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LAUNCH

New Rule - Lowering Head

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BREAKING: The NFL has announced a new targeting rule. It is now a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. Anywhere on the field. The player may now be disqualified.

 

RB's are screwed.

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1 hour ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Doubt it. The sky was falling, what, three years back when the hitting with the crown of the helmet rule came about?

It's almost never called.

 

https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/topic/679281-nfl-outlaws-rbs-lowering-their-heads/

Maybe, maybe not. Awareness of the underlying issue (concussions, CTE, etc.) is so much higher now than it was even just 3 years ago, with refs more attuned now than they were to hits and other actions that could potentially put players at higher risk. We will see.

What I wonder about is how much of an RB lowering their head is part of base instinct. You can train all day on contact drills, but a part of me thinks that in real-rime situations, a guy carrying the ball will innately lower their head as they try to get their pads low and brace for impact. Again, we'll see....

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4 hours ago, LAUNCH said:

BREAKING: The NFL has announced a new targeting rule. It is now a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. Anywhere on the field. The player may now be disqualified.

 

RB's are screwed.

Seems like another terrible rule.  You know, one that will never get called unless it’s the second half in a close game and will give a team a first down and completely change the game.

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This just adds to the ####ification of the NFL.  It is impossible to lower your shoulder without your head dipping down, so if a ball carrier now lowers his shoulder to try and run over a defender and his helmet makes incidental contact, he is subject to being disqualified.  Way to go, NFL. :no: 

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It’s about freaking time.  

Lowering the head and striking another player can lead to subluxation of the neck.  When I was coaching in high school the state federation made it a requirement that coaches watch a film on this prior to the first practice.  It’s why players used to be taught to “look through the hit” - to lead with the face mask rather than the helmet.  When the head is up the spine aligns properly and can absorb hits properly.  Pros ought to know this and are literaly putting their lives on the line every time they lower their head and then strike an opponent with it.  

All players and fans ought to applaud this.  Pop Warner and high school players can learn to hit properly and are penalized when they don’t.  There’s absolutely no excuse that the pros don’t learn to hit properly, and more importantly that for their own sake that they do hit properly.

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2 hours ago, Ghost Rider said:

This just adds to the ####ification of the NFL.  It is impossible to lower your shoulder without your head dipping down, so if a ball carrier now lowers his shoulder to try and run over a defender and his helmet makes incidental contact, he is subject to being disqualified.  Way to go, NFL. :no: 

I don't think this covers incidental contact, although we won't know until we see how it's called. "Lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet is a foul."

To me, that means a ball carrier who puts his head down and leads with his head into a defender, i.e. using one's head as a battering ram of sorts.

A running back with their head down in most normal circumstances would only be making incidental contact, since they wouldn't really be leading with their head.

Since rules against spearing and hitting with the crown of the helmet are already in place, this feels like more of a PR rah-rah moment for the NFL rather than anything substantive.

But, we will have to wait to see how it is enforced.  Even if it is strictly enforced, I imagine players will adapt, just as we don't see as many illegal hits on defenseless receivers in recent years (I say that anecdotally, don't have any stats to back it up).

Edited by rschroeder1

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So they've made the catch rule even more complicated and figured out how to throw more unnecessary flags? Bravo, NFL. I'm sure that will stop you from bleeding viewers. 

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What is the ejection part about........there will be subjective determinations whether the lowering of the head to initiate contact was especially naughty? Will that decision be driven by the outcome of the hit on the other player?

 

Is it challengeable....subject to replay?

Edited by Jacksonke1
clarify

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1 hour ago, Jacksonke1 said:

What is the ejection part about........there will be subjective determinations whether the lowering of the head to initiate contact was especially naughty? Will that decision be driven by the outcome of the hit on the other player?

 

Is it challengeable....subject to replay?

 

If it ends up like the targeting rule in the Big 10 it will be a disaster.  The refs somehow don’t seem to understand how to apply the rule since there is an assessment of intent - which is what targeting is.  It seems like there is at least one ejection every game because the refs err on the side of caution and just toss the player if they make helmet to helmet contact of any kind.  And like it or not, incidental helmet to helmet contact will happen.  It cannot be avoided unless the NFL elects to eliminate tackling (which sometimes I wonder if this is where they are headed).

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1 hour ago, Bronco Billy said:

 

If it ends up like the targeting rule in the Big 10 it will be a disaster.  The refs somehow don’t seem to understand how to apply the rule since there is an assessment of intent - which is what targeting is.  It seems like there is at least one ejection every game because the refs err on the side of caution and just toss the player if they make helmet to helmet contact of any kind.  And like it or not, incidental helmet to helmet contact will happen.  It cannot be avoided unless the NFL elects to eliminate tackling (which sometimes I wonder if this is where they are headed).

This is the first thing I thought of...good point about refs erring on the side of caution plus the subjectivity element...unfortunately many of these ejection calls on questionable hits occur early in games to key players...many times causing a turning point and influencing the game's outcome. 

