NFL vows lowering helmet rule will be “a substantial change” to the sport

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How big a deal is the new NFL rule outlawing lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet? A very big deal.

Although we’re still waiting on specific examples of what is and is not a penalty, suffice to say that the penalty is going to make significant changes to the sport of football. The league office tells PFT that a USA Today report that the competition committee found fewer than 10 examples of plays from last year that would have been penalties under the new rule is incorrect. Instead, the league pointed us to comments from committee chair Rich McKay, who said the new rule will make a major difference.

It’s a substantial change,” McKay said. “Lowering their head, creating a different spine angle, and delivering a blow . . . we need to protect all players at all times and say that technique is not allowed. So if you lower your head to initiate contact and you initiate, it’s a foul. . . . It’s one of the most dangerous techniques there is, but yet we’ve allowed it to creep in and it’s now very prevalent. And we need to get it out. And we’re not going to get it out by saying, ‘We need to teach it better,’ we’re going to get it out by penalizing it.”

McKay made clear that this is not just a rule that applies in certain situations, such as hits on defenseless receivers or quarterbacks. This rule applies to everyone: Offense and defense, receivers and safeties, blockers and pass rushers, ball carriers and tacklers. If you’re on the football field, you’re not allowed to lower your head to initiate contact with your helmet. If you do, you won’t be on the football field anymore.

126 responses to “NFL vows lowering helmet rule will be “a substantial change” to the sport

  1. I just don’t understand how football will be even close to the same. I guess Earl Campbell and Walter Payton (along with many others) would have had to choose another career.

  2. The headline should read “NFL WARNS lowering helmet rule will be “a substantial change””

  3. While it may be fun to watch those helmet-led hits, the bottom line is this is still a game. At the youth level under USA Football, we teach near shoulder-near hip tackling, no more leading with the helmet. So while the helmet new rule may be disappointing to some, the fundamental change in tackling is already happening, because it is that or the decline of football in the years ahead.

  4. I fear this is the rule that might make football no fun to watch. I’m all for player safety, but jeesh, how many penalties are there going to be in a game? Seems that is the kind of action that could be called every play. Combine that with the stupid illegal contact penalties that provide convenient first downs whenever they want to grant them, and it could get too frustrating to watch.

  5. I was really looking forward to the upcoming season….until this rule came out. The NFL is ruining itself.

  6. i get the defender spearing aspect, but i am really fearful of what will be called regarding ball carriers. you cant run into the line with your head up. so many flags on short yardage plays. I guess this will result in more passing plays which the league will want anyway.

  7. So basically there will be multiple infractions on each and every play from the line of scrimage

    On thee upside, kickoffs may now become the least penalized plays!

  8. It’s really time for a new football league, this one has become
    too political, too politically correct , too big , too corrupt
    too everything that is bad for football.

  9. This idiotic rule along with Mark the Murph’d proposed kick off elimination is going to kill football. The new low helmet rule is going to drive the review process up. Something I thought they were trying to reduce with the new catch rule. I’m confused.

  10. Its sad the only real football you get now is thru Madden, but its made by EA Sports with no competition and has been the same game for 5yrs aka its stale.

  11. the beginning of the end of football. A subjective call that refs will now be able to further influence the game. Enjoy football as it lasts, because its not much longer before the game we know is gone.

  12. Maybe they should get rid of the helmet altogether and instead have the players wear a large padded ring with the head and brain in the middle like a…ahhh cream puff!
    Perhaps the next rule change will be to allow tripping as they run out of methods to safely tackle another player. Oh wait there are no safe methods to physically tackle or have a high speed collision between world class athletes. Or let’s put the players I those suits that are used to train K9s. Better yet let some real dogs play defense. Who let ……

  13. At some point, you might just have to throw your hands up and say “This game had a good run, but given new information, we’re all outside of our minds for having played it, and we just can’t let tackle football be a thing anymore.” I’d almost rather they do that than seriously alter a great, albeit dangerous, sport. I’m more in favor of just educating people to all the risks and letting them decide for themselves, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction this is going. But either do it or don’t, I’d rather just get it cut off cold turkey in 2020 or something, rather than watch it get softer every year and die slowly.

