League officials to discuss new helmet rule on Wednesday

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With the start of the regular season little more than two weeks away, the NFL will be discussing the preseason experiences with the new helmet rule on Wednesday.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a previously-scheduled conference call will take up the issue of the suddenly-controversial new rule, which had been hiding in plain sight but which didn’t become an issue until preseason games began. But while the call wasn’t scheduled specifically to discuss possible fixes to the rule, it’s expected that participants in the call will lobby for potential tweaks.

Possibilities include expressly limiting application of the rule to the top/crown of the helmet. As currently written, the rule applies to any portion of the helmet — front, top, side, anywhere. The rule also could be adjusted to, for example, require forcible helmet contact, to exempt incidental helmet contact, and/or to specifically eliminate from the reach of the rule hits from the side, which happen as defensive players chase the offensive player with the ball.

It’s also possible that replay review will be made available to serve as a fallback for mistakes made by officials who are trying their best in real time to identify what is and isn’t happening.

The overriding goal will be to come up with ways to narrow the focus for the officials. For now, the trigger seems to be spotting the linear posture, with a player lowering his head and flattening his back. Once a player assumes that demeanor, the foul becomes automatic if he initiates contact with the helmet. The better approach may be to focus on the quality of the hit, a know-it-when-you-see-it-type assessment aimed at wiping out instances where the helmet truly is being used as a weapon, not as a piece of equipment that from time to time happens to get in the way as players are trying to do their jobs.

52 responses to “League officials to discuss new helmet rule on Wednesday

  1. What is so difficult about this, clowns?

    DO NOT USE YOUR HELMET TO HIT ANOTHER PLAYER AND DON’T HIT ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE HELMET?

    Why can’t you use your arms and body to chest tackle above the waist and below the neck? If you can’t, you don’t deserve to be a PROFESSIONAL.

  2. If its just league officials an no coaches or player representation there is only 1 possible result – they will somehow find a way to make this awful rule even worse and more confusing than it already is.

  3. The league was dumb enough to implement it to begin with, does anyone really believe they are smart enough to fix it this close to the start of the season? They need the entire offseason just to spell their names.

  4. Carroll Prescott says:
    August 20, 2018 at 7:03 pm
    What is so difficult about this, clowns?

    DO NOT USE YOUR HELMET TO HIT ANOTHER PLAYER AND DON’T HIT ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE HELMET?

    Why can’t you use your arms and body to chest tackle above the waist and below the neck? If you can’t, you don’t deserve to be a PROFESSIONAL.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A defender can tackle that way, but if the runner moves and their helmets hit, or the runner shifts his body and the defenders helmet hits the runners body, then a flag will be thrown.

    And if a defender wraps up a QB like you are saying, a roughing the passer call will be called. Definitely for anyone hitting the wimp to the East of the Twin Cities.

  5. This will be interesting, for a billion dollar business who
    depends upon its media, they sure have screwed this one up.
    Wait until the season starts and we add two to three more penalties
    a game. The NFL is over officiated amd is becoming overwhelmingly
    painful to watch because of the endless tickey tacky penalties.

  6. The definitely should be an addendum excepting non-forcible contact.

    Beyond that – it should technically be possible to play the game with out smashing heads. but yes it would be a totally different game.

  7. “…call will take up the issue of the suddenly-controversial new rule, which had been hiding in plain sight but which didn’t become an issue until preseason games began.”

    ————

    This rule was NOT hiding in plain sight and it was an issue from the beginning.

  8. I don’t blame the league for trying to limit head injuries because of all the lawsuits from former broke players. If they didn’t do something more lawsuits would come. The NFL should just make all players sign a play at your own risk like Nascar drivers sign. You know it’s dangerous but you chose to still play… sign here or do something else.

  9. Make it only a foul if the crown of the helmet is used to make first contact.

    ANY other part of the helmet is fine. Take the ‘lowering of the head’ part completely out of the rule.

    Then make sure the officials are told that it must be CLEAR and OBVIOUS that the crown was used before it becomes a penalty.

    Done.👏

    Let’s start the season🏈

  10. never in my life have I ever been less interested in the start of football. I normally spend hours a week following my local beat writers and watching preseason. This year I have spent minimal time, and occasionally check pft. While nascar was never even close to what the nfl is, the nfl should take a hard look at how quickly they lost their fan base with constant rule changes.

  11. This is not that difficult.

    “A player shall not use his helmet to intentionally injure an opposing player.

