In regards of the “Tuck Rule” change, it was a long time coming, but I’m sure the Raiders aren’t thinking better that than never.
The controversial rule change that has taken the league by storm is banning “crown-of-the-helmet hits outside of the tackle box.” So, basically NFL officials are saying players cannot lean forward with their helmets in the open field to take on defenders.
From Pop Warner all the way to college football, players are taught to lower their pads to either protect themselves from punishing blows or to dish out the blow.
And by players, I specifically mean running backs.
When something is embedded into your mind, into your DNA, how can you erase instincts? Altering a quarterbacks’ throwing mechanics should in no form or fashion fall into comparison of instincts. Changing when to release the ball, the cadence of a drop back and the overall form is seen as a manual change, not mental. This almost compares to the NBA’s decision to ban flopping. “Flopping” was defined as fooling the referee to make the improper call. It increased the difficult of officiating. All in all, a smart move by the association.
Well, how are NFL referees to judge a running back lowering his shoulders and not the crown-of-the-helmet? Now, I’m no expert in anatomy, but I believe your head and neck is attached to your shoulders. Take the time to lower your shoulders without your head and neck and see if that is possible. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has stood for pro health and safety since he has took over the reigns, but prohibiting players from lowering their shoulders only makes them more open and accessible to big hits from 6’3″ 250 pound, ultra-athletic linebackers.
This rule change unfairly targets big, bruising backs whose style of play is to physically punish defenders. However, all running backs lower their shoulders that inevitably causes them to drop their head. Although, what about shifty tailbacks who elude defenders and avoid contact? Could they gain an advantage from this ruling?
Technically speaking, running backs like Darren Sproles, Reggie Bush, LaMichael James or C.J. Spiller could benefit from the ruling because they are runners that bounce to the outside and make people miss.But let’s face it, you can’t get around lowering your shoulders whether you’re Barry Sanders or Earl Campbell.
A 15-yard penalty and a possible fine for lowering your shoulders?
I believe Bears running back Matt Forte said it best in a tweet:
Guess I’ll get my fine money ready -Matt Forte
Or maybe free agent running back Brandon Jacobs sent a better tweet:
Get your daughters ready, because they’ll be playing football soon!!!!! – Brandon Jacobs