  14. It’s not impossible to tackle without your helmet being part of the contact. This is not the end of Football. Lets remember, we are talking about brain injuries. I have no issue with the NFL trying to lessen that – even if it is a response to lawsuits and PR more than it is concern.
    The issues I have is the NFLs inability to have ref call a clear, consistent game. Tantamount to any rule change is the NFL calling it. A couple years back we had the “Truck Rule” that barred RBs from lowering their heads into contact with defenders. It was called a half dozen times and then they just stopped. Every year there is a new emphasis and a slew of new penalties that last half or 3/4 of the season and then they back off. Simplify the rule book, create concise rules, and concise application for refs to call them. No more swallowing whistles and don’t let the refs take over a game. Allow the players to have an expectation of what they can and can’t do and you will likely see the NFL game improve, not decline. However, the NFL won’t even do half of that.

  15. nitro276 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 9:05 am

    While it may be fun to watch those helmet-led hits, the bottom line is this is still a game. At the youth level under USA Football, we teach near shoulder-near hip tackling, no more leading with the helmet. So while the helmet new rule may be disappointing to some, the fundamental change in tackling is already happening, because it is that or the decline of football in the years ahead.

    ————

    My concern isn’t trying to change tackling behavior for safety, it’s the NFL is not very clear on what will be a penalty. Also how confident are any of us that the new rule will be consistently called – against O and D, 1st quarter vs. 4th quarter, home team vs. visitor, etc?

  16. How about anyone hit with a personal foul for lowering their helmet has to play the rest of the game without their helmet.

    Might make some of those guys think twice about that.

  17. Ok so a LB goes to hit a RB, the RB lowers his head, the LB hits the RB in the helmet.
    Result: flag and possible ejection on the LB
    The unintended consequence will be OFF players using this as a weapon against the defense in the same way they use PI against the DEF.

  18. “edukator4 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 9:17 am
    i get the defender spearing aspect, but i am really fearful of what will be called regarding ball carriers. you cant run into the line with your head up. so many flags on short yardage plays. I guess this will result in more passing plays which the league will want anyway.”
    —-
    Yes, the RBs will have to adjust. Just like LBers, safeties and DLman have had to adjust to rules changes over the past decade. I have no concern about them not being able to do it.

  19. Insert the word “targeting” instead of the phrase, “lowering the head,” and it becomes clearer.
    – When Travathan concussed Adams, he lowered his head. TARGETING
    – When Shazier hurt himself, he lowered his head. TARGETING
    – When a QB lowers his head on a sneak. NOT TARGETING
    Just as fans cried for the “10 guys in a bar” standard to determine what is a catch, the same 10 guys know TARGETING when they see it.

  20. The root cause of all of this is the PLAYERS and the NFLPA suing the NFL about concussions and injuries.
    Therefore, in order to protect itself and minimize legal liability, the NFL HAS not choice but to wussify pro football.
    So in the end, blame the PLAYERS and their lawyers for the end of football.

  21. Dust off the films from the 40’s and 50’s for how to run and tackle, back when they played either without helmets or just a piece of leather on their heads. The helmet wasn’t a weapon until facemasks were added. Remove the facemask and see what happens. It’s that simple.

    As it is, this will become the next “what is a catch rule”. Good luck with this NFL, you’ll need it!!

  22. dryzzt23 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 9:31 am
    Ok so a LB goes to hit a RB, the RB lowers his head, the LB hits the RB in the helmet.
    Result: flag and possible ejection on the LB
    The unintended consequence will be OFF players using this as a weapon against the defense in the same way they use PI against the DEF.

    Except thats not at all what the rules says.

    This isnt a rule about head contact. This is a rule about lowering the head for contact.

  23. “dryzzt23 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 9:31 am
    Ok so a LB goes to hit a RB, the RB lowers his head, the LB hits the RB in the helmet.
    Result: flag and possible ejection on the LB
    The unintended consequence will be OFF players using this as a weapon against the defense in the same way they use PI against the DEF.”
    —-
    So as I see it the rule says any player, anywhere on the field. So the RB and LBer lower their heads. It’s offsetting penalties and 2 possible ejections. The NFL had better be clear/fair about calling this penalty or I can assure them, ratings will tank even more.

