Harbaugh: New helmet rule will affect only five percent of coaches

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At a time when some are concerned that the NFL’s broad new rule against lowering the helmet to initiate contact will dramatically change the game, one head coach believes it will dramatically affect a small handful of coaches only.

The helmet rule is going to be a great rule,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh recently said. “That’s a direction that we coach — we already coach that way to get it out of the game. I think 95 percent of the coaches in this league coach that way, and the other five percent have to get on board. The helmet is a protective device; it’s not a weapon.”

Harbaugh didn’t name names as to which coaches coach that the helmet should be used as a weapon. It would be nice to know who they are, both so that they can be outed and so that their team’s compliance (or not) with the rule can be monitored.

Coached or not, plenty of players have been using the helmet as a weapon, ever since the hard plastic shells were first affixed to players’ heads. It’s kind of amazing that it took the NFL this long to prohibit players from making themselves into projectiles with inflexible caps.

Regardless, if the game ends up looking and feeling significantly different because of the rule, fans could end up looking and feeling differently about the sport.

29 responses to “Harbaugh: New helmet rule will affect only five percent of coaches

  1. I respect John Harbaugh, but I really think he’s naive if he thinks the new rule won’t dramatically impact the game. NFL refs are already in over their heads trying to separate clean hard hits from illegal helmet contact. It’s only going to get worse with stricter rules, every hard hit will be flagged.

  2. “It would be nice to know who they are, both so that they can be outed and so that their team’s compliance (or not) with the rule can be monitored.”

    Oh please. So Harbaugh could name any 5 coaches he dislikes without any evidence they’re doing what he claims and they should be investigated? Really? What happens if a coach you don’t like accuses Harbaugh of some violation without any evidence? Would he get investigated too?

  3. I was really looking forward to the season. Was starting to make plans for the games already. This is a new year for me with how and who I’m spending my games with. I really hope this doesn’t ruin the season I’m really looking forward to watching. The catch rule was a nightmare. If this is anything like that every single game will be stopped every other play! It’s not going to be about safety. It will just be one bad call after another. Of course on more teams than others too since there won’t be any consistent type of play to call.

  4. 5 percent = 1.5 coaches.

    Whether you like them or not, it is indisputable that Steelers players make a conscious effort to lead with their helmets. Could he be talking about Tomlin? We

    Is it really indisputable? Or is it just a case of you being tired of them having a top tier team year after year for the last 4-1/2 decades? My initial thoughts would be the Bengals but…you know…who’s counting?

  5. I haven’t noticed even 1% of coaches wearing helmets, but I must admit I haven’t paid close attention to the sidelines during games.

  6. sheetolay says:
    Yea, I think Pittsburgh is one of the 5 for sure. Maybe Minn. Mia. Cinn. N.O.
    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Not sure you are grokin’ percentages brother. But no doubt, very definitely Pittsburgh. Is there any team or fan base that could use a good multi decade losing streak? Clean all those rat bandwagon ‘fans’ of that front runner organization. At least Pats fans are real fans and earned the right to enjoy prolonged success.

  7. Sometimes coaches say things that just baffle me. Every pro player that I’ve ever seen tackle someone, does it the exact same way I saw them doing it in college. Very rarely are guys learning new tackling techniques once they become pro’s. When John Harbaugh speaks, it kind of goes in one ear and out the other. I like the Harbaugh brothers, and I think they’re good coaches and also entertainers. This must be one of John’s ways of entertaining us. But this is a very serious issue, so I’m not amused.

  8. Yep. Sean “throat-slash” Payton and Gregg “the extra G is for gall” Williams.

    Others have said it here but it cannot be said enough.

  9. Florio is correct ! There are a great number of traditional old school football fans out there who want to see blocking and tackling as it used to be played.Add tenacious Defense and a great Offense and you have something exciting to watch.This current brand of flag football will not continue to survive as people are not going to spend big money to watch same.The NFL is destroying itself with rule changes that take away game continuity , defense and excitement in game play.Add to that the ludicrous over payment of players, cost to attend games and you are going to see Humpty Dumpty take a great fall…SOON ! An Alternative League that plays it like we used to see it would eat up the NFL VERY QUICKLY.I have watched this game for 62 years and I know a great many people who agree and will not continue to support the current product. Whoever is behind these changes has no clue about what the fan will pay to see !

  10. Just toss and suspend anyone that intentionally injures someone. And if he’s a repeat offender, toss and suspend the coach(es) that refuses to control his behavior.
    Looking directly at Burfict and Lewis; maybe the entire Bengal coaching staff.
    It’s a game, not a war. Learn to tell the difference.

  11. Stop adding all these new rule changes. Sign a waiver to release owners/teams from any type of severe injury post retirement. Police officers, firemen, and military put their lives on the line everyday. Your destroying what most fans grew up watching, playing, and come to love with a passion.

    The XFL, if it gets started up, will probably become the what the NFL once was…playing the game like it should be played: Teams of the 70’s – 80’s – Raiders, Steelers, Bears, Dolphins, Cowboys, Giants, and 49ers…probably the most physically and mentally toughest teams of any decade. These teams/players probably impacted the game the most, from the rise of the NFL all the way to the Pro Football HOF.

    Save the game instead of destroying it…

  12. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Not sure you are grokin’ percentages brother. But no doubt, very definitely Pittsburgh. Is there any team or fan base that could use a good multi decade losing streak? Clean all those rat bandwagon ‘fans’ of that front runner organization. At least Pats fans are real fans and earned the right to enjoy prolonged success.

    You obviously are not familiar with the Steelers history. They were founded with money won at the horse races. For decades the team had no money to afford decent players. During WWII, the team had to merge with another team for 2 years. In the 50s and 60s, the philosophy was to trade away draft picks and promising rookies for aging veterans at the end of their shelf life. It took them 40 years to win their first playoff game. Since then they have had only 3 coaches who each made multiple Super Bowl appearances and each won at least 1. I would say that the team has earned its success for the last 46 years and every fan is proud of that history. All of it.

  13. Like the new kick-off rule.
    We will see where things are at after 2 preseason games.
    If it is a rule to totally get rid of deliberate spearing with the helmet – that s OK.
    If it is used when a guy does hit with his helmet bu the runner zigged and if he had not zigged it would of been a good tackle but because he zigged it is a bad tackle.

    Kind of like how Rogers tries to put his helmet near a defenders arm so he can get a penalty.

  14. Not sure you are grokin’ percentages brother. But no doubt, very definitely Pittsburgh. Is there any team or fan base that could use a good multi decade losing streak? Clean all those rat bandwagon ‘fans’ of that front runner organization. At least Pats fans are real fans and earned the right to enjoy prolonged success.
    ***********************

    Ummm what? Pats fans are the most bandwagon fans in the whole NFL. You can’t hold the record for consecutive blackouts, 17 games in a row, and say you’re great fans. That’s over 2 seasons of football with out selling out 1 game. GTFOOH.

  15. enoughofthatalready i know the steagles history too, hotshot. And yes its time for another 40 years of torpor. You know its bad when Charm City rates higher for me. Survive some bad seasons and see how many ‘fans’ are left flying those ugly back flags. They’ll be on to the Rams or some other flavor of the week.
    HTTR

  16. Harbaugh didn’t name names as to which coaches coach that the helmet should be used as a weapon.

    —————————————————————————-

    No, but the media was waiting with bated breath so they could blow his comments out of proportion, had he did.

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