    The intent to injure shall be in the officials’ discretion.

    No injury shall imply intent and lack of an injury shall not imply lack of intent.”

    Call it like an unnecessary roughness call.

  12. This is what happens when you start “tweaking” the rules in sports.
    The nerds who want all of the changes can’t get enough and want more. The replay rule is clear evidence.
    It’s a physical sport and guys are going to get hurt unfortunately, but you can’t wliminate everything to do with a tackle or defending a receiver. That’s where the NFL is right now. What part of the body can be hit?
    Flag football’s not that far away.

  13. Pretty soon it will be an automatic runoff of 30 seconds outside of 5:00 end of either half after a replay review just to keep these games inside 3.5 hours. Which will mean even less live action and the same amountor more commercial breaks.

  14. Just trying to keep defensive juggernauts like the Jags and Vikes from making the Super Bowl.

  15. truevision21 says:
    August 20, 2018 at 8:26 pm
    If you can’t see what you hit then it’s a penalty. How about we just do that?

    ——————————————————————————————

    The game speed makes it impossible to get it right. That’s why the officials have no chance with this new rule.
    I would be willing to bet that if they polled every player in the NFL, 90% of them would say they should scrap this rule and go back to the way it was.

  16. Here’s my solution: have a meeting with every head coach and defensive coordinator, plus three players from every team elected by their teammates to represent them (one from offense, one from defense, and one from special teams). Also have every official there.
    Tell them they have 8 hours to come up with a solution they agree on to clarify or get rid of this rule. Give everyone a chance to speak.
    If they can’t agree on one idea in 8 hours, tell them it’s done — the rule will be scrapped altogether.

  17. This rule is way worse than the catch rule. Get rid of it and re think for next season! If this does stay the games will take up to 4 hours. What a shame that the nfl cant get their crap together.

  18. in the old adage of “it’s going to get worse before it gets better” …we are currently in the process of getting worse. between this and the national anthem fiasco. the nfl just can not seem to figure anything out anymore. makes it hard to continue to be a fan.

  19. What? Are they going to have a Cornhole Tournament in Goodell’s office to ratify the final helmet rules for 2018? Boy oh boy…

  20. Carroll Prescott has clearly never played football, let alone any contact sport. Even at the lowest level, the game moves too fast to pinpoint such a specific area to contact. Players are ducking/diving to get yards and it cannot be controlled in certain instances. Not to mention, the head goes anywhere your body goes!! You are the clown sir.

  21. This is how the NFL discusses these things

    “Something we have done appears to have been a mistake”
    “Sez who?”
    “everybody. Its actually kind of obviousl
    “Well then put out a press release that we take this very seriously and have looked at it very closely and there is no indication we made a mistake but we continue to monitor and plan to discuss it more in the future”
    “Will do. Good work sir!”
    “Thank you”
    “BTW Jerry is on line 2, hes been trying to reach you all morning”
    “Tell him I am not available right now”
    “Are you sure, he sounds pretty fired up about something”
    “Oh, then tell him I am away all week”

  22. 2 thoughts
    first this was a very good way of the league to get people to stop talking about what is a catch. SARCASM

    2nd this Idiot
    Carroll Prescott says:
    August 20, 2018 at 7:03 pm
    What is so difficult about this, clowns?

    DO NOT USE YOUR HELMET TO HIT ANOTHER PLAYER AND DON’T HIT ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE HELMET?

    Why can’t you use your arms and body to chest tackle above the waist and below the neck? If you can’t, you don’t deserve to be a PROFESSIONAL.

    what do you want want Elite Athletes at running into one another at full speed with their heads ups leaving their knecks exsposed to Blount force trauma.
    “really” that would not be good

  23. If it were not for sports betting, DFS/Fantasy etc. the NFL would collapse like a house of cards. They are trying to prevent contact injuries in a contact/violent sport. It ain’t gonna happen, and the game even remotely continue to resemble what we know as pro football. This rule, is just another sign the NFL is on the way out unless real changes to the leadership are made. IMO…

  24. Here’s my solution: put a helmet on all the “League Officials” and have them lower their heads and ram into one another. Hopefully they will knock some sense into each other and fix this stupid rule.

  25. What is so difficult about this, clowns?
    DO NOT USE YOUR HELMET TO HIT ANOTHER PLAYER AND DON’T HIT ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE HELMET?
    Why can’t you use your arms and body to chest tackle above the waist and below the neck? If you can’t, you don’t deserve to be a PROFESSIONAL.

