NFLPA wants to ban leaping on field goals

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Plenty of fans — and definitely some players (including Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner and Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor) — don’t like the idea of banning the ability of defensive players to leap over the line of scrimmage to block a field goal. But before any players individually object to the potential change, they should consider the official position of the players collectively.

Three weeks ago in Indianapolis, NFLPA president Eric Winston made it clear that the union wants to give the leap the boot.

The jump-over rule on the field goal concerns me,” Winston said during an appearance on PFT Live. “I would say that there’s a chance for a big injury on that play. Just for the jumper getting his legs caught up and landing on his head and for the offensive linemen in between the ‘A’ and ‘B’ gaps. If that guys and gets his legs hit and falls on someone’s leg, those are big injuries. Those aren’t sprained-ankle sort of injuries.”

Currently, a violation arises only if the leaper lands on an offensive player, due to safety concerns. So the risky behavior is permitted as long as the risk doesn’t result in the kind of contact that directly risks harm to a player.

Instead of allowing teams to make the risk-reward determination to send a jumper over the line (which in turn creates an incentive for the offense to take out the jumper’s legs), the smarter play is to revise the play, forcing teams that hope to block field goals to retreat to the days of getting around the edge or pushing back the lineman hard and getting up high in the hopes of making contact with the kick.

42 responses to “NFLPA wants to ban leaping on field goals

  1. Belichick’s Thoughts:

    It’s hard to block field goals because of the rules. Fifteen, 20 years ago, you had a lot of options. You could overload. You could load up certain sports on the protection. It’s hard to do now. You can’t hit the snapper, you can’t jump, can’t push, can’t pull. So, yeah, it’s changed.

    Back in the 70s, you have more options. You had the jumpers. You had guys like that who would have 5, 6, 7 blocks a year. So that was eliminated. And you can’t hit the center, so the center is probably the weakest, by far, of any protector on any team’s field goal unit, but you’re not allowed to hit him. So that’s another opportunity you don’t have. You can’t overload, so you can only put six guys to a side. You don’t have that extra guy to create that extra gap, so you can’t do that. You can’t push anybody from behind.

    And on top of that, kickers are better. The surfaces are much, much better. You don’t have some of the damp fields where it’s hard just to kick the ball period—the baseball stadiums, the infields that got sodded and all that, kicking off the dirt and stuff like that, you don’t see that anymore. The kickers have gotten better and the conditions have gotten much better.

  2. im not saying Bill is the only Head Coach to run that play but how many times does the NFL or NFLPA insist on a rule change on a play Bill takes advantage of. Bill is a genius

  3. Yet it’s OK to intentionally take out the legs of offensive player when he’s already in the air.

  4. This ban only make sense if they also ban hurdling a tackler. That’s much more likely to end up with an injury as it is more common.

  5. Let the players play! Jumping over something is not a new concept and is not as dangerous as many other football plays, like the DE comming around the left tackle for a blindside hit on the QB.

  6. They’ve already banned the Patriots from it. Chris Long got flagged even though no rule was violated.

  7. I suppose how one views this tactic depends on whether or not their team has used it to their advantage, or whether it has been used against them to their disadvantage.
    For the fans it can be an exciting play for sure, particularly when it’s successful.
    I look at it like this: Just about anywhere else on the field a blocker can do whatever it takes to block an opponent, as long as he does it from the front, doesn’t use his hands, and doesn’t go at or below his knees.
    On field goals or extra points a leaper can go as high as he wants and the blocker, by rule, can’t rise up to stop him. For the safety of the leaper, the blocker pretty much has to let him go over the top. Seems like a legislated advantage for the defense (albeit one of few in the modern game).
    I won’t lose sleep over this decision one way or the other. But I’d have no problem with the NFL eliminating the leap, especially if the NFLPA is on board as is seems to be.

