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More Rule Changes

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Post by CFCNick Tue 24 May 2011, 11:26 pm

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The NFL owners approved three rule changes this morning by a unanimous vote of 32-0, all closely related to player safety.


The first rule expands the definition of who is considered to be a defenseless player and therefore provided more protection. Receivers who have not yet become a runner, a kicker or punter during a return, and a quarterback following a turnover will now all be considered defenseless players. In addition, any player that is blocked from the blindside (side or behind) while moving towards his own endzone will also be considered defenseless. The rule offers more protection for receivers who are often hit just when their feet hit the ground and they aren't yet able to protect themselves. Players considered defenseless cannot be hit above the shoulders with a helmet, facemask, shoulder or forearm.

The second rule change expands the definition of "launching" to include any player that leaves his feet prior to contact with the opponent and causes helmet to helmet contact. The player must spring up and forward towards his opponent for it to be considered a launch. Illegal hits will be subject to a 15 yard penalty, potential ejection for a flagrant violation and possible fines and suspensions.

The final change gives officials more freedom to determine whether a blow to the head of a quarterback is hard enough to warrant a penalty. In the past, any time a defender made contact with a quarterback's head it was considered a violation. Now officials can forego a penalty if they determine the blow was only grazing or not delivered with a lot of force.

The rule changes continue the NFL's recent efforts to protect their players from injuries, especially concussions.

Source: http://www.giants.com/news/headlines/story.asp?story_id=44859


Personally while I agree with the NFL's stance on reducing concussions I don't like the new "defenseless player" rule.

and a quarterback following a turnover will now all be considered defenseless players
Off the top of my head Kurt Warner comes to mind during the 2010 Playoffs when he was crushed while the Saints ran back an interception.

The rule offers more protection for receivers who are often hit just when their feet hit the ground and they aren't yet able to protect themselves.
I'm 50/50 on this one, I can find arguments either way but nothing in favour of one majorly.

I like the 2nd and 3rd, but it's the 1st one that has many grey areas. Now QB's, Kickers and Punters get a free shot at ball carriers on turnovers instead of being blocked like Mason Crosby @ Atlanta in the Divisional Playoff.

What do you guys think?

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Post by Derbyblue Wed 25 May 2011, 12:13 am

So quarterbacks could choose to go and stop the interception being returned for a touchdown but are "defenseless"?

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Post by CFCNick Wed 25 May 2011, 12:55 am

It looks that way

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Post by Grizzly Wed 25 May 2011, 8:39 am

Agree with the receivers rule but cannot have the QB rule.
I've seen many QBs run the defender down who has intercepted his pass - didn't Big Ben famously do this in a Championship game a few years ago ?
As I read it any QB who is attempting to chase down a defender who has possession is still deemed 'defenceless' even though his intention is to nail the defender if he makes the ground ?

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Post by AdZacO Wed 25 May 2011, 9:26 am

Am i reading it wrong or does it mean you cant do helmet to helmet on a QB if it has been intercepted. As as soon as a QB throws an int lots of defenders try and knock the QB out.

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Post by AdZacO Wed 25 May 2011, 9:29 am

From the redskins website;

Explaining the “defenseless player” rule change, competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay told the Associated Press that “it would “give a receiver protection until he becomes a runner and has the opportunity to defend himself.”

Said McKay: "We saw too many helmet-to-helmet or shoulder-to-helmet hits where the receiver has just caught the ball and has two feet on the ground and has not had a chance to protect himself."

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Post by AdZacO Wed 25 May 2011, 9:30 am

So as i read it, it means you cant hit a receiver before runner, QB, Kicker or Punter, in the helmet. Normal hits/blocks are allowed

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Post by AdZacO Wed 25 May 2011, 9:49 am

Again from redskins website to clear it up;

The third measure makes the level of contact on quarterbacks a judgment call for officials. The change was implemented to insure that an inadvertent touching of a quarterback’s head would not be automatically interpreted as a blow to the head.

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Post by skins4ever Wed 25 May 2011, 11:26 am

As I understand it, its saying you cannot make a helmet/shoulder/forearm hit tot he helmet on a defenceless player. It doesn't say he can't be blocked/tackled legally. I believe its avoiding the cheap shots following TO's on QB's, not wrapping them in cotton wool.

On the whole I agree with making the players safer, as long as the game remains entertaining. We all love a big hit, but I don't think anyone wants to see a big hit at the expense of a players career.

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