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Roy Williams says current NFL rules are lose-lose for defenders

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Former Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals safety Roy Williams believes the rule changes implemented by the league to protect offensive players have shifted a significant burden on defenders trying make plays.

Williams joined Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL radio and said the rule changes have made the split-second decisions now presented to defenders a lose-lose proposition.

“At the end of the day, your job as a defensive player is to tackle the ball carrier,” Williams said. “It’s a disadvantage for the defensive player when an offensive player gets to catch the ball, take two steps and now he gets to see and give you a move. That’s not fair.”

“If I was a safety and I had to wait for (an offensive player) to come down, if he scores a touchdown who looks bad? I do,” Williams added. “That receiver’s not going to get cut. I’m going to get cut. I’m going to be on ESPN on the highlight and no defensive player wants to be on the end of that. “

Williams said it’s already difficult enough for a defender when they have to worry about getting fined for their helmet contacting the helmet of a receiver with the possibility of fines being levied for the it. If the league further legislates hits to take how low blows out of the game as well following the shot that injured Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller, defenders will be left with little options to do their jobs effectively.

“To me, personally, that’s not football. You’re taking the aggressiveness out of the game,” he added.

Williams took the example to the extreme of saying an offensive player would need to establish full possession before a defender would be able to engage the player. While the rules aren’t that polarized, the frustration is understandable. If a defender will get fined for hitting too high and theoretically for hitting too low as well if the rules are again altered, it will put defenders in a very difficult position of trying to play within the rules and still be effective at their jobs.

“They’re going to have to do something,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, yes, we want to make the game safer. We want to protect our players but at the same time, it’s football. You have to tackle the person.”

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14 Responses to “Roy Williams says current NFL rules are lose-lose for defenders”
  1. 49ersgiants4life says: Aug 29, 2013 2:55 AM

    Can they stop this already just change the game to 7 on 7 two hand touch cause that’s where it’s going

  2. cobraiv says: Aug 29, 2013 6:41 AM

    why dont we all play touch football instead.

  3. dcapettini says: Aug 29, 2013 7:25 AM

    Yes, I hear that the league has decided that they can do away with Defenses altogether, starting in 2016. In any case, these new rules will certainly mean that defensive players salaries are going to be cut by a sizable percentage and the savings spent on halftime shows.

  4. melikefootball says: Aug 29, 2013 7:43 AM

    Right on Williams. The NFL has blinders on if they can not see what is being said here.

  5. fatguystrangler says: Aug 29, 2013 7:48 AM

    I thoroughly dislike how slanted the NFL rules have become toward passing. Illegal contact and PI are called way too often, and are such game changers. If I wanted to watch basketball on turf, I’d turn on the Arena league. The NFL needs to let defenders play again.

  6. billymc75 says: Aug 29, 2013 7:52 AM

    the new rules and fines ruined this guy he was such a big hitter until the fines started.

  7. twobluegills says: Aug 29, 2013 8:16 AM

    If you want a sport with less contact, watch golf. PLUS, these rules are almost never applied consistently and fairly. I’m tired of watching 2 hours of commercials many of which are for penalty reviews.

  8. breakingb says: Aug 29, 2013 9:30 AM

    Let’s just have the QBs play against each other on Madden, much safer too. Just gotta watch out for the virtual injuries/concussions.

  9. Grulks says: Aug 29, 2013 9:50 AM

    billymc75 :

    the new rules and fines ruined this guy he was such a big hitter until the fines started.

    As a Dallas fan, if we’re being honest, the truth is RW was never the same after Darren Woodson retired and was no longer there to mentor him. Its easy to lay the wood and hit hard when you have someone that knows the defensive scheme cold enough to tell you what 1/4 of the field you need to cover.

  10. freepretzels says: Aug 29, 2013 10:29 AM

    I have no idea what they want defenders to do. I’m a little scared of how this year will go.

  11. garrisjs says: Aug 29, 2013 12:50 PM

    Roy Williams was nothing but a slow cheap shot artist who got burned on the regular (**cough**Santana Moss**cough**)

    He was overhyped because he played for the most overhyped team in all of sports during a time when they were coached by media darling Parcells.

    D. Woodson was the best safety Dallas had in the modern era and he never got the credit he deserved.

  12. colv says: Aug 29, 2013 2:32 PM

    Flag football is my choice but its more physical then touch so touch is this where the NFL is going. All kidding aside the NFL needs to make sure safety is paramount. Also just read the buyout offer to players suing them. Where do you think that money comes from—the fans that pay for tickets, Direct TV, merchandise. No skin out of the billionaire owners pockets. Maybe it’s time to watch amateur sports.

  13. germanstingray says: Aug 29, 2013 6:27 PM

    Roy Williams never had to worry about how to tackle a player he was covering.

  14. macjacmccoy says: Aug 29, 2013 6:32 PM

    They are going to have to change the pass interference rules. Listen, they should have already done this once they started penalizing players for hitting an opponent to high, but if they also make it a penalty for hitting to low they are going to have to do it to keep defense a part of football.

    Most offensive players are big boys ( especially compared to cornerbacks) its hard enough getting them to the ground as is, but at least you use to be able to use you momentum to help get them down. Now defenders have to think and alter their movements so they dont get penalized for an illegal hit. Even if its only for a second it slows their momentum, and that second is all a ball carrier needs to make a move.

    Now they want to add in another no go area that defenders cant hit? That’s going to all out kill their momentum. Making it nearly impossible for the first defender to stop a receiver at the point of reception. YAC will sky rocket.

    I cant see any other way to protect a receiver’s head and knees without completely altering the balance between offense and defense then to give defenders more leeway in pass defense. Allowing defenders contact past 5 yards would help offset the new hitting penalties. They would have less need of momentum because it would be harder for receivers to separate.

    It would be 2 big changes to the rules of the game of football, but I think they both would offset each other enough that the actual game wouldnt change all that much.

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