOL you mean the guy RGIII had confused and spinning like a top last season all I remember is how much of a fool him and the Skins made out of the Cowpies!

  24. Rak had his facemask made to look like Banes from Batman and had the best out of all the banned ones..would have been tight to see on the field in live play

  25. Dude…call it what it REALLY is: More bars=harder to grab mask=competitive advantage. I used to look at how players used those and asked “how can he get away with that?” Looks like the party is over.

  26. I wonder how much the facemasks affect the player’s vision. It can’t be easy to see out of those things.

    As far as safety, it’s safer for the player who wears it, but it may make the game less safe if the player is more willing to attack with his helmet.

  27. to all who think that these guys are just trying to look cool, go ask any kid playing football who gets the most facemask grabs. you’ll see it’s dlinemen and linebackers. these guys rush the qb for a living, offensive linemen grab at anything especially when getting beat. you haters come on here and look for anything to hate on. some of you are as bad as the media who take little sound bytes and try to twist the story into anything that sells. good gravy!!!

  28. Everyone is whining about the NFL but not realizing these pansy arse players are suing them for every damn thing. Stop the lawsuits and play football and you might not see all these dumb arse rule changes. If you blew your money when you played it’s your damn fault. Should have stayed in school. The NFL has to protect itself from it’s employees.

  29. aaroncurryisbust says: Aug 13, 2013 4:02 AM

    Orakpoop should quit whining like the rest of the Washington Racial Epithets.
    _______
    skinsfanwill says: Aug 13, 2013 1:59 PM

    Everyone is whining about the NFL but not realizing these pansy arse players are suing them for every damn thing.
    ________
    mn1288 says: Aug 13, 2013 7:51 AM

    Poor baby….get on the field and help your team.
    ______
    santolonius says: Aug 13, 2013 7:17 AM

    grow up, man. you are whining about something of zero consequence to the entire world. it’s undignified.
    ________

    Seriously? It’s a very rare occasion when an NFL player “whines”. Articles like this blow media questions way out of proportion. Orakpo was asked a question about his opinion of the rule change and he answered it. Would you prefer that he lie?

  30. mancave001 says: Aug 13, 2013 11:04 AM

    Dude…call it what it REALLY is: More bars=harder to grab mask=competitive advantage. I used to look at how players used those and asked “how can he get away with that?” Looks like the party is over.
    _____
    Really? You do know that grabbing the facemask, on either side of the ball, is illegal, right? Because I learned that in pee-wee, at age six.

    Offensive players are granted some leniency if their hand gets caught in the mask while stiff arming a defensive player; but, according to the rules of football, you cannot touch a facemask, period.

    Using the facemask to throw a player to the ground is the most unsafe thing that can happen in a football game, so I’m pretty sure you just proved Orakpo’s point about how wearing these facemasks is a safety issue.

    Why do you think Canty and Ware were granted exemptions? Because they have neck problems, and preventing a player running past you by grabbing his head and torquing his neck to the side could easily damage a vertebra or even paralyze a player, depending on the force in either direction.

  31. jimmyt says: Aug 13, 2013 7:26 AM

    “We’re supposed to be all about protection and we get denied for something that benefits us.”

    B.S. The only protection benefit you get out of wearing a face mask that resembles the grill on a Mack truck is for your ugly mug when you lead with your helmet using it as a weapon.
    Good for the NFL.
    ___________
    First off, lets discuss how three ounces of suspended metal hanging off a helmet would benefit a player leading with his helmet? You understand that the whole point of leading with your helmet is to spear the player with the crown of the head– at which point, the facemask would bee facing the ground. A player tackling heads up while leading with his helmet is a player asking to break his own neck.

    And speaking of necks, three high school defensive players have been paralyzed in the last twelve months when their facemasks were grabbed by offensive players. Google it.

  32. Welcome to Roger “The Emporer” Goodell’s playground. No Fun League at your service. It’s disheartening to fans to Brian ….If the NFL could make money off of said facemask, it wouldn’t be an issue. Everyone knows its about money. Players and most fans alike. agree that the sooner The Emporer is gone or finds out he’s naked(whichever comes first) the better all of us in the long run will be, including the league itself.

  33. They could just do away with face masks and make everybody wear helmets that look like the old Apollo astronaut helmets. :/

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