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1 hour ago, Bronco Billy said:

 

If it ends up like the targeting rule in the Big 10 it will be a disaster.  The refs somehow don’t seem to understand how to apply the rule since there is an assessment of intent - which is what targeting is.  It seems like there is at least one ejection every game because the refs err on the side of caution and just toss the player if they make helmet to helmet contact of any kind.  And like it or not, incidental helmet to helmet contact will happen.  It cannot be avoided unless the NFL elects to eliminate tackling (which sometimes I wonder if this is where they are headed).

Well, that's the rub, ain't it? Incompetent refs trying to administer rules that are left open to interpretation. What could go wrong? 

Edited by Hang 10

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16 hours ago, Bronco Billy said:

It’s about freaking time.  

Lowering the head and striking another player can lead to subluxation of the neck.  When I was coaching in high school the state federation made it a requirement that coaches watch a film on this prior to the first practice.  It’s why players used to be taught to “look through the hit” - to lead with the face mask rather than the helmet.  When the head is up the spine aligns properly and can absorb hits properly.  Pros ought to know this and are literaly putting their lives on the line every time they lower their head and then strike an opponent with it.  

All players and fans ought to applaud this.  Pop Warner and high school players can learn to hit properly and are penalized when they don’t.  There’s absolutely no excuse that the pros don’t learn to hit properly, and more importantly that for their own sake that they do hit properly.

:goodposting:

 

It's a shame they needed to make a rule to enforce youth level technique. 

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Quote

But Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, a member of the competition committee, downplayed concerns about the frequency of ejections and perhaps even the penalty itself. He waved off examples such as quarterback sneaks, where a quarterback technically lowers his head and initiates contact.

"We watched a lot of film this year," Murphy said. "I would say there were probably five hits where you'd say, 'These are ones where we would want ejections.' Now, whether there will be more penalties than that? Probably. But the focus, I think, should be on are you using the helmet as a weapon."

 

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More bad decisions from a league that's seemingly set on self-destruction. 

Edited by flapgreen
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12 hours ago, flapgreen said:

More bad decisions from a league that's seemingly set on self-destruction. 

I think they are doing everything they can to keep it viable. The sport is extremely dangerous and I think there are real concerns about it turning off future fans and especially parents. 

 

55 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

 

Worst rule ever

I think we have to see how it plays out in games before we damn it. 

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I don't understand this much either, RB's spear more than any other position, they lower that helmet for a weapon, its what they do

it could seriously change the game IF the ref's call them for initiating the contact head on head

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NFL had a meeting start of the month that went over it, that it sounds like coaches and players who attended came out from relieved it isn't being over-implemented.  Put in a link at the bottom to an example of the type of hit they are aiming the rule at, guy already wrapped up and Travathan goes into him head-first for no particular reason.   I'm sure we'll have a couple instances of it being called in questionable situations, that's almost unavoidable trying to officiate NFL players at full speed.  Hopefully it won't be something we see called much at all though.

ESPN article snippets

Quote

Those who attended a May 1 meeting at NFL headquarters in New York were relieved to hear details that suggest the rule is intended to be applied only in obvious and/or flagrant circumstances.

...

As approved by owners, the rule states: "It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent."

The key word in that sentence, McKay said, is "to."

It's fair to be skeptical of any rule that needs to be diagrammed in that manner. But it was McKay's way of saying that lowering the helmet in itself will not draw a foul. The rule requires a clear intent to use the helmet as a weapon and, importantly, requires actual contact to reach its threshold.

This interpretation means that running backs shouldn't be penalized when they lower their heads to brace for contact. It allows quarterbacks to drop their heads as they dive for the line to gain on a sneak. And it leaves the NFL in a familiar space: trying to eliminate the violent plays it has long targeted.

...

A running back who lowers his head and uses his helmet to bowl over a defensive back can expect a flag. So can a linebacker who takes a running start and drives his helmet into the chest of a receiver. The most egregious of these hits will be subject to ejection; one example emphasized during the meeting was Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan's helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams in Week 4 of the 2017 season.

 

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On 3/27/2018 at 3:49 PM, Andy Dufresne said:

Doubt it. The sky was falling, what, three years back when the hitting with the crown of the helmet rule came about?

It's almost never called.

https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/topic/679281-nfl-outlaws-rbs-lowering-their-heads/

I was wrong. This rule has to go.

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On 4/2/2018 at 10:29 AM, Ilov80s said:

I think they are doing everything they can to keep it viable. The sport is extremely dangerous and I think there are real concerns about it turning off future fans and especially parents. 

 

I think we have to see how it plays out in games before we damn it. 

Ive seen enough....this wont work

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25 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Ive seen enough....this wont work

I didn't watch enough so I can't comment but sometimes these things get called differently in the preseason as opposed to the regular season.

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11 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I didn't watch enough so I can't comment but sometimes these things get called differently in the preseason as opposed to the regular season.

