Say farewell to the three-point stance

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At a time when football fans finally are waking up to the demise of the kickoff, another football staple is about the go the way of the Stegosaurus. And a game that many regard as a dinosaur could soon be extinct, at least as we know it.

With the NFL finally admitting what some suspected for the past two months — the new helmet rule does apply to offensive and defensive linemen — the three-point stance inevitably will be gone. And the NFL will have gotten rid of it without actually getting rid of it.

That may be news to some of the people on the inside. Saints coach Sean Payton, a member of the Competition Committee, said recently on PFT Live that the three-point stance won’t be going away “in our lifetime.” But as coaches like Payton adjust to the interpretation that finally was unveiled on Tuesday, they’ll realize that the three-point stance has become an invitation to violate the new helmet rule.

He’s got to get his head up,” NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron said Tuesday regarding offensive linemen.

The only way to keep his head up is to never put it down. The three-point stance comes from the ability to fire out and slam into the opponent. With linemen in such close quarters, it will be impossible for an offensive lineman to blast forward into a defensive lineman without potentially hitting the opponent with a helmet that necessarily is low.

Again, this likely surprised people like Payton. When I asked him earlier this month whether the new helmer rule will alter the between-the-tackles running game, Payton said, “I don’t think a lot. I think you know working a coach up, guys that are pulling. But I don’t think it’s going to change much at all.”

With offensive linemen now obligated to get their heads up when blasting forward at the same, it’s going to change a lot. It’s going to change to the point where it’s not recognizable.

And it’s going to open the door for someone to start a football league that will play games not in the spring but during football season — and that will play football not like the NFL is hell bent on playing it but like football used to be played.

120 responses to “Say farewell to the three-point stance

  1. I just can’t honestly believe what has happened to the game that we all love. Putting aside the allegiances we have to our teams, do you agree with me that the NFL has eroded so much that it may no longer be as watchable as it was just a year ago? I just feel like I’ll be watching my daughters powder puff game. I’m not trying to be funny, either.

  2. How are teams supposed to abide by this asinine rule and play a golaline offense and defense?

    Football is over.

  3. thanks for making the world a safer place Libbies… history will remember Libbies as Noble for eradicating such a brutal sport…

  4. Quit buying tickets, and quit buying merchandise.

    This NFL, will go away!

    And not soon enough for me.

  5. “And it’s going to open the door for someone to start a football league that will play games not in the spring but during football season — and that will play football not like the NFL is hell bent on playing it but like football used to be played.”

    This might be the silliest thing ever written on this site.

  6. Yep, how much can you change a product and still consider it the same product? Maybe I didn’t keep up with football as closely as I do now and not noticed it, but it feels like ever since Goodall has been here the game and rules have been constantly tinkered with.

  7. This is not even football anymore. Roger Goodell has absolutely, and singlehandedly, destroyed this league. He could not be a worse commissioner if he tried.

    Bring on the XFL.

  8. Between the NFL’s ridiculous approach to rule changes and the new sports betting laws, Vince McMahon has to be giddy thinking about his new league and return to football.. They might as well just roll out the damn red carpet for him.

  9. Errrrrr…. The past few years WE THE FANS been Sayn FAREWELL to NFL FOOTBALL! 20 years from now I PROMISE you it will be RICH players and even RICHER owners playing two hand touch flag football and the new generation wouldn’t know other wise.
    CRAZY these kids today play GAMES 24/7 NON STOP about guns killings army mercenaries and head shots BUT NEED the NFL to be Two Hand Touch BELOW MY WAIST! SMFH!

  10. .
    I really think I had enough… ITS A VIOLENT SPORT…
    but why even play it, just have the 2 QB’s come out and flip a coin.

    4 out 7 correct guesses wins the game.
    Of course there must be a 20 minute wait between each flip so the stadium can make money selling stuff and commercials can be run.

  11. Lose fans, lose significant revenue, but keep the new rule in place to protect the players health verses keep making huge sums of money, exempt the linemen at the line of scrimmage, but increase the risk of neck injuries. Geez, I wonder which one wins out?