  8. I would add that if the leap is banned we won’t have to watch endless replays, or wait for more booth reviews to determine whether or not one of the leaper’s cleats may or may not have grazed the center’s jersey.
    While you’re at it. following a touchdown stay with the game for the extra point, then after the commercial break stay with the game after the ensuring kickoff.

  9. But the guys along the line butting heads every single play is still A-OK? To make football safe you’re going to eventually have to ban football. Funny how neither the league nor union has connected those dots yet.

  10. They really should consider banning the intentional hitting or tackling of a player who has the football in his possession. It should also be a penalty to block or interfere with anyone within 25 yards of the line of scrimmage, including both offensive and defensive players. Kickoff, field goals and extra point try’s should be eliminated all together. Injuries would go way down if they did these “tweaks”.

  11. Yeah, I am not a fan of players leaping to block field goals. When the player leaps I would like to see one take it in the nads. Looks like a very dangerous play to me.

  12. so many new england homers here. Kam Chancellor did this years before NE did. In fact he did it TWO PLAYS IN A ROW and in a playoff game, which was freakin’ amazing.

    You know, the NE Patriots are great. They’ve contributed a bunch, but y’all’re insufferable thinking that they invented everything in football.

  13. The fans love the play; the alternative is to have more head to head contact on the interior of the line – great idea! When will the “Competition Committee” address real issues instead of making the game more and more bland. they are betting on an inelastic demand – just as hockey did when they struck. Stop messing with the game!

  14. deneb1973 says:
    The fans love the play; the alternative is to have more head to head contact on the interior of the line – great idea!
    —-
    Even if the play is banned, the goal of the defenders is to be as upright as possible and get their hands as high as possible to block the kick. Nobody is going head to head in that instance.

  15. Btw, the leap in SB51 was by McClellin (not Long) – and it was flagged INCORRECTLY for illegal formation and not for any foul.

    Leaping is much like hurdling and the only danger is unintended impact of the sort that happens in so many other ways in every play anyway! A much worse danger is caused by players deliberately twisting a guy’s head after grabbing his facemask and yet it gets relatively very little in way of penalty. If NFLPA was serious about safety, they’d insist on players who clearly maliciously yank a guy’s head around (or any similar action) get an automatic 1-game ban (then 4 for a repeat) in addition to much stiffer penalties. Of course they won’t do that – they’d rather look at cosmetic stuff like leaping.

  16. plifterdrifter says:
    Mar 21, 2017 4:19 PM
    so many new england homers here. Kam Chancellor did this years before NE did. In fact he did it TWO PLAYS IN A ROW and in a playoff game, which was freakin’ amazing.

    You know, the NE Patriots are great. They’ve contributed a bunch, but y’all’re insufferable thinking that they invented everything in football.

    Speaking of insufferable,

    NE had blocked a field goal in 2003. Was Kam playing in 2003? Brady was 🙂 in fact, they won a SB that year.

    Not invented, perfected.

  17. It’s always amusing to read some of the responses every time the NFL proposes a rules change. A whole bunch of guys who played high school football (maybe) chime in with “put a skirt on ’em,” or “just eliminate tackling,” or “give ’em flags,” or one of a hundred other stale old clichés.
    Most of the guys who say those things would get killed on an NFL field. But they live their lives through watching the game on TV, and don’t care what the league allows or doesn’t allow so long as it entertains them.
    Ironically, many of the same guys who spew those sarcastic clichés are often the first ones to claim that the NFL “doesn’t care about player safety” when it suits their purpose to say so.
    We all know the NFL is a business and the bottom line is king. But in a lot of cases they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. So say the “real men” who watch TV.

  18. Baltimore put someone up to this?

    Shea McClellin (Pats) blocked Justin Tucker’s field goal attempt last year by ‘jumping’ the line and broke his streak of 35 consecutive field goals.

    It was an awesome play!

    They want to stop making awesome plays????? Whaaaaa?

