Many have complained about the NFL’s new helmet rule, and how it is moving the game closer and closer to flag football or back yard two-hand touch. Marshall Faulk says get rid of helmets, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten just wants consistency on calls and Eric Dickerson wonders what’s next, the stiff arm?
But at least one NFL coach is defending the rule, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher.
“I think this is a huge victory for the National Football League,” Fisher said on the NFL Network, via PFT. “Here’s how the game should be played: Let’s bring the shoulder back. We’ve lost the shoulder in the game. Let’s bring it back.”
Tackling and leading with the shoulder, versus the helmet, is an old fundamental in football. I remember being instructed to move my head to the side of the body and lead with my shoulder as a child.
Part of the concern is that those famous, tackle breaking runs, will be removed from the game. The key to remember is that this rule is only for plays outside of the tackle box, or in the open field. No Adrian Peterson bull dozing a Tyrann Mathieu sized cornerback outside the hashmarks. But still fears of more flags and penalties negating big plays worry most in the NFL.
“It’s not going to be over-officiated,” Fisher said. “The key thing here is you can deliver a blow with shoulder, with face, with hairline. It’s just deliberately striking with the crown, the top of the helmet.”
The rule passed with a 31-1 vote.
“Every step along the way we’ve been unanimous,” Fisher said. “If the players knew the amount of time that went into this they’d have a better understanding.”
Players have been widely critical of the rule, but those who’ve studied it, coaches and medical personnel alike, agree this rule needs to change.