  12. The play of football will be just awful this year. Way too many rule changes for players to become accustomed to in one off season. My days of watching this sport are coming to an end. Linemen will now have to learn their craft all over, yea that won’t effect play. Throw in the fact they can’t even practice the first 8 games will look like peewee football.

    The quality of play is the #1 reason there is a decline in this sport.

  13. Errrrrr…. The past few years WE THE FANS been Sayn FAREWELL to NFL FOOTBALL! 20 years from now I PROMISE you it will be RICH players and even RICHER owners playing two hand touch flag football and the new generation wouldn’t know other wise.
    CRAZY these kids today play GAMES 24/7 NON STOP about guns killings army mercenaries and head shots BUT NEED the NFL to be Two Hand Touch BELOW MY WAIST! SMFH!

    MODS BRO”S I know that you cant post this but I just wanted to say it out loud for the MOD’S and myself..

  14. I’ve never believed it before, no matter how much somebody yelled it. I’m finally in agreement, it’s the beginning of the end. When does xfl start??

  15. I love the “ruining the game” argument. Do you morons realize people are dying at 50 due to brain damage? But hey, as long as you’re entertained right?

  16. everyone is blaming Roger goodell, but what you don’t understand is someone proposes a rule and all of the owners vote on it. Roger really doesn’t have any say at all.
    everytime a new rule comes out I see you grumpy people say you’re done with football, then the next year you’re back to cheering on your favorite team. bunch of blowhards you all are.

  17. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    May 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm
    thanks for making the world a safer place Libbies… history will remember Libbies as Noble for eradicating such a brutal sport…

    It’s a guess that the rule is to lessen the risk of head injuries.
    It’s also a guess that yours were pretty severe.

  18. hey- check out the ncaa lacrosse championships this weekend, probably will see more and harder hits then you will see in the nfl this year!

  19. Its sad.. I don’t want players to get hurt, but thats the reason they make millions of dollars.. Its a risky job. If they keep the rules going this way maybw they can lower salaries and lower ticket prices! Lol like that will happen.

  20. Keep on kneeling and removing the physicality from the game.. See where it gets you NFL.

  21. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    May 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm
    thanks for making the world a safer place Libbies… history will remember Libbies as Noble for eradicating such a brutal sport…

    —————

    Why must everything be political? This has nothing to do with liberals or conservatives yet here you are trying to divide that wedge even deeper.

  22. Have heard many say the last few years “The NFL will be gone in 20 years”. I used to laugh. I’m not laughing anymore.

  23. Go ahead. Make the NFL politically correct.
    What’s next? Full body armor and helmets in MMA?
    1 by 1 our institutions are becoming unrecognizable and ruined.
    Bicycle helmets for all.

  24. Football has already become unrecognizable compared to when I started watching (only as far back as the Vince young Reggie Bush rose bowl) and many games in recent years were already unwatchable.

    All this nonsense because greedy owners don’t won’t to pay to take care of the players they get richer off later in their lives, hence the posturing that oh we just found out high speed collisions and concussions are bad for your health.

    As soon as they announced the helmet rule I knew football was ruined. It was already a penalty anytime anyone laid a big hit, head to head or not. Games already have flags and replays and commercials every 2 seconds. No young person today has the attention span to watch what games were like last season, and most of the time they werent missing much.

    What a disaster.

  25. “….people are dying at 50” If you would be so kind, list the people and the illness that killed them as it relates to football. Also, if you don’t mind, tell us the percentages of the deaths over the century that tackle football has caused. I’m not so certain that as an airline pilot my career isn’t any less dangerous, but I enjoy doing it and feel blessed to do so. I’m willing to bet NFL players feel blessed to be playing the game, too. We all recognize the danger, but there’s a degree of danger in everything. Keep football, football. Please?

  26. rxv5854 says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:06 pm
    I love the “ruining the game” argument. Do you morons realize people are dying at 50 due to brain damage? But hey, as long as you’re entertained right?

