David Wilson blasts the “stupid” helmet rule


Yes, we’ve found another running back who has weighed in on the NFL’s new rule banning runners delivering hits with the tops of their helmets. And no, we haven’t found a running back who likes the rule yet.

The latest to weigh in is David Wilson of the Giants, who says when runners lower their heads in the open field, they’re not trying to initiate a head-first collision.

It’s stupid,” he told the New York Daily News. “Runners, when you run, you’re automatically tilted. Even a track runner, when they cross the finish line, the first thing there is their head. . . . It’s a stupid rule. You just gotta wait and see how the refs call it and whatever. But that’s gonna be a lot of flags.”

Wilson said one of his runs is in the NFL’s instructional video demonstrating the kinds of hits that will now be penalized. He found that out from Charles Way, the former Giants running back who is now the Giants’ director of player development, and so Wilson now says he needs to think about the way he runs.

“I’m one of the examples of ‘Don’t do this,’” Wilson said. “Charles was like, ‘Congratulations, you’re on the technique tape.’”

Starting this season, the message for a running back who delivers a hit with the top of his head won’t be “Congratulations.” It will be, “That’s a penalty and a fine.”

65 responses to “David Wilson blasts the “stupid” helmet rule

  1. Wow, if David Wilson is unhappy with it then maybe the NFL needs to re-think this altogether. What would the league be like without David Wilson?

  2. Of course Big Blue complains…I don’t hear a peep out of Alfred Morris though because Morris can adapt to whatever based on being the top RB in professional Football.

  3. They’ve been doing this kind of thing to defensive players since 2004 and they deal with it. One little thing against the offense and they scream bloody murder.

  4. Would rather see them penalize the receivers that lower their heads as they are about to get hit, which has usually lead to a penalty on the defense.

  5. How often do you even see a RB hit a guy with the very top of his head? Something like that hardly ever happens which leads me to believe that this penalty will hardly be called (assuming the refs call it right, of course). I must be in the vast minority that think the new rule isn’t a big deal at all.

  6. Totally agree. It is completely stupid. And it will probably be officiated a thousand different ways, and will change the outcome of games.

  7. I smell a player strike in the next couple years. Heck…at this point a fan boycott might be in order.

    I never had much problem with Goodell…but he is really ruining the game.

  8. I read where the players are saying “this is a dumb or stupid rule”, I do not know if it is or not but the players do not like changes so I suggest this, ” let the players hit high, low and with or without the crown of the helmet but they must all sign a release form that would prevent them from filing a lawsuit against the league when the are playing or retired from the game”. The players want it both ways and to prove the point just look at the number of players involved in the lawsuit. The players are making a ton of money and if they want to have health problems when they retire that was cause by playing football then let them go at it.

  9. My favorite part of all this is that the owners and the NFL in general are denying it has anything to do with lawsuits, now or in the future. The NFL does not care about safety, they care about money and they are worried about losing the money. At least admit that this is why all these rules are being put into place.

  10. Redskins get a whiff of the playoffs for the first time in 63 years and suddenly their fans are getting uppity, as if they’re the 70s Steelers. I can’t put into words how cute I find this.


    the rest of the NFC East.

  11. Do you know what is driving this?

    It’s a ham-handed attempt by the NFL not to appear “hypocritical,” in that just about all of the other safety-themed rules changes target defensive players.

    But there are far less destructive ways for them to achieve the “balance” they are seeking: Add a loss of down to the penalties for illegal chop blocks and leg whips, and offensive pass interference.

  12. Its not Goodell; its the owners. Goodell is just their spokesman. IMO they are looking down the road at more lawsuits coming their way and need to point at things they’ve done to make the game ‘safer’. Also, this just marginalizes the RB position even more. Those guys take a beating for nearly the lowest NFL dollar. They should be allowed to use shields or something.

  13. David Wilson needs to use that pea-sized brain of his to think about the situation logically. Running backs have the shortest shelf life of just about any player in the NFL. They typically only have a few years before their body starts to completely give out due to the pounding they are putting on it. I remember seeing multiple instances where running backs lowered their heads and the defense was called for helmet-to-helmet because that’s the way the rule is written. All this rule does is give refs more options for calling penalties in egregious situations.

    Ultimately, I bet he won’t hate the rule when he can remember his name at 40.

  14. so when are they going to ban the running back stiffarm, not the normal stiffarm the one where they are allowed to push the defender face mask off his face and neck back.

    that seem more like the rule to make than this one.

  15. Can’t the league just issue a public safety announcement like “smoking cause cancer and birth defects”. But more like “football may causes head injuries and permanent brain damage, play at your own risk.” And just be done with the whole lawsuit business so we fans can enjoy football again.

  16. Shouldn’t Wilson be more concerned with how to actually hang onto the ball and if there are enough tissues to dry his eyes instead of rules lime this?

