Frazier worries new rule could make Peterson’s legs vulnerable


Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier is among the coaches who are skeptical of the NFL Competition Committee’s proposal to penalize running backs for lowering their helmets into defenders.

Frazier said at the league meeting that he wants running backs — like his own Adrian Peterson — to be able to protect their legs by lowering their shoulders into tacklers, and that he worries running backs who are trying to lower their shoulders will be penalized for lowering their heads.

I think it makes it tough for the running backs,” Frazier said. “It’s such an instinctive motion to duck that head to try to protect yourself. So I don’t know what’s going to happen, whether this will pass or not. But I think it puts those backs in a vulnerable state if they can’t lower their pads. And the only way to lower your pads is to get your head down.”

Frazier said he understands the idea behind the rule — to protect players’ heads — but he doesn’t know if it’s worth the added exposure to players’ legs.

“When those defenders are coming at your legs, if you don’t protect yourself and you don’t get your pads down, now you run the risk of lower body injuries,” Frazier said.

Although Frazier hasn’t specifically discussed the rule with Peterson, he said he’s certain he knows how Peterson would vote if the players had a say.

“He would not be in favor,” Frazier said.

That’s probably an understatement.

51 responses to “Frazier worries new rule could make Peterson’s legs vulnerable

  1. After this safety rule is in place the NFL needs to move to the offensive line and defensive line. They bang helmets almost every play. Thousands of times a year. That is unsafe. You need to change that as well.

    Also, sometimes the center snaps the ball too hard and hurts the qbs hands.

  2. I worry about the relevancy of this proposed rule.

    From what I understood, it was only a penalty outside the tackle box? It would seem the most damage would occur when hitting the line of scrimmage and lowering your head against and oncoming linebacker. So once you are outside the tackle box and into the second layer of the defense, it is a bit more rare of guys to lower their helmets and usually they will stiff arm/juke/spin/speed burst away.

    So then what’s the point? Not to mention this would be an officiating nightmare. Refs already can’t get it right with helmet-to-helmet hits with defenders on defenseless players… so how are the refs possibly going to distinguish shoulder vs. head during live speed? Does contact have to start with the helmet or what happens if you lower the shoulder and then after the initial hit it glances and helmets collide?

    Too much legislation. Let this rule go, Roger.

  3. Maybe I’m assuming too much, but it seems that the proposal is one thing, and the players and coaches are bashing something entirely different.

    Lowering your pads is the only way to win in football. They teach that in pee-wee, “the lowest man wins”. I think what they want to enforce here is lowering your head only by lowering pad level, and not on its own to quickly ram somebody with it.

  4. does anybody else notuce how the lowered helmet for runners has distracted us from HGH testing.

  5. Here’s the problem: the NFL is getting its collective pants sue off and must demonstrate a concern for player safety to minimize its own liability. Thus the kickoff change, etc. The league sees it as fighting for survival because the lawsuits could severely damage the financial Goliath.
    So why are there so many head injuries?
    1)They play too many games. More games, more injuries. The fans want more, but those are human beings risking life and limb.
    2)The players are too large and fast. The neck and head haven’t changed on most people, but the size and power of the players has changed. It’s simple physics. A bigger player going faster means more damage.
    3)When I was around football 40 years ago we were taught never to block or tackle with your head. Today, that is standard procedure.

    A 16 game schedule (if you win the Super Bowl you will play either 19 or 20 games) is too much. Of course the NFL won’t want to cut revenue, but fewer games means fewer injured players.

    2)A weight limit of 300 pounds. No one can play in the league if they weigh over that. It could be adjusted depending on height. It simply isn’t healthy to weigh more than that. The big, fat nose tackle is risking more than a head injury for our pleasure.

    3)Automatic ejection from games for head tackling or blocking. That means money for most players and they won’t do it. Ejection includes the stars of the league as well.

    I don’t know if that will work, but the NFL is headed for oblivion if they don’t take some type of action. The literally will be sued out of existence.

  6. This rule would also mean a penalty on just about every running play because they’re still gonna do it because its a natural instinct. This is like telling somebody in baseball who’s bats right handed that they can’t bat righty anymore and have to bat lefty. Yet another dumb rule to stop the game and make it longer too. Like someone said just make it flag football then.

