Former NFL V.P. of Officiating and current FOX analyst Mike Pereira expects that the league’s rule changes regarding players lowering their head for contact will be a challenge for officials to handle.
In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio, Pereira said that the rule changes will be “impossible” to legislate.
“I think it’s going to be impossible to officiate,” Pereira said. “You’ll see the same things happen with this as we’ve seen with the crown-of-the-helmet rule: very few calls. I think most of it will be taken care of after the fact with potential fines.
The rule, which was approved unanimously be league owners in Orlando earlier this week, has made it illegal for players to initiate contact with an opponent by lowering their head. While competition committee chairman Rich McKay has vowed the rule is a “substantial change,” it’s still uncertain exactly what the directives and enforcement of the rule will actually look like in reality. The possibility also exists for the NFL office to deem that certain violations are ejectable offenses as well and disqualify a player from a game.
Given the number of injuries observed recently, Pereira isn’t surprised that a change was made to the rules. However, he doubts the tangible enforcement of the new rules will truly lead to a significant switch in what is enforced.
“I have to say that everybody erupted when they had the crown-of-the-helmet rule, which came in about four years ago with the runner and the tackler,” Pereira said. “Two were called the very first year and they were both wrong, and there were none called in the two years after that. I see these things happen, I see these rule changes, and I don’t want to call it hysteria, but there is to me a bit of overreaction.”