  17. There’s a reason why inmates don’t run the asylums – and there’s a reason why players don’t make the rules.

  18. I’m going to hold off final judgement on the rule until it is actually used in a game. On the one hand, it is going to limit blows to the head, which is going to help reduce the number of potential concussions, which is going to limit the number of future former players suing the league, which in the long run will keep the league alive. On the other hand, the subjective nature of the rule and the natural motion of a running back trying to protect themselves is going to lead to more flags and referee involvement in the outcomes of games.

    If the rule isn’t over officiated, like the “defenseless receiver” rule is, and as long as it isn’t forcing running backs to run vertical and get their clocks consistently cleaned, then it shouldn’t be too bad a rule. It is really an extension of the existing spearing rule, which no one disagrees with.

  19. I think it’s an overreaction to think that flags will rain down on every running play. RBs just need to chill a bit and realize that the new rule only comes into effect under circumstances when they’re actually doing something unsafe for themselves and their opponents.

  20. Its going to be quite a thing to see who gets the penalty and who gets the fine when the running back and defensive player both lower the helmet with the same intent. Is it baseball and tie goes to the runner or are both hit with the fine and offsetting penalties? I’m so confused.

  21. ”I never had much problem with Goodell…but he is really ruining the game.”

    I thought they said it was the owners pushing for this dumb rule not Goodell ? And that would explain the vote outcome .

  22. No one cares what Alfred Morris thinks, because he plays for a bottom tier organization. The Redskins hold fans that wear women’s dresses in high regard, speaks volumes about that franchise.

  23. This rule is a shame for the sport that we love.

    I would like to write something else here, but I can’t. Nothing else can be said about that stupid rule!

  24. Are you going to seriously post an article every single time a running back, or anyone else for the matter, says they don’t like the new rule so that can we read the same round of end-of-football comments from the parade of chicken littles?

  25. Of course Big Blue complains…I don’t hear a peep out of Alfred Morris though because Morris can adapt to whatever based on being the top RB in professional Football.


    let see how well he adapts not that Shanahans cut blocks are outlawed.

  26. I don’t think David Wilson has really done a thing to be able to make a comment like that. Why don’t you stick to crying on the sideline. Typical of what the giants have become a bunch of loud mouth under achievers

  27. All of these players who complain about this rule obviously haven’t read the details of the rule. It’s a pretty solid rule. Shouldn’t change things too much. Just don’t lead with the CROWN (very top) of your helmet outside the pocket/tackle box.

  28. This is going to be one of Goodell’s rules that won’t be called often during games. This is the kind of rule that will be enforced on Mondays during game reviews. By Wednesdays, players will be notified of their crime and hefty fines will be levied. This is just another way for the league to extract money from its millionaire players.

  29. Next is Air, a player can only take so many breaths per game.

    Lets get rid of the yellow flag too, the ref’s should just carry a box of Kleenex soft wipes.

    Can we drug test the competition committee.

  30. bonniebengal says:Mar 22, 2013 7:36 AM

    Totally agree. It is completely stupid. And it will probably be officiated a thousand different ways, and will change the outcome of games.


    BINGO! How does it take us to get to comment 6 before something reasonable is spoken? The problem isn’t necessarily the rule, but that it is going to be officiated by the part-time officials differently in every game. I guarantee the NFL is apologizing to some team this year because of this call. Similar to the Seahawks / Packers last year. With only a 16 game season you can’t afford to have very “fixable mistakes” cost teams games. This is just another judgement rule put in that can easily change the outcome of a game. It won’t happen, but it would be much more reasonable if you’re going to put this rule in to make it reviewable and put big red circles on the top of the helmet so it is very clear what you can and can’t do.

  31. Rogina Goodell is exploiting the entire NFL franchise in order to A.) squeeze every last dollar from anything profitable and B.) make himself look like the goldenboy savior of the entire universe.

    I’m all for player safety and progressive technology, but how can any of us take these rule changes seriously? “Hey Raiders, sorry for that 14 year old rule that the old commissioner made up out of nowhere. It wasn’t my idea, so I’m going to toss it and replace them with a few of my own that will also completely change the outcome of a game.” -RG

    The guy is a total control freak and it’s getting out of hand. The NFL needs to have an elected panel of former/current players and coaches to weigh in on proposed rule changes. I believe the owners are handcuffed (and spineless for the most part) so Goodell will end up imposing his will no matter what.

    I wish I believed The Rodge truly cared about player safety- but in my mind he just wants to be the hero.

  32. I dont understand all this hubbub..

    SPEARING has been illegal for the past 30 years.. Now it’s an issue?
    if the refs called the fouls from the get go, this would not even be an issue.

    I bet Wilson some how works this rule into an excuse for his fumbling.