  7. My opinion is that football is a contact sport. REPETITIVE contact to any area whether it be head or lower body will take its toll on that area.EVERY player of every sport knows the risks even before playing.Make everyone sign wavers like we had to do in school so you arent liable for anything thats happening to the people that love to put their bodies on the line every week.Whether its for the fame,money,or love players are going to play.

  8. Soon there will be so many yellow flags that there will be a new rule…. after 50 flags the players will all have to pick them up, tuck them in them in their pants, and finish game with flag football.

  9. hmm let me get this straight, you think legs are more valuable to a person than their head? This guy is stupid. Your head runs your whole body. I disagree with the rule change but this coach is just dumb. No RB is in favor of this rule for the obvious but the league is trying to make it safer. Its football its unsafe sport. Hockey isn’t taking skates away because it could slice someones neck or have a full face shield because a puck hits their head. These guys know the risk and take these millions as a compensation. NFL needs to stop ruining the sport because they’re doing more and more every year

  10. Considering most of these Owners are trust fund babies who inherited their teams and aren’t really “football guys” I would hope they would listen to the real “football guys”, e.g. coaches and players, when it comes time to vote. Right now the main worry is the head injury law suit because it is so big and head injuries have some many ways they can manifest but when players start suing them over injuries they sustained because they could not protect themselves, it’s going to be the end of football…LEAVE IT ALONE! Soccer is already gaining momentum in many major cities and is the national sport in most countries. Football is no more violent than other sports and if these fools keep on with the changes, they will lose the fans.

  11. The rule allows lowering the pads. It’s the head that has to stay up. So the neck is extended… And now we have to worry about devastating spinal trauma.

    Of course, the first time that happens, there will be a new rule about wearing Kevlar neck braces.

  12. The problem is not that the running backs lower their head, the problem is that when they do it, the defensive player making the tackle correctly(to the body) gets flagged for helmet to helmet contact. When the RB initiates helmet contact, it should not be a penalty.

  13. I see a players strike coming again! Rightfully so. When men in suits start making rules that expose the players to other health risks, they wont stand for Goohell and all his antics!

  14. It’s worded outside the tackle box. That means open field head to head however, it wouldn’t stop players from using their heads in the tackle box. It’s ridiculous, and will never pass. The media is just attempting to get you fired up so you read, tweet, comment etc.

  15. I would think this would make most backs nervous about their legs. Running backs are already becoming a short careered postition. Leg injuries are already rampant, especially for running backs. RBs have to worry about leg, knee, and ankle injury ruining their careers and changing their lives plenty already.

    With Defensive backs also starting to aim low more to avoid penalties it seems dangerous to make running backs feel as if they will have to stay more upright. Especially on the outside runs a corner or safety is going to being going low on them. I would think that would spell even more career threatening leg injuries.

  16. I agree with this real…This will make Adrian Peterson look like a 2 cent fluke worth of nothing…Running backs are suppose to run standing up…not acting like a offensive tackle.

  17. Frazier is right to be concerned but wrong on the facts, to tackle Peterson, you have to aim at his legs, you are never going to take him down up higher on his body so his helmet and use of his head is largely irrelevant. Much like the Viking’s Superbowl aspirations.

  18. FilthyMcnasty: Wow. The best running back, possibly in history, is an “idiot.”

    There it is somewhat respectable GB fans. You wonder why Vike fans pounce on your team updates. His comments are well thought & wise enough to warrant replies.

  19. First of all, no one said they can’t lower their pads.

    Second of all, it only applies in the open field, not in the tackle box.

    Everyone acts like this rule would mean runners have to run bolt upright and completely defenseless. Utter nonsense.

    Everyone complained that defenders were getting penalized for hitting offensive players in the head when the offensive player lowered his head to take the shot. So they try to eliminate that possibility, and everyone complains about that.

    A runner in the open field should be taking defenders shots by lowering his pads and rotating his shoulder into the hit. I guarantee no runner was taught when they first started playing football to lead with their heads down in the open field when the defender has a full head of steam. This is another case of players forming bad habits over their careers and not wanting to change.

  20. Also no more tackling, if a defender wants an offensive player to stop he needs to politely ask the player to slow down. 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty if not polite enough.

  21. Maybe I’m not following this or don’t know the exact language… but haven’t we maybe confused it by portraying it as “Can’t lower your head”?

    I thought the language of the rule was that a running back cannot “lead with the crown of their helmet.” Or am I wrong about that?

    If so, then what it’s aimed at is easily distinguishable from simply “Lowering your shoulder” and putting the pads into another player or busting through an arm tackle.