  24. jman967 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 9:30 am
    It’s not impossible to tackle without your helmet being part of the contact.

    ——————————————————————————-

    What I’m seeing, and I could be wrong… is that this isn’t even about tackling… its about contact. See linemen… when is the last time you ever saw a linemans helmet that didn’t look like it went through world war II? All they do is helmet to helmet contact.

  25. this is what you get when the pc crowd takes over. goodell is the head of the class in that dept.

  26. Offensive and defensive linemen make helmet contact on every…single…snap. Will they just cherry pick when they want to call it like they do holding, PI, or illegal contact? This is going to drive fans insane.

  27. Stuff like this is the only reason some of the startup leagues have a small chance of being more than just a developmental league.

  28. Rules, rules and more…. rules ! As a fan since 1956 I have seen the games progression.
    The 50’s-mid 70’s, left the game relatively free of referee decision mandates which allowed the players to play the game and produce a watchable product.Since then, rules have become so complicated that neither the players nor the referees agree on a what constitutes an infraction. Referee interference is all but destroying game continuity.
    Add to that commercial content that interrupts game pay after every other play, outrageous cost of attending games at stadiums because of outrageous player salary contracts, decided lack of preparation because of CBA non allowance of contact during practice times and many other derogatory practices and we now have a product that is quickly becoming unwatchable! I watch less than 10 percent of the NFL that I did just 3 years ago ! It is very sad to see the demise of such a great sport that we were so accustomed too watching just a few short years in the past. Truly sad indeed ! db

  29. For all of you naysayers, give it a chance. Players on both sides of the ball shouldn’t be lowering their heads in the first place. If this doesn’t Work, take away their helmets and go back to leather ones. Shoot, rugby players don’t have helmets and they are just as big and fast tackling too.

  30. Lowering your helmet to make contact is a stupid and dangerous way to tackle someone. And if an offensive player lowers their head and makes contact they will be flagged too. Everyone wins and goes back to proper football tackling techniques.

  31. Gutting the game in the name of parity. I don’t believe it is for player safety for one second. This limits all the better teams with better rosters just as eliminating kickoffs will do. By eliminating old school football not only are the making the game almost unrecognizable, they close the parity gap.

    For example most of the better teams all have great kick coverage on their STs. Eliminate kickoffs and you eliminate an advantage certain teams have worked long and hard to build. This is all about parity and not player safety.

  32. What if a defender tries to jar a ball loose by hitting with his shoulder into the receivers chest or arm, but makes incidental contact with the receiver with his helmet. Not hitting the receiver in the head neck area, but in the chest. Not intentionally spearing, but not quite a square hit, so his helmet makes incidental contact.

    Do you start ejecting and suspending player for that?

    What if the ball carrier moves, not wanting to take a direct hit, and that causes the aimed tackle to now be off a little and there is some crown of the helmet contact?

    The rule may be fine but they need to carefully decide whether an infraction is worthy of an ejection or suspension.

  33. SI MMQB’s Albert Breer

    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 (anymore).”

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

    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.”

    ———————–

    Go figure – smart, real reporting…

  34. Maybe I am getting soft as I age, but I think that this kind of rule (if they can get it right) is unfortunately the direction the league needs to go in if it is truly going to improve player safety. It will make the game less violent, and therefore exciting, but eliminating the element of the game that has players lowering their heads and launching themselves like missiles to make a tackle is going to reduce head injuries.

  35. kamthechancellor says:
    March 29, 2018 at 10:05 am
    Offensive and defensive linemen make helmet contact on every…single…snap. Will they just cherry pick when they want to call it like they do holding, PI, or illegal contact? This is going to drive fans insane.

    ****

    How is that “lowering the head” to initiate contact, though? Coming out of your stance and contacting a lineman doesn’t fit the definition. Look, examples of what does and does not run afoul of the new rule would be helpful, but a lot of people are getting very upset without even thinking about the language of the rule.

  36. If this new rule is enforced the way it is being described; it just means more penalties, more stop-ages, and more injuries. You’ve been told as a runner in football to run low, and now on 4th and 1 at the goal line Todd Gurley is going to hit the line standing straight up? Good bye knees. Why is the NFL intent on destroying itself?

