Speakers in every player’s helmet would eliminate need to huddle

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The idea came during a radio interview this week. The question was: Because of COVID-19, do you expect any changes on the field, like more no huddle?

Here’s my thought: Why not equip every helmet for every player with a speaker?

Every player on offense would get the call from the sideline, without the need for the quarterback to relay the play call in a huddle. The same would happen on defense: With every player getting the call from the defensive coordinator.

That would eliminate the need to huddle, where players cannot, by definition, socially distance.

It is not known whether the NFL and NFLPA have considered this, but both sides surely are looking for every possible safety measure they can implement to keep players safe. There are no guarantees, for obvious reasons in a contact sport, that the league will start and finish a 16-game season as planned, but the more health and safety measures they can take to help, the better chance they have.

As it stands now, only one player on offense and one player on defense can wear the speaker helmet on the field at a time. Helmet speaker technology began in 1994, allowing coaches to talk to quarterbacks through a one-way communication device that shuts off with 15 seconds left on the play clock.

In 2008, the NFL allowed a defensive player to wear a speaker helmet so a coach could communicate directly with a player on the defense.

Now, the NFL needs at least to consider taking it a step further this season.

30 responses to “Speakers in every player’s helmet would eliminate need to huddle

  1. They are playing football…They are going to run into each other constantly. This seems illogical. They should be tested almost every day so if they are all negative it doesn’t matter. The only way this season stays afloat is if they are constantly testing and quarantining personnel infected.

    Imagine a player get infected on Monday and they don’t test until Friday and half the team is infected for two weeks and have to forfeit two weeks. Does the NFL have enough access to tests to keep the season afloat?

  2. What is the point of eliminating the huddle if they are then going to run into each during the actual play?

  3. This is a great idea that will be thumbed down by the pft change-hating community.

  4. That’s actually a pretty good idea but, as others have pointed out, how much will it really do? The players will be tested so theoretically no one out there will have the virus, and skipping the huddle really only protects you from your own quarterback who is yelling the play call at you.

  5. If they are looking to speed up the game, sure.

    But seems unlikely doing away with huddles will put a dent in the whole COVID thing, given upwards of 20 sweaty dudes are crashing into each other and grappling at close quarters on every play.

  6. Maybe leave the mics on for the entire play clock, too, so McVey or whoever can make the QBs’ reads for him from the sideline. It’s time the offenses got some advantages in this league!

  7. How about the offensive line lines up 6 feet apart.. and the players can’t block. Once the defender gets within 6 feet of the QB the play automatically ends. Also.. Forget about press coverage.


  8. Or they could just not worry about getting what’s essentially a mild case of the flu for 99.999% of people their ages.

  9. And then we can use laser tag to replace tackles…and then we can mandate linemen are at least 6 feet from each other…and then we can all drink heavily and just forget about football. Play the season or don’t. It’s that simple.

  10. Like mfiafdb says.. Just stop.. So now all 94 players on the field and sidelines have to have working speakers 100% of the time lest there be an unfair advantage if one player’s helmet isn’t working with time running off the clock? Maybe each player can have a blue flag they can throw to stop the game if their helmet doesn’t work. But only three per game, and you get an extra one if… ah, nevermind..

  11. I find it hilarious that every single play results in guys laying on top of each other but it’s the HUDDLE that is drawing concern in this article.

  12. Either play football the normal way (violating social distance) or wait until there is a vaccine or treatment. Anything in between is just stupid.

  13. They’re lining up next to each other. They’re tackling each other. But eliminating the huddle will make all the difference.

  14. Baseball needs this for batter base runners and pitcher catchers. Would speed the game up by a half hour.

  15. This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard anyone not named Trump say in many years.

    Speakers in the helmet for professional football players? You realize most high school teams have the players look over to the sideline to get the signal for what play to run?

    Beyond that, how does not huddling help prevent the spread of COVID19 in football?!? Have you ever seen a football game? Most of the time when a player is blocking another player, or guarding another player, or tackling another player, or lining up next to a fellow player, they are LESS THAN 6 FEET APART!

  16. Then the play clock would need to be shorter, maybe 12 seconds? Then they could sell more commercials to make the game stay at 3 hours. It’s all game hurry up offense with no break for the defense too. This is a stupid idea.

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