    7 11 Rate This

    ———————–

    True, and the moment people aren’t entertained is the moment people stop watching. and the moment these teams and players start losing money. They sign up knowing what they’re getting into, and getting paid well to do it.

  27. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    May 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm
    thanks for making the world a safer place Libbies… history will remember Libbies as Noble for eradicating such a brutal sport…
    ————————————————
    Florio’s been raging against this rule since they started talking about it; he’s a liberal. I agree with him, I think they’re in danger of ruining the game; I’m a liberal, more or less. Goodell’s in charge, along with the owners, and they’re a bunch of right-wing cavemen.

    I think you got your teams wrong, bud.

  28. Hand out the flags and tutus. What was once a gladiator sport is now lawyer ball with a grossly micromanaged rulebook.

  29. I’ll ignore the whining above and make an actual salient point: This could greatly change strategy and possibly drafting and the overall composition of the roster. If the OL and DL generate less momentum as they impact each other, it’s more likely to end in stalemate, where the OL is not pushing back the DL or making space for running backs to run. Defenses will probably change to more two gap concepts since those players have to keep their heads up and read-and-react already.

    I can see the run being deemphasized, and the NFL becoming more of a passing league than it already is.

  30. This is just the beginning…the final nails in the NFL coffin is when cte testing on living adults is possible and when all football for 12 and under is flag…kids will go play something else…watch lacrosse take off…and moms will be terrified to let their kids hit once they see how many players are diagnosed with cte, not only in the NFL but also college and hs.

  31. The QB sneak is done. The goal line stand is gone. Most run plays are gone.

    Why not give the guys purses and let them cat fight.

  32. Gosh stop whining!! The NFL has never been more profitable or more popular. If a few stop watching, it will be fine. The NFL will respond more to decreased TV ratings than to anything, so they’ll do what it takes to keep the fans engaged. What are they supposed to do when they are sued for billions of dollars and popular movies are being made about the head injuries their sport causes, injuries which ruin lives? They have to do something, and they are trying.

    Personally, I would rather a much softer, higher scoring game WITHOUT instant replays every 5 seconds. That’s the change I think will lose viewers, as no one likes a replay over some minor detail every 5 minutes…

  33. lol, these comments make me laugh, NFL revenue is sky high, a team also just sold for a record 2+ billion, NFL is going nowhere, it will just replace the fans like you who complain and leave with new and younger fans, quit complaining already and watch or dont watch, no one really cares lol

  34. rxv5854

    Yes. It’s the risk you assume when you sign a $100m contract to play a game that you KNOW requires you to run full speed at other people. Kids die in Iraq for 18k a year, because you don’t buy tickets to watch that.

  35. cdace13 says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:56 pm
    Have heard many say the last few years “The NFL will be gone in 20 years”. I used to laugh. I’m not laughing anymore.

    20 years?? With these rule changes, we will be lucky if the game is here in 10 years.

  36. People are over-reacting. Kneeling for the flag? NFL is going to disappear! Nope, still there. Every time a CB touches a WR it’s a flag? NFL is going to disappear! Nope, still there. Tons of other examples. The human brain fears change and the common behavior is to lash out against change. Calm down. Everything will be ok.

  37. Last I checked, I hadn’t heard a whole lot about concussion issues with lineman on the offensive or defensive ends. This seems like it would be solving a problem that didn’t exist. I don’t buy that this rule will be enforced on the lines.

  38. It should be like some of those other rules…that don’t apply in the tackle box within three yards of the LOS. Heck, make it two yards, one yard and only last the los, not before. No college spread ol crap thanks.

  39. What if they just keep doing it? Throw a flag on every play? Fans screaming at the refs? They can’t. It will be played like always, or they will be out of business. As a young HS player, we had some goofy coach play what was called the “Radar Defense”. All the D linemen stood up with their hands out. As you can imagine, they got trampled. Former NFLer Bill Hurley set a NYS record with 391 yds against us. It was a shame, as we had a line the size of Nebraska at the time. Other teams shuddered when he got off the bus. Just huge, athletic guys. The coach got fired. We didn’t win one game with the city’s best athletes. The coach was clueless. He was hammered a lot at practice, games. It was a much different time back then. this would never be tolerated today. They slapped us, hit us with clipboards, made is crawl through mud between the legs of guys kneeling. It was just stupid, but love of the sport was foremost. Some guys quit, and the new coach couldn’t get them back, but we started to win.

