Why the new helmet rule isn’t that bad
A new rule where running backs aren’t allowed to lead with the crown of their helmets just passed and everyone is freaking out about it.
The NFL has some very passionate fans so the knee jerk reaction by both players and fans is to be expected.
Jim Brown seems to be the only running back who supports it. Most people seem to be worried about the integrity of the game and it turning into a watered down version of itself a few decades down the road.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the end is not nigh. Things will be just fine with the game we all so worship. This isn’t a final set in stone rule. The day one controversial rule passes one gets taken away. The infamous tuck rule, which essentially set in motion the New England Patriots dynasty, was taken away.
Take a few deep breathes and listen up. A few years ago people were complaining about the NFL trying to limit helmet to helmet hits. Well, did you notice something after the rule passed? Oh yeah! An offensive explosion in the NFL the likes of which we have never seen!
What exactly did limiting helmet to helmet hits do? It opened up the middle of the field and created more passing lanes for QB’s. Hard hitting safeties went extinct over night and quarterbacks felt a lot more confident throwing into traffic.
Not only that quarterbacks are more protected than ever before. If a defensive end sneezes and a booger lands on the face of Tom Brady then its a 15 yard penalty.
This gave quarterbacks even more confidence to step up and throw deep in the pocket because they know they aren’t going to get Molly Whopped like they used to.
Of course all these rules have been brought up in the best interests of the owners. The owners have liability to worry about and if they don’t at least show they’re trying to be safer than, as we have seen, they will be sued.
Owners also want to protect their investments. They don’t want to sink $100 million into the face of their franchise and watch him miss games or end his career because of injury.
I know most people don’t want to see the NFL in this light but it’s the truth. The thing that brings new fans to the game are more points, more yards and bigger plays!
Well, that’s exactly what we got, didn’t we? The past few years have been crazy. We have 4-6 QB’s pushing 5000 yards every year now, defensive ends getting between 15-20 and rookie QB’s playing like 10 year vets!
The big reason being because of the NFL limiting helmet to helmet hits. So, now we have a better product on the field and everyone is still complaining? Now we have this running back rule where they can’t lower their head and lead with their crown.
It does kind of suck a little bit but is it really going to ruin the quality of the game? No, I highly doubt it. The NFL fields the best athletes in the world. I would expect that the very best and most athletically gifted players will adjust somehow. The others won’t make it.
I’m sure everyone is worrying about how Adrian Peterson’s game will be affected or Trent Richardson. I’m sure it’s a knee jerk reaction to assume that their games will suffer and so will the game as a whole.
Trust me when I say this, it won’t. The two guys I mentioned are creative athletes who will learn how to improvise.
Jim Brown even says he never led with his crown and that he used his shoulders, arms and hands. Adrian Peterson is similar in that he’s a big physical runner with game breaking speed.
If you haven’t noticed as well the best running backs are smaller and quicker. In other words their game isn’t dominated by lowering their helmet. Their strengths lie in making people miss and finesse.
The fullback is already extinct, replaced by H-backs with more speed. Those guys would have really been effected in the worse way.
But at the end of the day the game will be fine. Expect the offensive explosion to level off somewhat as defenses adjust down the road. I expect it to explode for a little longer as more and more teams move to the spread and exploit one on one match ups.
So remember, next time some old dude stuck in the glory day’s complains about the integrity of the game and how bad it’s getting, ask him what he thought of the last 3 years.
If he says they were amazing and some of the best football he’s ever seen then you can call him a hypocrite.