Jabrill Peppers complains that rule changes have made the NFL too soft

New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns
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One of the challenges facing the NFL when trying to change player safety rules is that many players don’t want the game to be safer.

Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers says he preferred an earlier era of football and believes the NFL has gone too far with its player protections.

I’ve knocked a couple people out before,” Peppers said, via MassLive.com. “Some of them weren’t even tackles. Guys coming to block me or back when crack blocking was legal. The game is soft as hell now. Any time you hit somebody and it looks too hard, they flag you. I definitely had to change my game up a little bit. When I get a chance to lay a lick on somebody, I try to do it. But it’s tough in today’s climate.”

Peppers understands why the game has changed, but he doesn’t agree with it.

“I feel like they had to with all the concussions, CTE came out and all that,” Peppers said. “I feel like they tried to make the game more safe, I guess. But for me, it’s like, we’ve all been playing football, some of since we were six, seven years old. We know what we’re getting ourselves into. But I think they’ve definitely made the game a lot softer. Receivers aren’t scared to come across the middle anymore because they know there are certain amount of ways we can only hit them. Back then, receivers were afraid to come across the middle because they knew punishment awaits. It’s a whole different game, but they want to see points scored, not good defense being played.”

Peppers said Patriots coach Bill Belichick sometimes shows the team clips of old games, and Peppers wishes he could have played in an earlier era.

“I say that every day, because Bill’s a big historian. Every time he shows some old film, I’m like, ‘Man, I should have played back in the day,’” Peppers said. “The big shoulder pads. Only a couple route concepts. You know they’re going to run the ball downhill, two back, Wing T, Now the game’s gotten kinda soft, man.”

13 responses to “Jabrill Peppers complains that rule changes have made the NFL too soft

  1. I can’t see a reason disagree with anything he said. Yes, protections are needed, but the pendulum has swung too far that direction.

  2. The reason the game has been softened is the threat of CTE related lawsuits, not “player safety”.
    However, there has been a decline in kids from more educated families playing football as the dangers of the sport become better known.
    Other sports are gaining (slowly).

    I prefer the old way, but its bad for the players.
    The NFL is trying to adapt.

  3. The kid is a big hitter and that is a big part of his game. He needs to listen to Rodney Harrison and other “big hitters” from the Good Ole Days and how they have had to deal with debilitating episodes of depression and all of their struggles in theirblife after football. It is easy to say “we know what we signed up for” but really have no clue what is coming down the road.

  4. As a grammar school kid who got into the game in the late 70’s, I obviously agree with his sentiments. I cannot ever envision a time when the NFL will ever again be as great as it was in the 80’s (or before that if you’re older than I am). Its just a different game now….Its still pretty good though.

  5. “I prefer the old way”.

    Maybe if Jabril Peppers learned how to play actual SMART football and used his brain instead of launching it towards other players like a missile, he wouldn’t be on his 3rd team on a 1 year deal after 5 years in the league.

    Destroying a receiver is way down on the list of important skills. You have to be able to cover, man to man or space (Peppers can’t), wrap and tackle (Peppers can’t), and play within a scheme (Peppers can’t).

    He seems to thinks if he was allowed to head hunt, he’d be more valuable. Hint: He wouldn’t be.

  6. YEA, you say that now “BUT”talk to us in about 15-20 years, when your body catches up with your brain.

  7. It was only 20 years ago when it was still okay to totally blow up a receiver as long as the ball was there. Guys were getting concussed. And it okay to drill the QB to the turf if he had let go of the pass a full second earlier. Yes I enjoyed the game a lot then, too. But we all know it really sucks to be in poor health. These guys are human beings. Back then many people looked at them as something less than that.

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