  19. I agree with banning the jumping. The next thing teams will be putting a 7 foot 10 inch Basketball player with a 35 inch vertical on special teams just for that purpose. They used to be allowed to put one guy on the center and bury him, the next guy would rush in and jump between to block the kick. They banned dumping the center. Now they spread out the Oline and a high jumper comes in and if the Olineman doesnt recognize it and stand more erect, he is OK to jump the pile, just dont touch the back of the Olineman. Dumb and risky. Play it straight up – push through the line or run around and block the kick none of this stupid stuff.

  20. Good to see the owners are looking out for the players. It’s a super dangerous play. One of these days a player is going to get flipped over and land on his head or break his neck. It’s hard to be serious about player safety, while allowing this to continue. The league is smart. They’ll get rid of it. They’ll continue to set new revenue records, and everyone will be rich and safe.

  21. so many new england homers here. Kam Chancellor did this years before NE did. In fact he did it TWO PLAYS IN A ROW and in a playoff game, which was freakin’ amazing.

    You know, the NE Patriots are great. They’ve contributed a bunch, but y’all’re insufferable thinking that they invented everything in football.
    —————
    We get it – you don’t like NE (yawn). But, having just read all the comments, I don’t see ANYONE claiming NE “invented” this tactic. Points made relative to NE were …

    1) Belichick thinks rules changes have made it more difficult to block kicks. (Obviously true.)
    2) NE has used this very play before. (With acknowledgement that others may have as well.)
    3a) NE has used this very play successfully before. (Now we can’t have that can we?)
    3b) NE used this very play successfully in the SB only to have it called back by a ref’s horrible call. (See 3a above.)

    Perhaps you should seek to improve your attitude toward others as well as your vocabulary (“insufferable” intended).

  22. plifterdrifter says:
    Mar 21, 2017 4:19 PM
    so many new england homers here. Kam Chancellor did this years before NE did. In fact he did it TWO PLAYS IN A ROW and in a playoff game, which was freakin’ amazing.

    You know, the NE Patriots are great. They’ve contributed a bunch, but y’all’re insufferable thinking that they invented everything in

    —–

    No One said Patriots invented it, but nothing goes up for rule change until the Patriots use it, and use it well to their advantage…Is a yearly deal & goes all the way back to the days of Polian, Dungy and Fisher on the competition committee….They need to call the 5 yard rule the Ty Law rule because he ruined Marvin Harrison

  23. Jumping over a player seems tame compared to all the other stuff they consider normal. The shot in the ribs Nelson took, or the normal flow of a play where players fall into other players, bending ankles and knees in directions they aren’t meant to or tackles where the tackler just grabs on and falls to the ground, putting a lot of stress on the other player’s body.

  24. tonebones says:
    Mar 21, 2017 5:13 PM
    Good to see the owners are looking out for the players.
    ======================

    Bwahahahahaha…
    The owners looking out for the players…
    Good one!

    We are used to seeing your posts constantly telling us the owners, Irsay in particular, are great but this one takes the cake. If you can’t be bothered to read the article at least read the headline. It’s the NFLPA that wants it banned.

  25. Ah. the No Fun League strikes again! and Walt Aiken won’t like it (but Bruce Arians will–not he can keep that crappy kicker Catanzano!)

  26. Does this rule apply to the offense as well? It’s only fair that the offense can’t leap if the defense can’t leap.

  27. I’m all for players creating pyramids out of their bodies to block field goals.

    I don’t see the point of the fake penalty of leverage – do what you must to block the kick.

    It is up to the kicking team to execute their play with competence.

  28. Hitting defenseless receivers over the middle. I can understand that. Is a terribly dangerous play that many players get injured already. Same for the horse collar tackle. And helmet to helmet hits. Also understanable and very dangerous to the players health as we all know. Many players have been injured because of all of these now banned hits.

    Jumping over the line? Haven’t seen any injuries to justify banning this play.

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