NFL confirms linemen coming out of their stance are subject to new helmet rule

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When the NFL announced a new rule penalizing any player who lowers his head to initiate contact, an immediate question was whether that would apply to linemen coming out of their stances.

The answer to that question is yes.

NFL head of officiating Al Riveron confirmed to reporters today that linemen who come out of their stances with their heads down and initiate contact with the top of the helmet will be penalized.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, Riveron was asked today at the league meeting, What if a defensive lineman coming out of his stance initiates contact with his head? “Can’t do it. He’s got to get his head up,” Riveron answered.

So NFL linemen are going to have to make significant changes to the way they do their jobs: In the past, linemen frequently made contact with their helmets when coming out of their stances. Now, they can’t.

Eventually, the NFL might just get rid of the three-point stance altogether. This new rule could be a first step toward that.

70 responses to “NFL confirms linemen coming out of their stance are subject to new helmet rule

  1. There are already too many delays due to penalties. Adding a few more per game just might be the tipping point for some to decide that there just isn’t enough action, and stop watching on a regular basis.

  2. The NFL is on its way to being nothing more than flg football. The games were almost unwatchabe because of all the penalties. This might be the beginning of the end for the NFL

  3. three point stance ….. a main stay of football…..

    I am 62 years old……I can still get into a 3 point stance ( can’t do much from it…lol ) but to even think of doing away with it just boggles my mind.

    The end of football as we know is less than 10 years away.

  4. Well looks like games will be about 6 hrs long next year with all of the penalties that are going to be called. Should make for more alienation of the nfl fan bases and fewer youngsters playing. NFL is in big trouble.

  5. I am 100% for player safety

    I am 100% NOT a guy who laments the loss of violence from the game

    I am happy for rules that protect players and help ensure greater longevity of all players, in the interest of keeping the best talent on the field

    This rule is really going to shoot the NFL in the foot though. More arbitrary penalties, more BS timeouts, more questionable officiation

    I’ve already excised the NBA and MLB from my life. Completely. Not for the same reasons, but I did it without reservation or compunction. Keep staggering the progression of every game, and I will keep finding better diversions for my ever-wandering mind

  6. Defensive lineman with their head down end up in the dirt. The rule doesn’t say you can’t make contact with the helmet it says you cannot lead (Head down) with the helmet.

  7. This is why I stopped watching and switched back to WWE wrestling at least they freely admit their product is fixed unlike the NFL who continuously and blatantly try to insult our intelligence

  8. At this stage of the game the lawyers and judges need to get together and have contracts created saying IF YOU PLAY NFL FOOTBALL, your body COULD be at risk for injury present/and future. IF you sign the contract, you waive ANY option to sue. If they can’t do that…well, the game we all loved growing up will just fade away…………………..

  9. I love how everyone predicts the “slow death of the NFL” every time a rule changes or someone doesn’t do something they like. Yet the NFL is by far the biggest sports league in the world, and while “viewership” may be down (I am not sure it really is, just how it is traditionally measured like all TV), interest clearly isn’t because they sure seem to be growing their business despite all the dire warnings. Methinks they will be fine.

  10. Doesn’t an offensive lineman get a false start penalty when they raise their head before the snap, but they will be rushing to raise their head because of this. So, it’s going to alternate between flags for false starts and flags for lowering the helmet. Every goal line play will end up back at the 20 yard line because of all the penalties.

  11. Please differentiate between contact with the top of the helmet versus just contact with the helmet. This distinction is important. Thanks

  12. I don’t see this ever getting called, it would only be a penalty if your head is down and you’re leading with the top of your helmet. How are you supposed to block someone or beat a blocker with your head facing down?

  13. oh baby. and gambling is expanding. how much do you think a ref charges for one of those flags? 10K. thats an easy one to conceal if you are fixing a game. For 25K tell the ref to thro the flag on a TD against a OL blocking, it applies to the offense as well. 16 x 25K = 400k. gambling syndicates can afford that, easy

  14. With all the flags being thrown soon baseball will have a faster pace. Enough already.

  15. The XFL should seize this opportunity while many NFL fans are frustrated with all the new rules.

  16. If only 3 plays last year would of been a penalty. Why then are we talking that linemen need to make significant changes. Something isnt adding up.