  37. “What I’m seeing, and I could be wrong… is that this isn’t even about tackling… its about contact. See linemen… when is the last time you ever saw a linemans helmet that didn’t look like it went through world war II? All they do is helmet to helmet contact.”
    —-
    I take the “lowering the helmet into contact” not being solely helmet contact like you would see on any giving battle in the trenches. But your point is valid that it’s a giant grey cloud right now with no real definition. Who knows what they intended and what they mean by what they passed. I guess time will tell…

  38. Dear Friends, please view how Ryan Shazier became, at least temporarily, a paraplegic to understand what the NFL is trying to prevent with the new rule. Tomlin and Lebeau teach and encourage these techniques that are now banned via the new rule. Shazier launched himself, horizontally, helmet first, at the ball carrier’s mid section. NCAA ball, that is called targeting and warrants immediate ejection after replay confirms intent to injure. It also carries some sort of suspension for x number of games. The game is no less exciting but is much safer! “Hit what you see, see what you hit” is being taught and preached from peewees up.

  39. “– When a QB lowers his head on a sneak. NOT TARGETING”

    You are defining in a way that they didn’t or haven’t yet. They stated the rule was against lowering your helmet into contact. Now as a fan of the NFL I would hope they enforce it against offensive and defensive players equally. Offensive players should be just as responsible for where their head is at, as defensive players on. Targeting solely looks at defensive players and I think it’s clear the NFL did not use that word or phrase for a reason. They specifically said, any player anywhere on the field. Not just defensive players.

  40. I played pop warner and high school football in the 1990s. And proper tackling techniques were taught then. Shoulder pads to ankles, hit with the shoulder and wrap. Head off to the side of whichever shoulder you hit with. That’s always been proper tackling technique until safeties decided they wanted to knock guys out instead of just knock the ball from their hands. Everyone saying this will destroy football never played in pads and helmets. Spearing with the helmet is already against the rules, it just hasn’t been enforced like it should have been all along.

  41. “I just don’t understand how football will be even close to the same.”

    It won’t be. And I think the NFL leadership understands this. This will drastically change how the game is played.

    But it needs to be changed. With modern players being bigger and faster, head-first contact easily causes concussions or worse. And modern knowledge about concussions tells us that multiple concussions can lead to long term mental health issues.

  42. Heads up tackling is not weak or a change to the game. Sad how many fans never played the game and don’t know what they’re talking about. The crown of your helmet should never be used to hit someone. You know how hard those things are. Only dirty players and dirty fans are whining!

  43. In a related story..
    Boxing authorities are eliminating all hits to the head from boxing. Experts say its the only way to make the sport safe. … “the fans will have to adjust”

  44. Another related story…
    Baseball officials are eliminating inside fastballs from the game…all pitchers throwing inside will be suspended; if a batter is hit the pitcher is expelled from baseball.

  45. greymares says: “Of course it will, it has just rendered the QB sneak an illegal play !”
    ———————–

    Yes, because all quarterbacks aim their helmet intentionally at a 250-lb defensive player instead of the open space to get the TD/1st down…

  46. In a continuing story..

    Soccer authorities are eliminating all headers; the players must now limit all non-kicks to the shoulders only…

    “they’ll have to adjust”

  47. ——————————————————————————-

    What I’m seeing, and I could be wrong… is that this isn’t even about tackling… its about contact. See linemen… when is the last time you ever saw a linemans helmet that didn’t look like it went through world war II? All they do is helmet to helmet contact.

    ____

    The linemen aren’t lowering their heads though. That’s the difference. Yes the contact is made but they aren’t lowering their heads when that happens.

  48. edukator4 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 9:17 am
    i get the defender spearing aspect, but i am really fearful of what will be called regarding ball carriers. you cant run into the line with your head up.

    Played fullback, clearly you never have. Yes you can run with your head up. How the heck can you see where you’re going if you’re facing the ground? So many people want a voice yet do not understand the very basics of the game. What they are talking about is a RB lowering his head to intentionally make contact.

  49. The key problem is they don’t really want to change the game–and that is why this will go so badly. Committing to a major change is one thing: Good or bad, guys would adapt in short order. But this is going to be selectively enforced once or twice a game with all the remaining plays being called exactly like they have been forever. Thus, it’ll be a mess and everybody will be convinced the fix is in.

