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Major Rule Change the NFL Is Proposing Now That Has Some Fuming

posted 3/15/2013 12:26:32 PM |
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•The NFL Competition Committee announced several potential rule changes Thursday.
•Among them are the controversial tuck rule and a ban against lowering of helmets by ball carriers to knock into a defensive player.
•“You’ve absolutely lost your mind.” — Emmitt Smith
•Changes will be decided upon by team owners next week at the league’s annual meeting in Phoenix.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (52) tackles Green Bay Packers running back DuJuan Harris (26) during the first half of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game in San Francisco, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (Photo: AP/Ben Margot)

Changes to how the game of American football is played by the National Football League have been traditionally met with discontent from fans. With six new proposed rule changes on the table, it seems the reaction this time around will be a mixed bag.

One of the most notable proposed changes would be a rule banning running backs — or whomever is carrying the ball — from lowering their helmets to go head-first into a defender while outside the immediate tackle box. The rule would make it a 15-yard penalty if the crown of the helmet is used in contact outside the tackle box. Incidental contact with the crown of the helmet though would not be a penalty.

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore is seen during the Super Bowl putting the crown of his helmet into a Baltimore Ravens playing in what would an incidental move. Under the proposed rule, purposefully doing this would result in a penalty.


“This is pure and simple a player safety rule,” Competition Committee co-chairman Rich McKay, who is president of the Atlanta Falcons, said according to the Associated Press. “The time has come we need to address the situation. You can’t duck your head and deliver a forcible blow with your helmet.”

But, as with other safety changes the NFL has instituted in recent years, there are those who are not happy. The radio station 105.3 The Fan reported retired running back Emmitt Smith saying “you’ve absolutely lost your mind,” over the proposed change. Here’s more on what Smith told The Fan (via CBS Local DFW)

“If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off?’’ Smith said.


“As a running back, it’s almost impossible [to not lower your head],’’ said the Dallas Cowboys legend. “The first thing you do is get behind your shoulder pads. That means you’re leaning forward and the first part of contact that’s going to take place is your head, regardless.

“I disagree with the rule altogether. It doesn’t make any sense for that position. It sounds like it’s been made up by people who have never played the game of football.’’

The Blaze

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Mar 15 @ 1:42PM  
You and I may be the only ones very interested in this topic I didn't think the article you posted went into the proposed changes very well, so I am putting one in that goes over all of the proposed changes. Sorry for no direct link but my mouse is being uncooperative in selecting passages including URLs


Tuck Rule Change Among Proposals to Be Examined by NFL Committee

The National Football League’s competition committee will ask owners to modify the so-called tuck rule to make it a fumble rather than an incompletion when a quarterback loses the ball as he brings it to his body.
Rich McKay, the Atlanta Falcons’ president and co-chairman of the committee, said many such plays were being called as fumbles on the field before getting reversed by replay officials because of the rule’s language.
“We’ve been talking about this for too many years,” McKay told reporters on a conference call yesterday. “We were swayed by the officials themselves who met with us in Indianapolis and were very comfortable calling this.”
If the quarterback loses the ball while his arm is going forward, the play would remain an incomplete pass, McKay said. The rule used to consider the quarterback’s throwing motion to last from the time he begins moving his arm forward until he tucks the ball back against his body.
The tuck rule saved Tom Brady and the New England Patriots from a fumble late in a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders in 2002. The Patriots went on to win the first of three Super Bowl titles.
The committee also proposed a change that would prevent runners or defenders from lowering their heads to initiate contact with the crown of the helmet while approaching each other outside the tackle box. McKay said the change would protect players and force them to choose safer techniques.
Another proposed rule change would allow officials to use instant replay even if a coach incorrectly throws a challenge flag on a play subject to automatic review.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz challenged a touchdown run by the Houston Texans’ Justin Forsett in a game last year and thus negated the automatic review of scoring plays, which probably would have wiped out the touchdown because Forsett was clearly down.
Owners will discuss the proposed changes when the league’s 32 teams meet in Arizona next week.

Mar 15 @ 2:01PM  
Bruce, the only proposed rule change that got my attention was the one I blogged about. I think it's a stupid ass one! The NFL might as well make Bloomberg the new NFL commish as far as I'm concerned!

Mar 15 @ 2:03PM  
I agree I am not in favor of that. If they put that in what's next, flag football?

Mar 16 @ 7:05AM  
"I agree I am not in favor of that. If they put that in what's next, flag football?"
That's my thoughts also!!!!

Mar 20 @ 2:53PM  
Well, they adopted the dropping of the tuck rule and banning the helmet use by running backs

Mar 20 @ 9:37PM  
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - In an age when there is increased scrutiny about concussions and an emphasis on player safety at an all-time high, NFL owners approved the much scrutinized rule proposal that no longer allows offensive and defensive players from using their head as a weapon.

On the final day of the Annual Meetings, the proposal to prohibit ball carriers and defensive players from using the crown of their helmet to initiate contact in the open field ended up passing 31-1 on Wednesday. The only one to vote against it was Mike Brown of the Bengals.

The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Major Rule Change the NFL Is Proposing Now That Has Some Fuming