Mike Pereira: New lowering head rule will be impossible to officiate

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Former NFL V.P. of Officiating and current FOX analyst Mike Pereira expects that the league’s rule changes regarding players lowering their head for contact will be a challenge for officials to handle.

In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio, Pereira said that the rule changes will be “impossible” to legislate.

I think it’s going to be impossible to officiate,” Pereira said. “You’ll see the same things happen with this as we’ve seen with the crown-of-the-helmet rule: very few calls. I think most of it will be taken care of after the fact with potential fines.

The rule, which was approved unanimously be league owners in Orlando earlier this week, has made it illegal for players to initiate contact with an opponent by lowering their head. While competition committee chairman Rich McKay has vowed the rule is a “substantial change,” it’s still uncertain exactly what the directives and enforcement of the rule will actually look like in reality. The possibility also exists for the NFL office to deem that certain violations are ejectable offenses as well and disqualify a player from a game.

Given the number of injuries observed recently, Pereira isn’t surprised that a change was made to the rules. However, he doubts the tangible enforcement of the new rules will truly lead to a significant switch in what is enforced.

“I have to say that everybody erupted when they had the crown-of-the-helmet rule, which came in about four years ago with the runner and the tackler,” Pereira said. “Two were called the very first year and they were both wrong, and there were none called in the two years after that. I see these things happen, I see these rule changes, and I don’t want to call it hysteria, but there is to me a bit of overreaction.”

30 responses to “Mike Pereira: New lowering head rule will be impossible to officiate

  1. Impossible to officiate is the goal. This gives the NFL to control the outcome. To control outcomes is the same reasons why no one understands what a catch is.

  2. This is obviously for player safety reasons only, but I don’t like the change one bit. As a former player, you always keep your head up when making a tackle or running the ball for safety purposes. If you don’t, the chances of you getting a concussion, or even paralyzed, are much higher.

  3. It’s been said before, but now it’s my turn: Just put the damn flags on the players then. Eliminate kickoffs, eliminate tackling, eliminate everything that makes football, football. But then don’t whine when its popularity begins to wane. You’d think people would be more concerned about boxing, where the very idea is to beat on someone until they pass out. Football, even in the “good old days”, was never as rough as that! Yet no one seems to bother it… it is what it is, and men willingly choose to do it, or not. Some things in life have inherent risk, and right or wrong, that’s what makes them exciting.

  4. The crown of the helmet rule at least made medical sense. That is a dangerous position to put the
    C-spine in. But it is against human nature to expect a running back to go into the defensive line with his head up like Merton Hanks old dance move back In the day.

  5. Like I said in a different thread, this rule sounds like it was written by a soccer player. Defensive football at the highest level is done on instinct with little thought involved.

    With how PC things have gotten in schools these days I’m kind of surprised football is still around. All that violence and hitting! They should be hugging people instead!

  6. IT WILL BE EASY TO OFFICIATE:

    1) Whenever a defender tackles one of tom brady’s receivers… a flag will be thrown.

    2) Whenver a defender hits one of Andy Dalton’s receivers with an axe handle…

    … the receiver will be called for holding and Vontaze Burfict will be ejected.

  7. I’m going to guess that seeing Ryan Shazier paralyzed in prime time helped sway the league. I’m all for not seeing a guy have a life altering injury.

  8. It entertaining that so many think a runner is facing the ground when going through the line. Speaks volumes on their football acumen. Perhaps they think he guesses where the blockers and gaps are. I agree with Pereira’s assertion that this will be very difficult to call. It will be interesting to see how the game is now managed from NY. It’s important that certain team do not play in February 4 out of 5 years.

  9. Not sure how you can make a football move without lowering your head. It is the body’s normal defensive posture to protect the head – it bends forward. Bending it backwards is what hurts the neck more. So upright heads?

  10. More fine. How much did the NFL take in on fines last year? Where does that money go? I know the NFL says for charities, but no names are ever given.

  11. Pereira is right. I would bet the ranch that this rule will be enforced a few times early in the season, but will slowly be forgotten like “jay” walking for traffic cops.