  50. Hockey officials are lowering the crossbar of the goal to the height of the goalies waist. Its “the only way to safely keep the goalies head out of the game”

    Hockey players will just learn to “shoot low”

  51. If football stays on the present track, it will only be a few years before the sport becomes diluted to “flag football”.

  52. have a feeling that the NFL will set an all time record for both penalties and points scored…congrats: refs really control the game now…and the NFL is eyeing gambling revenue: wow, a perfect storm…

  53. “Sarcastaball” isn’t just a South Park nightmare evidently… They are destroying this game and if they enforce this rule I will have to seriously consider whether or not any of my discretionary income will be used to watch flag football.

  54. It will be so great to watch Pro Bowl style games all year!! The worst thing about the NFL is the Pro Bowl and now the geniuses have figured out a way to give us that game every thursday, sunday and monday throughout the year.

    can you imagine a running back housing a defender at the goal line to score and the play gets called back because he lowered his head..

  55. joker65 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 10:56 am
    The linemen aren’t lowering their heads though. That’s the difference. Yes the contact is made but they aren’t lowering their heads when that happens.
    =========================================================================

    You clearly never played. The reason for the 3-point stance is to be able to get UNDER the D-line on ANY short yardage run play.

    On a goal line play – EACH side FIGHTS to get their head as LOW TO THE GROUND as possible.

  56. It’s no different than the government: the more rules there are, the less people want to take part.

  57. I said it over the past few years, we are witnessing the beginning of the end. btw–when was the last time a ball carrier was seriously injured in the open field (anything can happen in a crowded pile) when he lowered his head to take on his tackler???……I am still waiting…..I suppose he is supposed to run straight up and wait for another player who is also playing straight up to “hit” him. After the injuries this will cause this year, they will begin talking about using electronics to detect when someone has had their forward progress stopped. In 5 years, they wont be hitting at all, except to block and they will have a rule saying you cannot physically engage if you have taken 2 or more running steps–watch it happen. I am glad I got to see football in its glory years.

  58. There is virtually going to be a penalty on every play. Now the refs can still dictate on which way they want it to go.

  59. Why come out and vow such a thing? People love your sport and you are telling them you are going to change it. Just not smart even if you had to make this rule.

  60. Also, for everyone upset over the injuries–its a dangerous sport–PERIOD. I was in gradeschool when I saw someone paralyzed for life playing HS football. It can happen. Like so much else, there is RISK involved. People can decide for themselves if they want to play or if they want to watch. What made this game huge is how it used to be played, and that is going away, and so is the game we love, sadly. And yes, Goodell is to blame, but so are many ignorant owners who never played or understand the part of the game that makes it special. I personally do not care at all about them hiding the data on CTE–folks, if you did not realize you could end up with long term physical and mental effects from playing pro ball, you might be too dumb to live among polite society. I roofed houses for years–if I had continued and ended up like some guys I worked with (looking and moving like they were 70 when they were not even 40) I would blame myself, not the company I was working for. It’s not a perfect world kids. Sometimes you get hurt, sometimes bad things happen. This changing of the game sucks, and will totally ruin it.

  61. Proper tackling has been taught for decades. I last played organized football in the mid-eighties and we were taught proper tackling technique then…hit with the shoulder pad, head up and to the side, wrap and drive. However, running backs have always been taught to get low as a way to counter proper tackling, offensive and defensive linemen have always been taught “low man wins”…there comes a point where it becomes impossible, even dangerous, to keep your head up and get low enough. Offensively and defensively, football is a game of leverage. Those of you who are dismissing how this will effect the game by looking only at the tackling aspect are missing the big picture here. The game of football is impossible to play at all positions without lowering your head. Trot out all of “heads up” techniques that are taught today all you want, but the technique is not a panacea and doesn’t make the game that much safer. Case in point…my son played running back in high school, his final season ended with a nasty concussion…want to know why? The “heads up” tackling technique; the kid who tackled him made a textbook “heads up” defined tackle…bend at the knees, head, neck and back aligned, explode into your opponent…my son went to juke and took the crown of the kids helmet right under the chin. If the kid tackled the way I was taught, this never would have happened. I truly have to wonder if some of you even played and, if you did, if you ever got to see the field from any angle but the sidelines.