  40. Who has been “better” for the game:

    Roger Goodell or Al Riveron?!?

    (my_old_name_was_offensive but his opinions are just plain garbage)

  41. Who has been “better” for the game:

    Roger Goodell or Al Riveron?!?

    (my_old_name_was_offensive but his opinions are just plain garbage)

  42. derekgorgonstar says:
    May 22, 2018 at 9:52 pm
    This is not even football anymore. Roger Goodell has absolutely, and singlehandedly, destroyed this league. He could not be a worse commissioner if he tried.
    ##############
    Can’t agree more. His loyalty and pay offs by the Krafts and Rooneys have ruined the game. They paid to get their way, now the game we all loved is forever broken. The corruption runs deep.

  43. Every rule change makes me scratch my head but ultimately I keep watching. This, however, could completely change the game and I really don’t know if I can watch 17 weeks of Pro Bowl-esque football.

  44. Most fans don’t take into consideration the legalities that the NFL is probably facing that are most likely forcing the league to change the rules. The advancement in studies on CTE and overall brain injuries from this sport has got out of control that the league has to make changes to cover themselves to keep a product on the field.
    I find this similar to Marijuana 20 years ago. Everyone (media, large pharmaceutical companies) saying its a terrible “gateway drug” and nothing good can come from it. Attempting to scare everyone away from using it. Now its on the verge of becoming federally legal in the US.
    Yes I hate that the product on the field has diminished and less physically brutal, but the results to the body/mind are undeniable.

  45. rxv5854 says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:06 pm
    I love the “ruining the game” argument. Do you morons realize people are dying at 50 due to brain damage? But hey, as long as you’re entertained right?

    _

    Then don’t play football. It’s not my choice they signed up for this, knowing damn well what they were getting into. And yes, I’ll continue to be entertained.

  46. For you blasting Goodell, stop it!!! This is the safety aspect of the game. This is the result of players committing suicide and then subsequently autopsies showed that they suffered from CTE, which then was found to be caused by playing football. This is also the union, playing the safety card as well. Remember, they wanted all of these safety precautions in the last CBA.

  47. Looks like I’m the only person who doesn’t enjoy watching guys batter their brains until they turn manic depressive or get hooked on pills.

  48. this will be the worst nfl season of all tome with 1000 flags per game.
    also the corruption from gambling will go thru the roof now that a flag can be bought that wont arise suspicion

  49. This is all part of the broader war on men and masculinity. Since football celebrates those things it must be eliminated or at least changed into a more female-friendly endeavor. It’s just like the Boy Scouts – liberals will not rest until it is totally destroyed.

  50. BuckyBadger says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:50 pm
    my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    May 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm
    thanks for making the world a safer place Libbies… history will remember Libbies as Noble for eradicating such a brutal sport…

    —————

    Why must everything be political? This has nothing to do with liberals or conservatives yet here you are trying to divide that wedge even deeper.
    ————

    it has everything to do with it. Rush called this 10 years ago… NFL is being hen pecked to death by our new nanny culture

  51. I’ve been watching rugby lately. There are not as many injuries during the game. Probably because they aren’t shuffling in players constantly. Maybe the NFL should reduce rosters and limit substitutions.

  52. From seeing what is happening with the Boy Scouts to now the NFL after bringing in SJW-thinking, one would not be blamed for thinking efforts are being made from the inside to destroy once proud and unify institutions and games.

  53. As I’ve said for years, nothing Goodell does makes sense until you realize he hates football and wants to destroy it. He even loves being booed because it tells him it’s working.