  33. I understand the intention of the rule, but realistically lets be honest, Refs are going to have the hardest time calling this. You have to decide in less than a second if the runner hits with the top of his helmet and whether it is “intentional”. Really? I can just see some official ruining the outcome of a game by this already. It’s quite frankly too subjective. I’m pretty sure you cannot challenge a penalty either…

  34. No players are going to strike and fans aren’t going to boycott. This is to keep players from suing the NFL in the future. People who have no education and sue for anything for extra cash is the reason the NFL is doing this. Also it’s ironic David Wilson said this since Brittney Griner likes more contact than he does.

  35. Trust me, Coughlin will hear this and Wilson, won’t be heard again, unless he faces an in house fine!
    Big mouth’s in NY Media, generally are not liked, and I suspect Coughlin will have a private chat with Wilson about who can, and who cannot talk to the NY media.

  36. Of course Big Blue complains…I don’t hear a peep out of Alfred Morris though because Morris can adapt to whatever based on being the top RB in professional Football.

    Your comment lost ALL credibility with the Alfred Morris top ruuning back in professional football.

    Have you ever heard of a guy named Adrian Peterson. Alfred was only 484 yards behind him last season

  37. Even a track runner, when they cross the finish line, the first thing there is their head. . . .


    This is BS, track runners go with their chest.

  38. Here’s my take:
    A: If the league truly cares about concussions, they will break their contract with Riddel and begin using the newly developed helmets specifically designed to help prevent concussions.
    B: These new safety rules are interfering with the natural occurrences within the game. Football by nature is violent and fast paced. It is inevitable that heads will butt. Too many penalties are being called on incidental head contact. This is not deterring anyone because these helmet to helmet hits are unintentional. Penalties are usually fairly obvious. We need not more judgement calls by referees.
    C: Why not let the players vote on rules changes? After all it’s THEIR game.

  39. Oh. And players aren’t suing the NFL because they endured concussions. They are suing because the league covered up what they knew about concussions.

  40. What I don’t get is..Where were the runner backs before this was voted on? I heard from more past players than I did players in the game today. This play will start to eliminate the run game even more. The power runner is going to be dead because just like the enforcer S even when they are clean we’re going to see flags. Lynch spoke up afterwards through Mike Rob like David Wilson. Would have loved to hear him and Adrian Peterson say more.

  41. Can you say!

    Lingerie Football League!

    Soon it is going to be more physical than the NFL.

  42. Can anyone explain to me why anyone would WANT to use their head as a weapon?

    I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone would do this in the first place let alone be upset at the rule.

    WHICH, by te way, is the same as the spearing rule, so it’s already against the rules.

  43. Redskins get a whiff of the playoffs for the first time in 63 years and suddenly their fans are getting uppity, as if they’re the 70s Steelers. I can’t put into words how cute I find this.


    its not redskins fans. its one (1) idiot on here who all redskin fans are embarrassed of and we wish we could bring him out back and shoot him.

  44. The nfl is comprimising the game. These are all well paid men who know the risks they are taking every time they step on the field.

    These rule changes are just like what represents some of the biggest problems in our society.

    You cant prevent and make a rule or law to prevent every bad thing from happening. We dont live in a vacuum and theres no way to legislate your way to making things perfect.

  45. no no no.

    most of these message boards are filled with clowns chanting HAIL…

    irrelavant for over two decades
    got lucky with RG3
    then potentially ruined RG3 en route to a playoff 1 and done.

    last organization of people that chanted HAIL lost a world war.. I guess that’s to be expected from a team who’s team name is an offensive racial slurr.
    good company to keep. keep it up pigs.

  46. goodell will go down in sports history as the only commish to ever kill a golden goose sport..

    bring on rugby! lately i been watching some clips from rugby thats a tough MF sport..idk why its not more popular its time america has rubgy teams and sports that are followed..thats a tough game for real men that will NEVER get changed by absured rules from suits! cant wait til its localized..

  47. Can’t figure out whether all those who blame Roger Goodell for EVERYTHING they don’t like about football, are incapable of anything other than superficial analyses, are so insecure they have a generic hatred towards authority figures, or both. Regardless, maybe one day those commenters will realize the commissioner hasn’t actually ruined their lives.

  48. To the defenders of this stupid rule who continue to belittle the critics by saying “RBs using the crown of their helmets doesn’t happen often”. Yes – it – does! Especially at the goal line when a runner lowers his head in preparation for a hit by a defender as he attempts a final push into the endzone. You see this EVERY game, EVERY drive, because the runner WANTS the td/first down (Which was what Trent was attempting to do when Coleman got in his way) rather than a goal line stance or 3rd and short. It happens every time a runner FIGHTS for extra yardage, which is what the game is about. It is a natural reflex that protects the runner as he tries to play the game.

    So, the truck move doesn’t happen that often and is what we are going to get rid of? Thats what your doing because NO ONE is going to truck with their head up, face mask forward because IT IS DANGEROUS, even if they use the shoulder

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