  62. spartan822 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Playing football is now illegal in Godell’s (a lawyer) NFL
    —————————

    How did this Goodell is a lawyer falsehood ever get started? He has a degree in economics.

  63. Generic NFL Fan Up to Yesterday: The NFL is ridiculous, they’re letting the players practically kill themselves out on the field! They don’t care about the players at all!!!

    Generic NFL Fan Last Night and Today: The NFL is ridiculous, I cant believe they are implementing this rule. This is how the players have played forever! They’re going to lose fans over this. I cant watch practically flag football!!

  64. pftoutcast says:
    March 29, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Case in point…my son played running back in high school, his final season ended with a nasty concussion…want to know why? The “heads up” tackling technique; the kid who tackled him made a textbook “heads up” defined tackle…bend at the knees, head, neck and back aligned, explode into your opponent…my son went to juke and took the crown of the kids helmet right under the chin.
    ———————
    With all due respect your son juked into his helmet. I don’t think you can blame the tackler or his proper tackle technique for your son’s broken jaw. It was like the Super Bowl when the Patriots receive attempted to juke and Malcom Jenkins nailed him with a proper tackle. Knocked the Patriots receiver out of the game but it was a clean hit so Jenkins wasn’t flagged.

  65. “Mom, I want to play Soccer” Exclaimed Billy. “It’s dangerous, Billy!” Shuttered his Mother. “Why not play Football or try out for Swimming instead” She pleaded.

  66. Expect a ton of penalties in preseason games just to set the tone. Once the regular season starts, the refs will ease up and only call the egregious fouls. The NFL doesn’t want to lengthen the time of games with countless penalties and reviews, driving away fans in the process.

  67. I’m okay with this. Purists will hate, to heck with them. These types of changes are necessary. You know it’s a good change when the change will cost the NFL viewership/money.

  68. Last year there were some dirty offensive players that intentionally lowered their heads at the last minute to draw a penalty on the defense. Hopefully the teams that seem to make this a practice will find themselves reaping huge penalties for their unprofessional coaching.

  69. Just show all of Ryan Shazier’s tackles. Every one of them his head is down, had it been up he would have never been injured. I hope this is what they are talking about.

  70. I can see it coming a mile away…The catch/no catch aggravation was just replaced by the helmet lowered/not lowered aggravation. Can’t we just play football any more?

  71. These players know there are risks playing the game. That’s why they get paid the big bucks. If they want to pursue playing at the possibility of severe injury have them sign a waiver. Leave the game alone or just turn it into flag football where its heading anyways.

  72. I can only see this working if they only call penalties on some super obvious plays though I think they do that now anyway so I don’t know. If they call a penalty every single time a player instinctively lowers his head either when about to tackle (even if he isn’t trying to hit with his helmet but rather shoulder) or about to be tackled and makes a tiny bit of contact then it’ll be a complete disaster.

    Seems like this is just the latest example of society being butchered by leftism (and lawyers) and their need to protect everyone, whether physically or emotionally. Maybe we’ll get participation trophies soon as we wouldn’t want players to have their feelings hurt if they lose.

  73. braddavery says:
    March 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm
    I’m okay with this. Purists will hate, to heck with them. These types of changes are necessary. You know it’s a good change when the change will cost the NFL viewership/money.

    ————-

    It’s entirely designed to save them money. It’s all about liability.

  74. rkt4mayor says:
    “With all due respect your son juked into his helmet. “

    You don’t say? Of course he juked into it…my point is this…the way heads up tackling is taught trains the tackler to burst upward into the ball carrier, whereas proper and safe tackling, as was always taught before, emphasized burying the shoulder pad into the runners midsection with your head to the side. The very technique they teach to youth players is safer for the tackler but inherently unsafe for the ball carrier. Read how I described a heads up tackle, which is exactly how it’s taught at the youth level, and visualize how a tackle like that would work. If your head is up and you spine is aligned with it and knees are bent, there is no other direction to go when you burst except an upward angle. I get so sick of the “DO SOMETHING! EVEN IF ITS WRONG!” attitude so many people have today. That’s why every aspect of decision making from politics to sports has become incredibly short sighted and stupid.

