David DeCastro on rule change: “We’re going to look like sumo wrestlers”

Getty Images

The NFL has promised to hit the road to explain its new lowering the helmet rule, going to all 32 teams to explain what will and will not be penalized.

Those meetings are going to be crucial, because none of the players seem to know what to expect.

The latest to (possibly) overreact to the hastily crafted rule change is Steelers guard David DeCastro, who thinks the letter of the law could apply to most running plays and turn offensive linemen into “sumo wrestlers.”

“I just can’t wait until the referees come into training camp like they do every year, and they show us the videos of what to do and not do in the rule changes,” DeCastro said, via Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I just can’t wait to see it because I have no idea what they’re talking about. It doesn’t make any sense to me. . . .

“You’re taught from a young age, the low man wins. Get your head lower than theirs. It’s like the nature of the game. You might as well take the ball away while you’re at it. . . . We’re going to look like sumo wrestlers. Put our bellies against each other.”

Because of the pace of the discussions that led to the rule, the change came long before the explanation could possibly get out to the people it impacts. Coach Bill O’Brien explained this week on PFT Live that the impact would be less drastic than some (like DeCastro, appparently) expect. But when competition committee chairman Rich McKay talks about how the rule is a “substantial change” without offering visible examples, it creates confusion.

It seems apparent that the league’s specifically trying to eliminate hits like the ones that left Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier with a spinal injury rather than the plays DeCastro’s talking about.

But until the league illustrates that difference to players, they can expect these kinds of criticisms on a regular basis.

17 responses to “David DeCastro on rule change: “We’re going to look like sumo wrestlers”

  1. Is Pittsburgh going to stop teaching techniques that their linemen should use their hands to block and shed blocks? If not, why would it change?

    Unless Decastro is just being a drama queen, like so many others.

  2. Haha I pictured this as I read what he said LOL. It will be interesting to see how this rule is called and then “not” called.

  3. I thought a similar thing when I heard the changes. Can’t lower your head you need to hit standing upright??? Only my vision was like two girls fighting. You know that one with slapping at each other with their heads held back so their face doesn’t get slapped. Old school but then I’m over 60 and that’s what we saw. Now it’s a slugfest but the image is still there. The last line sums it up. We all have an opinion but no one has really explained or shown it yet. Those first couple pre-season games where we”ll all get to see it will determine how much NFL I watch this year. It was a bare minimum last year. How this plays out may determine if it kills it. There’s always college to watch.

  4. What I don’t understand is the liberty and freedom concept. If you have 1500 men who sign a document that verifies that they understand that getting hit in the head often may or may not cause some long term negative affects, (as we all know that even in the 1920’s, the word “punchy” was used to describe slow-witted men), then why could there ever be a lawsuit? It is YOUR body, not the government or lawyer! Enough is enough. Why can you sign over tights yo legal action (arbitration) but you can’t do it here. I won’t be watching this lawyer league garbage

  5. Except sumo wrestlers know how to tackle without getting badly hurt, so the analogy is poor.

  6. Albert Breer actually talked to coaches (two former DCs and one former OC)

    Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “You slide your head to the side, keep your head up and try and squeeze through your shoulders and your neck. The PLAYS THAT THEY SHOWED, head down, going in like a torpedo, no one’s teaching that.”

    “With [tackling], it’s not going to be the adjustment that you think. Everybody’s teaching in that regard already,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said.

    Said Eagles coach Doug Pederson: “I think this is a rule that’ll eventually remove those egregious plays, those head-hunting type plays. It’s not gonna eliminate me tackling you in the box, the head-to-head combat there, the collisions. It won’t eliminate that. But to get what they’re talking about out of our game? It can be taught.”

    ——————–

    Mike Zimmer specifically said they showed VIDEO of some would-be illegal hits to he committee (of which NFLPA is part of). So it’s highly disingenous to say players haven’t seen “visual examples.” They should talk to their union.

  7. Since when do linemen put their crown down to spear the opponent? Seriously, 40 years of watching football and I can’t even think of one single example.

  8. What they have done is take the controversy level and raised it a few hundred percent, when they needed to lower it a few hundred percent.

  9. Michael E says: “What they have done is take the controversy level and raised it a few hundred percent, when they needed to lower it a few hundred percent.”
    ——————–

    You kidding? This is exactly what they want. Fans talking about NFL during the whole off-season. Nothing like a little “controversy” to keep the NFL in the spotlight. Between SB and draft is a lot of dead air time otherwise.

  10. This supposedly sophisticated league already had a rule about this: It’s called SPEARING which is not allowed. And WHEN was the last time you saw SPEARING called on the field? Answer: Almost NEVER.

    Instead of using Spearing penalty they created a new, confusing rule. It’s Spearing. Now let’s see how often this new penalty is called.

  11. I hope you do realize when they go “lower” that they are still using there hands to block, its called leverage Its how you get up under the lineman and push up so you can push them back. this is something you would’ve learned in school.
    hscorpio says:
    April 6, 2018 at 6:52 am
    Is Pittsburgh going to stop teaching techniques that their linemen should use their hands to block and shed blocks? If not, why would it change?

    Unless Decastro is just being a drama queen, like so many others.

  12. NFL will see viewership drop by a significant amount over the course of this season I think.

  13. The constant tinkering with the rules is old and frustrating. I know the NFL was sued because of concussions but it is because they blatantly ignored it or covered it up. It’s all in the open now. Rule changes have already been made to reduce head injuries. In the end, it’s football, a physical contact sport.

    NFL leadership has overreacted. To want to stop kickoff returns altogether is ridiculous and dramatically changes the game. Also, this new rule is mind boggling and will make the viewing experience frustrating because we will be sitting around the TV yelling at because of this stupid penalty being called incorrectly and even correctly and being frustrated with yet another rule change. I remember it being a rough season to adjust to the helme-to-helmet rule. The NFL made its rule changes, has an established concussion protocol, educated players and did their part. There should also be a general understanding put in place with players that football is a contact sport and there are risks that players need to accept. There is a difference between having everything clearly explained, upfront and in the light, as concussions now are, and not ignored and brushed to the side. Now, NFL, please stop changing the game I love before it is unrecognizable!

  14. The NFL wants controversy? Doubt it. They lost plenty of viewership last year alone.

    Next season they will beigin teaching you about all the social inequities that you need to pay attention to. More people will hit the channel changer than ever.

  15. Hopefully you’ll cover your butt crack while doing it.

    What a bunch of whiners.

  16. Dave DeCastro is confused about a lot of things. Like the meaning of the phrase: “Beat the Jaguars.”

  17. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says:Dave DeCastro is confused about a lot of things. Like the meaning of the phrase: “Beat the Jaguars.”

    As usual, a Pats fan making a comment that has absolutely nothing to do with the article.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!