    ========
    You obviously don’t understand this new rule. Technically ever tackle is illegal with it in the books as it’s written. Any contact with the helmet no matter the spot, or if it’s incidental is a penalty. This leaves it up to the disgression of the refs on what to really call a penalty or not.

  26. Instead of “fixing rules”, try fixing helmets!

    Today’s football helmets with a hard shell outside with padding added to the inside are not much different than the helmets I used over 40 yrs ago.

    There was a time when the NFL allowed their players who were concerned about helmet safety to use helmets that added an additional layer of padding to the outside of the standard NFL helmet. It was called the “Pro Cap” and it worked extremely well for those players who were concerned about playing football without without the threat of concussions.

    Look it up yourself…”Pro Cap”…like the one Mark Kelso used to extend his career.

  27. cheapseater says:
    August 20, 2018 at 8:33 pm
    Just trying to keep defensive juggernauts like the Jags and Vikes from making the Super Bowl.

    —————

    I’d say those teams already do an adaquate job at that all by themselves

  28. gust 20, 2018 at 8:53 pm
    Here’s my solution: have a meeting with every head coach and defensive coordinator, plus three players from every team elected by their teammates to represent them (one from offense, one from defense, and one from special teams). Also have every official there.
    Tell them they have 8 hours to come up with a solution they agree on to clarify or get rid of this rule. Give everyone a chance to speak.
    If they can’t agree on one idea in 8 hours, tell them it’s done — the rule will be scrapped altogether.
    ————————–
    Better yet…tell them that after 8 hours, if they are unable to come up with an alternative, the rule will stand as is….that will speed up the process

  29. Carroll Prescott says:
    August 20, 2018 at 7:03 pm
    What is so difficult about this, clowns?

    DO NOT USE YOUR HELMET TO HIT ANOTHER PLAYER AND DON’T HIT ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE HELMET?

    Why can’t you use your arms and body to chest tackle above the waist and below the neck? If you can’t, you don’t deserve to be a PROFESSIONAL.

    ———-
    Do you even watch or like the game of football?

  30. The technology has arrived years ago. The biggest scientific breakthrough in professional sports history arrived over five years ago, when Bill Gates and physicians engineered a helmet with sensors that lights up when the brain is concussed. Why are they adding more rules, when the NFL has the scientific breakthrough to detect a concussion during a game? Well, it’s the billion dollar question. Whether the head is up or down, the player faces risk of CTE…!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/highschools/the-future-of-football-equipment-measuring-a-hits-impact-on-the-brain-not-just-the-helmet/2017/06/02/d6dd0cb8-47b0-11e7-98cd-af64b4fe2dfc_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5b2c35e32946

  31. freefromwhatyouare says:
    August 20, 2018 at 7:38 pm
    Make it only a foul if the crown of the helmet is used to make first contact.

    ANY other part of the helmet is fine. Take the ‘lowering of the head’ part completely out of the rule.

    Then make sure the officials are told that it must be CLEAR and OBVIOUS that the crown was used before it becomes a penalty.

    Done.👏

    Let’s start the season🏈

    ————————

    Perfect. I’m down with that. Too bad the NFL doesn’t care what fans think.

  32. whoismikejones13 says:
    August 21, 2018 at 10:11 am
    The technology has arrived years ago. The biggest scientific breakthrough in professional sports history arrived over five years ago, when Bill Gates and physicians engineered a helmet with sensors that lights up when the brain is concussed. Why are they adding more rules, when the NFL has the scientific breakthrough to detect a concussion during a game? Well, it’s the billion dollar question. Whether the head is up or down, the player faces risk of CTE…!

    —————-

    “Why are they adding more rules, when the NFL has the scientific breakthrough to detect a concussion during a game?”

    Because the intent of the rule is eliminating behavior that causes head (and neck/spine) injury. A guy can get concussed falling backward and hitting his head on the turf or against another player’s knee. Helmet sensors could help determine if the guy stays in the game, but would do nothing for officiating the game itself.

  33. This rule is 100% about them being able to claim in lawsuits they’ve been trying to make the game safer. Only thing is none of the geniuses thought about a few obvious problems with that: 1. The penalties only come after the hits happen so the game is no safer; it’s just got a few more penalties being called. 2. The plaintiffs in the lawsuits will now have concrete numbers to tell juries “Look at how many flags were thrown over illegal hits to the head.” This rule will totally come back to bite the NFL in court.

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