  75. .
    So basically this is the same as SPEARING but every running play is a penalty too.
    got it.

  76. .
    everyone diving for a football is leading with their head…
    catchers diving for a catch Flag and a FINE!
    5 players diving for a loose ball 5 Flags, 5 Fines. GOT IT.

  77. I hope there is an alternate league soon that plays real football. I can’t wait to see the sanctimony of ESPN etc sanctimoniously refuse to report on such barbary. Beta football isn’t that fun to watch.

  78. 24thstatesolutions says:
    March 29, 2018 at 10:26 am
    You can bet the Patriots will NEVER be call on this penalty.

    ———–

    No matter what happens, we can also bet that you will continue to whine about the Patriots

  79. 3rd and a hard to go is now a pass play or an outside run. The Back ramping up the middle on short yardage and QBs diving forward head first just became extinct as the dinosaurs

  80. You folks griping about this before it even happens are nuts. Any of you geniuses work in a ER? Let’s see, keep the game like it is and watch it disappear from the little leagues on up. Make a few changes to keep the players healthier and preserve the sport is a good option. Calm down and wait to see how this works on the field.

  81. All the naysayers if they played at all, led with their helmets and suffered brain damage. Rugby is the example of a common sense approach to tackling.

  82. We’re not upset that we won’t be seeing helmet tackles anymore. We’re upset that the refs now must interpret what is and what isn’t an aggressive tackle. The people getting fussy that some of us are suspicious of yet another rule about “player safety” (read: no more lawsuits, the owners don’t give a damn about the players) should wait until a perfectly normal tackle becomes a fifteen yarder with an ejection because someone’s helmet brushed someone else’s.

  83. As I have often said, nothing Goodell does makes sense until you realize he hates football and wants to destroy it.

  84. jjsooner says:
    You folks griping about this before it even happens are nuts. Any of you geniuses work in a ER? Let’s see, keep the game like it is and watch it disappear from the little leagues on up. Make a few changes to keep the players healthier and preserve the sport is a good option. Calm down and wait to see how this works on the field.
    ——————-
    NFL ratings have been dropping sharply for the last couple of years. The election, the protests…. are side stories. The real reason for the decline is that people in general are losing interest. I spend more time reading about football than I do watching it.

    The game starts off boring, with kickoffs out of the endzone. Defenses cant hit players who are catching the ball, catch fumble has been eliminated(though it may be back next year), now players have to stand upright while they are trying to take down a runner. Its just not exciting and people are losing interest.

  85. It’s money. Plain and simple. Add a no lawsuit clause to every players contract going forward saying play the sport at your own risk and don’t even think about suing us for CTE. put the rules back where they were and the fans would all be much happier. I spend more time Sunday watching beer commercials, replay reviews,players standing on the sideline more than the actual game action!!!

  86. After a seven hour game and no players left on the field will the officials be able to get this rule correct.

  87. FORMER PLAYERS… admit you were only suing the league for your own selfish reasons. NFL… admit that you are only making these BS rules to not get sued again. EVERYONE IN FAVOR OF THESE RULE CHANGES… admit that you are not really a football fan. Once we get all of that out of the way, we can all get on with our lives and get back to the game we used to love.

  88. I’m looking forward to the season. Especially the first games where every play there are multiple flags. I’m happy that Ed Hochuli has retired because he’ll take an hour to explain all the penalties. ‘There are multiple flags on the play. 3 on the offense, 2 on the defense. 4 players are ejected. All penalties offset. Replay the down.’ Lather, rinse, repeat. We”ll never get past the first series since there’s a penalty on every play and the downs will repeat. There will be about 7 minutes left in the First Quarter, the defense hasn’t gotten the ball yet, and everybody will have been ejected for multiple penalties on the same foul.

  89. I can see it now… ball is snapped, 5 flags thrown, each official saw a different player put their head down. 6th official wanted to throw his flag, too, but couldn’t get it out of his pocket and just shrugged and gave up.

  90. They can take that helmet rule and stick it up their butt. I will start finding new things to do on Sunday afternoon because football as we know it is over.

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