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Competition Committee proposes expansion of horse-collar rule

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More than a decade ago, the NFL outlawed the horse-collar tackle, a once-common tactic for dragging a ball carrier to the ground from behind by grabbing inside the back of his shoulder pads. The Competition Committee has now proposed an expansion of the rule.

If accepted by ownership, a violation will occur not simply when the defender’s hand goes inside the back of the jersey. The revised rule would make it a foul if the defender grabs the outside of the jersey at the nameplate or above, and then pulls the offensive player to the ground.

An expansion of the horse-collar rule was last proposed in 2012, when the Steelers wanted to the rule to apply to quarterbacks in the pocket. Ultimately, only five of 32 owners agreed to the change.

Proposals submitted by the Competition Committee usually fare better than that. Still, it’s not a given that 24 or more owners will vote in favor of any of the proposed changes.

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20 Responses to “Competition Committee proposes expansion of horse-collar rule”
  1. nicofthenorthstar says: Mar 17, 2016 9:19 PM

    It should just be a rule that unless you look the ball carrier in the eye and give him a wink, you cannot tackle him.

  2. Pftsliberalagenda says: Mar 17, 2016 9:24 PM

    Flag football

  3. patsfan says: Mar 17, 2016 9:48 PM

    Steve Bisciotti has demanded that all players wear pinnies with velcro. The competition committee has agreed to take up the related use of sequins and glitter at a later date.

  4. boogerhut says: Mar 17, 2016 9:59 PM

    Bring on sarcastaball!

  5. boogerhut says: Mar 17, 2016 10:00 PM

    At least it’s still legal to yank them down by their dreads.

  6. flipola says: Mar 17, 2016 10:10 PM

    You can’t go high, you can’t go low. The next logical steps: no tackling from behind at all, no tackling by the jersey, and ultimately no tackling.

  7. peytonwantsaflag says: Mar 17, 2016 10:17 PM

    I propose what I am calling the JPP rule where all defenders have their hands taped in such a way that they only have two working digits (digits of their choosing) – I think that would take care of a lot of this dangerous type tackling.

  8. intrafinesse says: Mar 17, 2016 10:33 PM

    I think the rule makes a lot of sense.
    How would you like a big guy to grab you and pull you down to the ground.
    I wouldn’t like it, unless you paid me a lot of money … like at least the veterans minimum.

    Pay me > 400K/year and you can spit on me too.

  9. sfctyler says: Mar 17, 2016 10:56 PM

    When the TV ratings starts to fall, then they will start to look at how ridiculous these new flag football rules are.

  10. driftw00d says: Mar 17, 2016 11:04 PM

    Wow, that pitifully slow Roy Williams is still paying dividends to the NFL rule book.

  11. oldtrix says: Mar 17, 2016 11:42 PM

    Odd that it is up to the owners, those well-informed experts of football technique, to make critical decisions on player safety…..

  12. sariff420 says: Mar 17, 2016 11:53 PM

    Next proposal. Ban tackling. Too much risk of injury

  13. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 17, 2016 11:54 PM

    The more these people tinker with the game the more grotesque the outcome.

  14. watermelon1 says: Mar 17, 2016 11:56 PM

    And yet offensive players carrying the ball are still allowed to facemask defenders all day and it’s passed off on the sheepish public because the media spews out the term “stiff arm” in an attempt to make it sound legal and normal.

  15. pats14 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:55 AM

    Who the hell proposed this stupid rule in the first place? I’ve been watching football for 60 years and I don’t recall there being an epidemic of horse collar injuries.

  16. anonymousnevermindfishdeath says: Mar 18, 2016 1:45 AM

    Just make it a rule teams can only have defensive players who are double upper extremity amputees.

  17. boltergeist19 says: Mar 18, 2016 2:04 AM

    I bought we were all about as much safety for the game. Cmon owners ante up all this should be a 32 team landslide. Show you care and concern for this proposal.

  18. steelerben says: Mar 18, 2016 10:04 AM

    Does no one realize that the reason you can’t horse collar someone is that it is a super easy way to blow out knees and hips? I’m all for an expansion of the rules that protects player’s careers from being ended by a guy that got beat in the open field making a desperation move and doing something dangerous. This isn’t any different than getting rid of chop blocks.

  19. commiecensorshiponpft says: Mar 18, 2016 12:41 PM

    Break away nameplates.

  20. surfinbird1 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:48 PM

    It will be renamed “The Elway-collar rule”.

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