  12. doctorrustbelt says:
    March 30, 2018 at 5:08 am
    IT WILL BE EASY TO OFFICIATE:
    1) Whenever a defender tackles one of tom brady’s receivers… a flag will be thrown.
    —————————–
    Salty nonsense – Brady himself took two very late low hits to his knees last year (from Bucs and Jags) 3 or more seconds after releasing the ball and just stood in the pocket. No flags nor fines. Gronk gets held all the time – defenders are always trying to stay in contact past 5yds so he doesn’t get up any head of steam – all the haters see is him pushing them off from that overcontact. Gronk and Hogan were totally mugged by Philly’s D on the SB’s final hail mary, again no flags of course. The big difference between them and you is they never complain.

  13. If, as Mike Pereira says, enforcement of this rule will likely be taken care of more by increased fines, you could see a problem looming with the NFLPA. Players are already fined by the league for seemingly everything under the sun; how will they react to a possible multitude of more fines for this new rule? Pretty soon they will be playing the game almost for free?!

  14. streetyson says:
    March 30, 2018 at 9:17 am
    doctorrustbelt says:
    March 30, 2018 at 5:08 am
    IT WILL BE EASY TO OFFICIATE:
    1) Whenever a defender tackles one of tom brady’s receivers… a flag will be thrown.
    —————————–
    Salty nonsense – Brady himself took two very late low hits to his knees last year (from Bucs and Jags) 3 or more seconds after releasing the ball and just stood in the pocket. No flags nor fines. Gronk gets held all the time – defenders are always trying to stay in contact past 5yds so he doesn’t get up any head of steam – all the haters see is him pushing them off from that overcontact. Gronk and Hogan were totally mugged by Philly’s D on the SB’s final hail mary, again no flags of course. The big difference between them and you is they never complain.
    —————————————-
    While I won’t say any of this does or does not happen, to say they dont complain is untrue. Brady screams for flags routinely, and Gronk complains in almost every interview.

  15. Is rugby a rough sport? Well they don’t use the head either, you get thrown out if you do. Hardened helmets enabled poor technique that became accepted over time.

  16. Simple: don’t overthink it and only throw a flag in the most obvious cases. I know that is tough for Pereira to grasp since he nitpicks everything but that is how I would play it.

  17. The dirty cheapshot by Jenkins in the SB was flat out ridiculous. There is no reason why he couldn’t have targeted the chest.

    Hey, how come the rule didn’t change during the SB like the catch rule did?

    LOL!

    Oh that Rogie. Article 46 only works when he wants it to.

  18. No, it won’t Mike. Just call it targeting and throw them out of the game and dock them a game check. In about 4 weeks all the tackles will be the Chris Spielman “Eyes Up, Head Up, Wrap Up” variety.

  19. shaggyo3 says:
    March 30, 2018 at 9:36 am
    streetyson says:
    March 30, 2018 at 9:17 am
    doctorrustbelt says:
    March 30, 2018 at 5:08 am
    IT WILL BE EASY TO OFFICIATE:
    1) Whenever a defender tackles one of tom brady’s receivers… a flag will be thrown.
    —————————–
    Salty nonsense – Brady himself took two very late low hits to his knees last year (from Bucs and Jags) 3 or more seconds after releasing the ball and just stood in the pocket. No flags nor fines. Gronk gets held all the time – defenders are always trying to stay in contact past 5yds so he doesn’t get up any head of steam – all the haters see is him pushing them off from that overcontact. Gronk and Hogan were totally mugged by Philly’s D on the SB’s final hail mary, again no flags of course. The big difference between them and you is they never complain.
    —————————————-
    While I won’t say any of this does or does not happen, to say they dont complain is untrue. Brady screams for flags routinely, and Gronk complains in almost every interview.

    That’s not true, and you know it. SMH.

  20. This won’t get called against the leagues darlings and will get used to screw over the underdogs on a weelly basis.

  21. I think the key is the phrase ‘lowering the head’. If the player didn’t lower his head, but raised his head (like crouch lower first, then stand upright) that rule wouldn’t really apply. Per the language. So if the helmet front hits the other player somewhere (even in their helmet), it can’t be lowering the helmet since he was straightening up.

    This goes for the line play. When the ball is snapped, many times they are raising upwards from their stance. Can’t be lowering your helmet when you are raising up. On the face, that makes no sense in plain reading.

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