NFL video on helmet penalties fails to clear anything up


The NFL is still working on trying to get everyone on the same page about what is and is not a penalty under the new helmet rules. And the league still has a lot of work to do.

Toward that end, NFL V.P. of Officiating Al Riveron tweeted a video that shows three examples of plays from the first week of the preseason that were not illegal, and three examples of plays that were illegal.

The three legal plays are all easy to identify: Two show tacklers hitting with their shoulders, while one shows a tackler stopping and breaking down with his head up, rather than lowering his helmet to initiate contact.

Unfortunately, the three examples of penalties are much harder to decipher. One shows
Jaguars defensive end Lyndon Johnson coming out of his stance with his helmet lowered and running into a blocker, which is apparently a penalty, although it’s hard to determine exactly why it was a penalty: Johnson didn’t lower his helmet specifically to initiate contact; he simply made contact when his helmet was already lowered.

And oddly, the NFL’s video consists merely of six plays, with no commentary on what makes one play legal and another play illegal, and no closeups or arrows or any other guides for viewers to know what they’re supposed to be looking for. Why wouldn’t the NFL, a multibillion-dollar company with a big media arm, put more effort into producing a video that helps clarify this new rule?

If the replies to Riveron’s tweet are any indication, fans aren’t on board with this new rule. Responses like, “Way to completely not clear that up at all” and “Looks like regular football plays to me” and “Your examples only confused me more. This is a going to be an absolute disaster for the league” were the typical comments.

So the NFL still needs to do a better job of clearing up this rule. Preferably before the regular season starts, three weeks from tomorrow.

25 responses to “NFL video on helmet penalties fails to clear anything up

  1. We may as well face the reality that this is new “catch” rule. It WILL affect the outcome of a game this year, it will be something we argue about. It will be something for click bait blogs to chirp about.

  2. Can’t wait for next year’s rules when they take away the helmets and tackling…

  3. richndc says:

    August 15, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    It WILL affect the outcome of game this year…
    It will likely affect the outcome of most games this year.
    It’s a betting referee’s dream come true.

  4. Are they serious with that clip? I didn’t see anything that would be considered flagrant foul. This is going to suk so the mil can pass a new foul to be called and nobody really knows WTF they are talking about means it’s good for
    Football? This is beyond ludicrous. Wait until someone breaks their neck by keep his head up on a tackle. What idiots

  5. The new rule will confuse and enrage players, fans and TV analysts for the first half of the season. Then after seeing how it’s being called most people will get used to what’s a flag and what’s not. Finally in the play-offs the new rule will be forgotten and it’ll be back to how it was before.

  6. “Why wouldn’t the NFL, a multibillion-dollar company with a big media arm, put more effort into producing a video that helps clarify this new rule?”

    Because Roger Goodell. …obviously.

  7. “Why wouldn’t the NFL, a multibillion-dollar company with a big media arm, put more effort into producing a video that helps clarify this new rule?”

    Why? Because the-gang-that-can’t-shoot-straight have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

  8. Never thought I would say this, but I can’t wait for Brady to retire so I can finally stop watching this Dog and Pony show.

  9. I’m worried. Fingers crossed big time that their is resolution to the player safety issue. At some point, football has to be football, and players don’t have to play if they don’t want to.

  10. The first time a helmet touches the hem of Brady’s or Rodger’s jersey….it will look like yellow confetti raining down.

  11. Okay so I don’t normally believe in this, but the media is really stoking all of this helmet rule drama. Can’t we just enjoy the game? You are riling up all the people that wouldn’t have known better anyway, it’s just ridiculous. They are throwing red meat at the same anthem-obsessed crowd, hoping that there is enough drama to keep those types interested in the game.

  12. The NFL trying to justify this garbage rule just drives me insane. The league is in for a rude awakening. Enforcement of this rule will ruin games

  13. I am all for a rule that protects players from needless injury but this video didn’t help clear up any confusion.

    As far as Brady or Rodgers getting bonus RTP calls, not really. Easy look up shows Brady middle of the pack in both totals and per game stats. For example, since 2009 Brady has played 8 more games than Brees but Brees got 4 more RTPs. Over the same span Brady is 8th behind Fitzpatrick, Cutler, Brees, Ryan, Newton, Rodgers & Palmer. In no year during that span did Brady or Rodgers come in 1st in RTP calls, But Newton did 2x.

    Kind of blows up a few memes now doesn’t it?

  14. Perception.
    It’s all about perception these days. If the media can create and maintain the perception that the NFL execs and Roger Goodell are a bunch of bumbling fools, while at the same time ensure that the NFLPA and players are seen as innocent victims and football savants, then THAT is the narrative that the media will continue to publish.
    I have yet to see ONE positive article/story about the safety measures that the NFL is putting into place.
    Meanwhile I see millions of articles about how innocent NFLPA players are and how they are somehow “victims” of these new rules.
    The TRUE story is this, in a nutshell:
    1. Lawyers see the NFL as a cash cow with a growing brand. They would rather settle lawsuits than tarnish their brand and get excoriated by the media in long drawn out lawsuits in the public eye.
    2. PLAYERS who didn’t make much money in their careers, were baited by these lawyers into thinking that they are “victims” of the “evil” corporate NFL and deserve a huge payday. So they, along with the NFLPA (more lawyers) sued the NFL multiple times.
    3. The NFL HAD to defend itself and minimize its legal liability, so the concussion protocol and other measures were put into place in order to show the court that the NFL is doing its “due diligence” to protect its employees. Hence all the rule changes and the wussification of pro football.

    I DARE the media to refute this (because it CANNOT be refuted).
    So the PLAYERS and their lawyers are to blame for absolutely everything that is wrong with pro football.

  15. It seems that this “rule” needed more scrutiny and clarity before being released to the preseason and given the necessity to prepare Webinars, fact sheets, etc., the league knew this was going to be difficult to grasp and likely an explosive issue to begin with. This has proven to be a reality and the smart thing would be to scrap it until it can be written in a manner that is simple to understand for all. Get some input from some articulate veteran players, coaches, then run it by the league lawyer and TRY to craft a rule that is not just another divisive point of contention.
    It shouldn’t be that hard for all of these “smart guy” businessmen, and this annual debate with it’s subsequent whoop-la over another “new” rule is becoming a tired act that makes
    everyone look incompetent.
    Why does it seem that only the NFL has this level of obsession with “rules” and taking the entertainment out of it’s sport? ALL SPORTS ARE DANGEROUS and professional athletes know this more than anybody having reached this level with probably a more than a few “lessons” in pain and injury along the way.
    I can’t wait for the new CBA to begin arbitration!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.