The rule that gave the Jets a field-goal Mulligan on Sunday came from safety concerns. The man who pushed for the rule against pushing defensive players on the line of scrimmage in field-goal formation has confirmed that he wanted to make those plays safer.
“I actually pulled my hamstring because it root-hogged my legs out from underneath me. I did the splits, and I usually can’t do the splits,” Redskins center Will Montgomery told Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. “I’m like, ‘Man, this is BS.’ That was the genesis of the rule change. . . .
“They say just get low pads and low pad wins, but you get low pads and then guys fall on top of you. You feel like bones are gonna break or you’re going to pull things and I did pull my hamstring. So you figure, in this whole new era of player safety, a four-on-one is not safe in the NFL.”
Montgomery, as we explained last night, arrived at player meetings with the Competition Committee in February with video evidence to support his concerns. The Competition Committee agreed, the owners agreed, and the rule was changed.
While questions will linger regarding Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s misinterpretation of the rule — specifically relating to how he came to believe that it applies only to pushes from the “second level” of the defense — the rule says what it says. And the right call was made.