  54. The NFL is done. All of these safety issues are killing the game. I laugh about it too because at a time when the UFC and MMA has guys beating each others brains out — with no one giving a damn — all this focus is on football. And boxing has allowed that for years. It would take me an hour to list all the boxers who have suffered from or died from dementia.
    I was at my grandson’s baseball game the other night and there was a group of women sitting watching the game. They were all talking about football and to a woman, they all said their sons are never going to play it again. As it was last year our middle school team barely had enough kids to field a team and one school had to forfeit games because they couldn’t field a team.
    With all the money they NFL has, you cannot convince me they can’t make a helmet which is much safer than the ones they use now. First of all, they should not be made of the hard plastic shell they are made of now. Getting hit with one is like getting hit by a bowling ball. The clear answer is to make the helmets out of leather or some material like that so they have much more give than the hard plastic, which has no give. but they won’t look as nice, so the NFL doesn’t even want to think about doing it.
    Football has long been a way for poor and underprivileged kids to climb out off the streets and make something of themselves. In the near future, you will see only those types of kids playing football, just like boxing has always been filled with poor and under privileged kids for decades. Because other type kids parents will not allow them to play, whereas many of those poor and underprivileged kids don’t even have two parents at home to worry about them.
    So stick a fork in the NFL as we once knew it. It’s dead.

  55. I think getting rid o the 3 point stance is one of the best ideas ever.

    It changes one of the most dangerous elements of the game but I wont make the gam less fun to watch.

  56. Another case of Roger GOOFBALL destroying the league as we knew it. I already DVR games now to buzz thru commercials, and now this?? It was getting unwatchable and now with all the flags this year it may be the nail in the coffin. I only watch my teams games, and championship games now due to the deterioration of the product. And you want us fans to support players making millions of dollars to play fluff ball now?? I never begrudged these guys for making millions due to wear and tear and the violence of the games, but now u better cut their salaries by about 75%. F U Roger. I have better things to do with my money.

  57. I’m not a fan of the new helmet rule but this is clearly written by somebody who has never played football. Offensive lineman who pull for a kick out block or attempt to block the 3 technique in front of their faces do NOT block with their heads down. If your head is down you don’t see what you are blocking and you miss your block. And you are out of the league quick. Defenses are too athletic, if the head is down, this is a missed block. So I’m gonna actually go with Sean Payton on this one. Never thought I’d say that.

  58. Practical question, how does the center get the ball to the QB. That is a quick stand up if they can’t lead with their head. The nose Tackle will already be in motion.

  59. Great. More big plays nullified by a judgement call. Let’s just fast forward to the end game where the replay reviews are sponsored by Budweiser and the pregame coverage is focused on how cool of a grandfather Ed Hochuli is.

  60. See what comes from pandoras box? We like the NFL because the way grown men basically throw their bodies together. The owners pay them accordingly, but now with all the rule changes it’s going to the way of resembling flag football. If the owners start that, then I can come out of retirement to play basically tag football and get paid massive amounts of money for it.

  61. Are they planning to change these rules in college too or will lineman need to re-learn how to play when they enter the NFL?

  62. RB value falling

    That’s why team’s are drafting dual threat rbs, they knew this would happen after concussion settlement. Blame the law that says you can basically sue for anything nowadays. All the rough play should be an inherent assumed risk and of playing a kid’s game for millions of dollars. Right now it’s just getting to a point where it’s not even entertaining anymore with all the rule changes. I do, however, blame this on the owners for not having a disclaimer policy in every contract(or do they in small print). It should read if you get harmed in nature where you are not able to perform your job to the level you used the owner will inherently pay you or your family up to one million dollars for services rendered. Then again that seems a little too simple for the NFL to agree on.

  63. Like it or not, the NFL is in a tough spot. The realities of CTE, litigation and guys who really don’t know what is ahead of them when they play, adds up to changes having to be made. It does suck though.

    I also think that we would all find it unwatchable to see a football game as it was originally played.

    The game has evolved many, many times. It won’t go away. Add a layer of legal gambling and this league will keep chugging along.

  64. The second the 3-point stance is gone is the second I stop watching NFL.
    ***************************************************************************

    We’ve never heard that before. This or that and I’m never watching another game. Don’t announce it just do it!!! It’s not like we knew you were watching anyway!!!