  17. “And the slow death march of the NFL continues….”

    Actually it seems to have picked up speed to “rapid” at this point.

    Its a shame there’s not real money somewhere to start a new league with instead of the pale imitations that are making a try of it. All they’d have to do is use old school rules, offer NFL starters and backups a significant bonus to jump ship to the new league, allow medical marijuana and the NFL would be finished.

  18. Oh please…you all smell of drama and headaches. A lineman coming out of a three-point stance and initiating contact with the crown of his helmet is doing it wrong to begin with…and probably going to get slapped to the turf! The old adage of ‘See what you hit, and hit what you see,’ isn’t going anywhere: this rule change is NOT the deathknell you whingers would like it to be. Time to evolve.

  19. If this has a big impact on defenses I wonder what the NFL will do?
    More rules changes to balance the game?
    Or just let it be easier for the offense?
    This year we’ll get to see how this rules works out.

  20. NFL is totally corporate.

    Trying to milk the product while successfully CYA.

    No regard for the fan, just assumes we’re locked in.

    Time will tell.

  21. TruFBFan NFL is not even close to the biggest league in the world. Soccer is the World’s most popular sport and I would say the Premier League is bigger.

  22. Maybe everyone should stop their whining about sissyfying the game. Rugby players don’t seem to have a problem keeping their heads up during the game and those guys are slamming the crap out of each other with no helmets and few, if any, pads. There’s plenty of tackling and collisions, too, so it’s not like soccer or flag ball. Get over your macho selves.

  23. My team isnt very good and I have been watching fewer and fewer games over the last decade. This crap isnt going to help. I cant wait for this era of hyper nannyism to end. I cant even drive my own car without it yelling at me about some safety crap that I seemed to have somehow lived through for the 5 decades previous to it existence.

  24. Rate This
    rdhome2 says:
    May 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm
    The NFL is on its way to being nothing more than flg football. The games were almost unwatchabe because of all the penalties. This might be the beginning of the end for the NFL

    ————-

    No, the beginning of the end was the hiring of Roger Goodell. We are rapidly approaching the middle of the end.

  25. i agree with many who say this is a death knell of sorts- however there will still be planty of idjits who will pay to get into games and for the gear etc.- part of the problem with being an overly populated world is that there are a ton more idiots out there who just want to say they went to a game, and probably don’t even understand the game- same has already happened in the NBA- where the fix job is clearly on with the refs determining games regularly- yet their arenas are still full- the real solution is to dissolve corporate america and get back to real business’ running the operation – there is a reason the anti monopoly laws were put in place, but they have somehow mysteriously faded into the background- sports should be about the sport itself- the bottom line should not be the goal, it should be putting out a good product, but that is not how things work in the US anymore unfortunately- used to be able to buy a stove and have it last a lifetime, now? maybe 10 years or so, but you are going to have to buy a new one- why? bottom line- avarice – too sad what has happened

  26. Lol! This guy has never heard of European Soccer

    TruFBFan says:
    May 22, 2018 at 4:26 pm
    I love how everyone predicts the “slow death of the NFL” every time a rule changes or someone doesn’t do something they like. Yet the NFL is by far the biggest sports league in the world, and while “viewership” may be down (I am not sure it really is, just how it is traditionally measured like all TV), interest clearly isn’t because they sure seem to be growing their business despite all the dire warnings. Methinks they will be fine.

  27. This should make the goal line stand a real dud. What are they going to do, stand up there and slap each other/ So much for the runner leading with his helmet because then all a defensive player has to do is stand if front of him and “take a charge” like in Basketball. This is going to be an insane rule at the end of close ball games.

  28. Just another rule rushed through without any testing or real thought to the consequences. They’ll be tweaking the rule by midseason because there’ll be too many flags.

  29. If they ever get rid of the three-point stance, they should just go ahead and move all of the teams over to London while they’re at it.

  30. It amazes me how many people are sooooo put off by things like this. I guess they consider CTE just a cost of doing business, and since it’s not THEIR brains at risk…

    But if the NFL does nothing, the future lawsuits will literally strip the game of its ability to exist. Then I guess these “fans” will blame Obama or ignorant juries or somebody equally non-responsible for the problem.

