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.