Are we overreacting for a good reason?

Posted: October 20, 2010 in NFL

Football is a violent, dangerous game.  That we can all agree upon.  The NFL is concerned with what players put in their bodies as well as protecting their bodies from unnecessary harm.  Sometimes they get it right, like the research into concussions.  Sometimes they miss the mark, and we have a perfect example of that. 

This past week was an aberration.  There was an unusually high number of players getting walloped on the field of play.  The signature moment would be the hit that Eagles’ wideout DeSean Jackson suffered.  The NFL has decided to further buttress the “defenseless receiver” rule.

 This could be your team in a few years, no flag guarding!

This is problematic.

These hits are occuring in fractions of a second, which means these men have to process the information and make a decision beforehand.

The next problem is that a defender’s job is the separate the ball from the man. There’s no rule tweaking that will fix that problem.  These players have been taught from childhood to hit the man to knock the ball loose.  No fine or even game suspension is going to easily fix that.

Then there’s the glorification of hits. NFL Films will show old school videos of players being blown up/jacked up/hit sticked/lit up/rocked whatever the new phrase for laying a hit on a player. You can’t have it both ways now.

Big NFL Hits

Then you must account for the fact that players are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before. When LBs run a legit 4.4-4.5 40 then they can close distance in a hurry and the results can be jarring.

It’s no secret the NFL is an offensive league (read: people want to see touchdowns) and there have been steps taken to protect QBs.  Is the same thing happening with receivers because the passing game is dependent upon them as well?

UPDATE! It seems the NFL is hypocritical.  The NFL is selling photos of some of these “illegal” hits.  Way not to send mixed messages.  

UPDATE#2!:  The hit to Todd Heap is also for sale! 

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