  65. I am sure glad that i cancelled the NFL (no fun league) and directv and went to dish. What a joke they are making out of the game.

  66. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
    ― William Shakespeare, King Henry VI –

    These changes to the game are due more to fear of lawsuits than to political affiliation. What if from this point forward, all new players sign a waiver saying they know the risks involved in participating, and then they can decide for themselves if they want to run the risks. And, the owners actually man up and take care of the old timers medical needs. Lawyers have nearly ruined everything on this planet. And please don’t tell me that anyone playing the game doesn’t know or realize how violent and dangerous it is and they need to be “protected”. These are grown men (supposedly) and can determine if the benefits outweigh the risks involved… just my 2 cents.

  67. This is by far the dumbest take on the helmet rule. The 3-point stance IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Stop falling for such obviously trolling.

    Linemen DON’T put their head down and use their helmets to smash each other out of the stance. Please show me one single play where a lineman launched from the stance with the head down like a battering ram. DOES NOT HAPPEN. They would be benched by every coach for such stupid mistake, as every linemen has to keep their head up to see the play develop.

  68. akira554 says:
    May 23, 2018 at 8:55 am

    This is by far the dumbest take on the helmet rule. The 3-point stance IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Stop falling for such obviously trolling.

    Linemen DON’T put their head down and use their helmets to smash each other out of the stance. Please show me one single play where a lineman launched from the stance with the head down like a battering ram. DOES NOT HAPPEN. They would be benched by every coach for such stupid mistake, as every linemen has to keep their head up to see the play develop.
    ————————————–

    Just look at the stock photo with this article. Every player has their HEAD UP in the 3-point stance. EVERY SINGLE PLAYER.

  69. rxv5854 says:
    I love the “ruining the game” argument. Do you morons realize people are dying at 50 due to brain damage? But hey, as long as you’re entertained right?

    –What’s a person that’s not a fan of the game wasting time commenting on a Football site?

  70. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    May 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    thanks for making the world a safer place Libbies… history will remember Libbies as Noble for eradicating such a brutal sport…
    ————————————————–
    Leave it to a right wing contard to blame liberals for all the ills in the world. Man up and own your share, contard!

  71. I understand the league is attempting to lessen the concussion problem, but you can only change so much before the game stops looking like the game we all fell in love with. These players know the risks they take every time they step onto the field… that is the reason they make the outrageous amounts of money that they do. Most players end up with pretty normal lives, with an occasional back problem, knee ailment or just all around every day ache. It’s the few that come out of the game with a brain issue, Causing them to do something like commit suicide that has the league changing everything it can in order to lessen that chance. I’d be willing to risk my current & future health for the amount of money these guys make and I think a lot of others would agree with me. With all of today’s technology you’d figure they would be able to create a helmet good enough to protect from brain injuries or at least a way to detect when you get one. Change the protection, not the way the game is played. You are ruining it.

  72. I wish we’d get back to leather helmets and no facemasks. Let’s move the goal posts back to the goal line where they belong. dump replay, less refs on the field, 40 man rosters, 12 game seasons, no 2pt conversion, no overtime in regular season, left guard kicks FG & PAT.

    The past 70 years has ruined our beloved game.

  73. What nonsense. An offensive lineman coming out of a three-point stance engages immediately with the hands and thrusts with the hips – not smash the other guy with your facemask. This gives you leverage and power, and is the proper technique that has been taught down to the pee-wee level since before I was born. The three-point stance isn’t going anywhere.

  74. Waiting for the big spike in neck injuries and the sudden hand-wringing over “How can we make the game safer and protect against neck injuries?”

  75. I don’t think this will be an end to the 3 point stance. The biggest change will be to running backs and runners who lower their head on contact.

  76. Linemen are excellent athletes and they will continue to do their job as they have always done it: with great skill and intelligence.

  77. BS, you can fire out from a 3 pt stance and keep your head up. You hit with your face ask and forehead area. If you put your head down your gonna hurt your neck.

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