I am all for protecting players, but the competition committee is considering making a rule change in the National Football League that I cannot bare.
6. Player safety: Initiating contact with the crown of the helmet is a foul if the runner or tackler delivers a forceable blow against his opponent when both players are outside the tackle box.
If a running back can’t lower his pads and deliver a forceable blow and run over a defender in the open field, are you really playing the game of football? Likewise, if a defender can’t tackle a runner in the open field the same way, meet force with force, are you really playing football?
No. This is a thing that cannot be.
A running back needs to be able to choose the third rail of rushing the football, the rail that takes him right through a tackler. This is the baseline of running the football in the open field, the move in which all moves come off of. It’s impossible to lower your pad level and NOT lead with your helmet.
A defender also needs to defend himself in the best possible way and not being able to lower his pads — without worrying about the location of their helmet on a ballcarrier — is all but impossible. Now, there is a possibility that the interpretation of the rule will be altered or not be enforced on the field. But unless I’m reading this wrong, it will never happen.
The last few years the NFL has toyed with eliminating kickoffs, a drastic measure that would alter the game forever. There has been no talk of eliminating the kickoff this year and I hope this potential rule change, rule change #6, will suffer the same fate.