    Only in RARE circumstances where a RB accidentally (or intentionally) makes contact with a defender’s helmet or chest or whatever.. with the CROWN of their helmet would it be called.

    Am I misunderstanding the language of the rule?

    The rule does NOT state “No RB can ever under any circumstances move their head even 1 millimeter down towards the plane of the ground”….

  22. It is especially hard on taller backs. Jones Drew is like 5-8 and he could probably survive a season without having to lower his head if he’s a little careful.

    But guys like AP or Steven Jackson this is a career ending rule. Taller backs with upright running styles and body types need to lower their heads at the time of impact otherwise they will take all of those shots direct to the legs.

    It would be impossible for AP or Jackson to survive an NFL season without the ability to lower their heads. If the NFL passes this rule, they should at least have the decency to pay off the contracts of all current running backs so teams can cut them and change to pass only offense.

  23. As a Vikings fan, this rule frustrates the hell outta me. It’s just another step in the evolution if this league into nothing but a 7 on 7 passing drill. And we all know the Vikings wouldn’t win too many passing contests.

  24. This is just another way to turn the NFL into Arena league only offense will be the pass. Before long teams wont even have RBs or running plays. Hey Goodhell its called occupational hazard every job has them, only difference is we don’t get paid millions to except those hazards.

  25. fithymcnasty: I do not agree with your opinions.
    You are the epitome of cleverness.
    Here’s my opinion: your handle suggest you’re the type working @McD’s flicking boogers in kids happy meals.
    We should all be blessed in never witnessing you behind the menu signs.

  26. So if he breaks his neck someday on a violent hit, Viking fans are still okay with this? As long as he gets you 8 yards on a run, you fans don’t care about his health. Pathetic.

    They teach you growing up NOT to use your head. This guy should be no exception. If he’s the “greatest” as some of the Viking fans claim, he should be able to adjust his play and be just as good.

  27. well, flag football is on it’s way…just a dumb rule change, but designed to eventually eliminate the running back position in 10yrs or less.

  28. This rule is a step too far. It is instinctive for any ball carrier to lower head and shoulders into an on-coming defender. The only way you change that is to outlaw hitting and tackling, and start playing flag football.

    Roger, if you are that worried about safety, you can start by getting rid of all those in-season Thursday night games for which the only purpose is to get the NFL’s network exposure it can’t merit on its own otherwise. Those games force players back into action three days earlier than normal for no good reason (outside of your wallet).

    When you get rid of these games, get back to us on this rule.

  29. daknight93 says: Mar 20, 2013 11:34 AM

    well, flag football is on it’s way…just a dumb rule change, but designed to eventually eliminate the running back position in 10yrs or less.

    Totally agree. The lawyers and P.C. crowd are going to legislate and litigate the sport out of existence. I guess it’s time to embrace soccer…

  30. CC to Roger Goodell, you can just google “Arena League Football Rules” and adopt those.

    This is just getting rediculous, we’ll save your head but end your career with leg injuries instead.

    You can’t legislate the violence out of the game. It’s a violent game by nature.

  31. Once again, they’re trying to give the Packers special treatment.
    “–We can’t have AP putting up 200 yards per game against our darling Packers…”

  32. I get why you all are so pissed off, but from my understanding the rule is lowering, and driving the crown of the Helmet in the open field, like Trent Richardson did against the eagles, or any marshawn lynch run. The helmet is to be a protector not a weapon. Odds are you probably won’t even notice the rule change. I’m not the biggest fan of the commish, but if he can make the game we all love safer for our heroes out there, and the game be as wonderful as it is, I’m all in.

  33. This rule is meant to protect defensive players from RBs but RBs get zero protection from helmet to helmet hits unless they are in the act of catching a pass. How is that fair?

    The RB position is already so devalued in this league, if this rule passes they might as well eliminate the position altogether.

    Next they will make a rule that eliminates the 3 point stance for offensive and defensive lineman, yeah like thats gonna prevent these guys from banging heads on every play.

  34. Rule has been passed. Its now up to how it is officiated, NFL competition committee claims after reviewing all games from a 2 or 3 week period last year that a flag is called for only once every 3 games on average. Have to wait and see now.

  35. After this abomination, how will Adrian Peterson ever break Eric Dickerson’s record? He will forever be known as the guy who promised to break the all time record, but came up 9 yards short.

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