  31. Just reverting back to peewee football for 8&9 year olds— linemen just stand up and push

  32. Patriot opponents will lead the league in these penalties…..and the normal pass interference calls that bail Brady out.

  33. A QB sneak with his head up is a real good way to get blasted in the face with a “clean hit” shoulder pad, and stopped short of the line of scrimmage.

    The whole point of this rule is to give the officials even more control over the outcome of games. It won’t be long before each team will have its own sideline lawyer to argue replays.

  34. Think sumo – and if you think that’s some kind of wimped out sport, I’d invite you to stand between a couple of those dudes. just sign your will first.
    WWE, on the other hand, is about as silly as it gets.

  35. Are NFL rules makers subject to the helmet rule once they pull their heads out of their……..

  36. I can clearly see now that football is coming to an end very soon. Owners have lost their minds and think they can take all injuries out of the game instead of realizing that injuries are part of this game and all injuries can’t be legislated out.

    By 2024, I won’t be watching football; a sport I’ve watched since I was 7 years old.

  37. So what is the plan? To have both the O-line and D-line coming out of a 2pt stance and play slappy hands?

  38. “So NFL linemen are going to have to make significant changes to the way they do their jobs: In the past, linemen frequently made contact with their helmets when coming out of their stances. Now, they can’t.”

    the rules says you can’t hit with the top of your helmet with your head down. Now what OL or DL comes out of their stance with their head down? This puts their eyes on the ground!! the head is up and has been for years.

    Watch how Jim McNally is teaching the OL, he has their heads out. Save the brain, save the game. This is a nothing burger.

  39. .
    cant we all just get along?
    Why do linemen have to hit each other? It’s so violent!
    Can’t they just agree to not push past one another stay on their own side!
    they can just stand there and exchange family photos until the play is over.

  40. Before y’all get your panties in a bunch remember it was 4 plays out of 40,000 last year that qualified for this penalty.

    This is just a red tape rule so they can say they did something to reduce concussions…

    #4/40k

  41. When you stop the big uglies from being big uglies, the game is dead. I sincerely hope all the politically correct people enjoy this new sport because it’s certainly not American Football anymore

  42. This is a non-issue, linemen hit with their face masks and the forehead area, if you lead with your crown you’re going in the dirt and missing your block. Glad they specified because the initial rule was way to vague.

  43. It is weird how many comments have politicized this issue.

    And even weirder that people equate this rule with liberalism.

    My political views are more liberal than Bernie Sanders. Which has nothing to do with my opinion on this stupid rule. Stop making monsters out of every shadow.

    And for those saying it would have been called only 4 times last year…kewl. If it is such a non-factor, then why is the rule necessary?

  44. I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh anymore but I remmeber about 8-10 yrs ago he was going on about the P.C. crowd aiming at actually stamping out pro football.
    I thought that he was nuts then, but it looks like the libs are doing just what he predicted.

  45. The NFL simply has no concept what the game will be. Now that they have made these rules, the NFL has maximized its liability because any failure to enforce these new rules is safety negligence. I watched a game on NFL network and the new rule would have caused a penalty in every play.
    A l so, the NFL is establishing a safety standard that has to be mirrored in football down to PeeWee ball. Schools are just going to determine football is not safe and close the doors.
    I hope everyone likes lacross as that will be the new Sunday game in 10 years. I read Jerry Jones bought a pro lacross team. Jerry is always ahead of the curve in sports business.

  46. This is a lot of hand wringing about nothing. I’ve watched linemen training videos and actual line play and have yet to see them lead with their helmets to target an individual. For linemen, it is all about the hands. They come up from their stance and get their hands and face up. They keep their head up because they have to watch the ball. Is it a run or a pass? Even o-line on QB sneak, they come up with their hands to control the line.

    This is why a coach (Sean Payton) doesn’t see this as a problem. The purpose of this rule is to stop the use of the helmet as a weapon. Stop spearing people head first. Get your head to the side and hit with shoulder pads, not the crown of the helmet. Sean Payton is right, you’re not going to see this flagged very often.

  47. Get ready for more manipulation by the officials plus legal betting!!! WOW

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