In May, Ravens coach John Harbaugh called the new helmet rule a “great rule.” He didn’t use that phrase in the aftermath of Thursday night’s game.
After officials slapped his players with a pair of flags for lowering their helmets and initiating contact with them, Harbaugh had little to say about the situation.
“I probably didn’t see them as well as you guys did, so I would just have to wait to see the TV copies and see what they look like,” Harbaugh told reporter after the game. “So I really don’t have any comment on it. I really don’t know. If I knew I’d give you an opinion on it, but I don’t know enough about the rule to understand it right now and comment on it.”
So how can Harbaugh go from thinking it’s a “great rule” to not knowing enough about the rule to comment on it? Harbaugh likely senses that these helmet rules (yes, there are two of them) are going to change the game much more significantly than he previously was led to believe, with the weaponization of the helmet only being part of what the NFL hopes to avoid. The league by all appearances wants to complete remove the helmet from the fray, which means many more flags and fines that coaches like Harbaugh anticipated back in May.