Or they get called enough in the preseason an the players/coaches can actually understand the rule and can change how practices and coaching opportunities are used throughout the week. Noone thinks about that side of it. The whole reason teams have more than just the HC, OC, DC- is to be able to get the information and disseminate it to those that actually need it.

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Just like every new rule the NFL implements, stupid and awful.

(much like the new forward dive rule)

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11 minutes ago, montana_grizzly_bears said:

Or they get called enough in the preseason an the players/coaches can actually understand the rule and can change how practices and coaching opportunities are used throughout the week. Noone thinks about that side of it. The whole reason teams have more than just the HC, OC, DC- is to be able to get the information and disseminate it to those that actually need it.

Very true. Refs go to practices as well to work with the coaches and players on what is and isn't a penalty. 

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38 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I didn't watch enough so I can't comment but sometimes these things get called differently in the preseason as opposed to the regular season.

Yeah, I heard the announcers say that they're flagging everything and are going to review the penalties before regular season to firmly decide what is and isn't s penalty.

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1 hour ago, zed2283 said:

Just like every new rule the NFL implements, stupid and awful.

(much like the new forward dive rule)

HOLY CRAP!!  (I had to go Google "NFL new forward dive rule").  That is HORRIBLE.  Honestly, I'll let the lowering of the head rule play out a bit before passing judgment, mainly because some of the hits that they are trying to legislate out of the game really are stupid and dangerous--and usually to the guy initiating the hit.

But NO DIVING FORWARD?????  WTH?????  If you want to be safe, you slide.  If you need the yards, you dive.  That's the game.  Awful, just awful.

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30 minutes ago, pinequick said:

HOLY CRAP!!  (I had to go Google "NFL new forward dive rule").  That is HORRIBLE.  Honestly, I'll let the lowering of the head rule play out a bit before passing judgment, mainly because some of the hits that they are trying to legislate out of the game really are stupid and dangerous--and usually to the guy initiating the hit.

But NO DIVING FORWARD?????  WTH?????  If you want to be safe, you slide.  If you need the yards, you dive.  That's the game.  Awful, just awful.

That is the thing. to many players are getting hurt by diving like they were. Also, these rules are brought up by coaches and owners to vote on. They have a competition committee (https://operations.nfl.com/football-ops/league-governance/the-nfl-competition-committee/) that meets in the spring to come up with this stuff. I would think each of those members has input from the whole team, not just solely their own agenda.

This will also change the stupid fumble out of bounds at the goal line if you dive for the endzone and the ball goes through the endzone and out of bounds. How many weeks in a row did we see that last year?

Edited by montana_grizzly_bears

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16 minutes ago, montana_grizzly_bears said:

That is the thing. to many players are getting hurt by diving like they were. Also, these rules are brought up by coaches and owners to vote on. They have a competition committee (https://operations.nfl.com/football-ops/league-governance/the-nfl-competition-committee/) that meets in the spring to come up with this stuff. I would think each of those members has input from the whole team, not just solely their own agenda.

This will also change the stupid fumble out of bounds at the goal line if you dive for the endzone and the ball goes through the endzone and out of bounds. How many weeks in a row did we see that last year?

Yeah, because no diving for the end zone, right??  No one will be able to dive for a TD ever again.

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Cancel, what I posted before. I actually just read what the rule does. It isn't that you cannot dive. You can still dive, you just cannot gain extra yardage once you land. Similar to when a QB slides, he is "down" when he begins the slide. Headfirst dives will be marked when the runner lands (or is touched?).

Best example would be in Unnecessary Roughness when the player hydroplanes for 10 yards. He would be marked back when he first hit the ground not the end of the slide. 

Edited by montana_grizzly_bears

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34 minutes ago, montana_grizzly_bears said:

Cancel, what I posted before. I actually just read what the rule does. It isn't that you cannot dive. You can still dive, you just cannot gain extra yardage once you land. Similar to when a QB slides, he is "down" when he begins the slide. Headfirst dives will be marked when the runner lands (or is touched?).

Best example would be in Unnecessary Roughness when the player hydroplanes for 10 yards. He would be marked back when he first hit the ground not the end of the slide. 

Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought I read (or maybe heard) that, just like a slide, they take it back to the point where you started the dive.

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This is what I found on ESPN:

"A player who dives head first will now be judged to have given himself up, and the ball will be marked at the point where he first touched the ground. Previously, the ball was marked where his forward progress stopped. The likely consequence, officials say, is that players who appear to have dived for a first down or touchdown could have the ball marked short of where they think they ended up."

here is the article link: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24277319/ball-spotted-first-touch-head-first-dives

Does his plant foot for the forward dive count as the point he first touches the ground or is it he lands on the ground short and rolls in?

Edited by montana_grizzly_bears

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1 hour ago, zed2283 said:

Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought I read (or maybe heard) that, just like a slide, they take it back to the point where you started the dive.

I already tried barking up this tree and got into a pointless arguement here on the mechanics of a slide and how that rule is enforced. good luck

Edited by Dr. Dan

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Ok so if it's where you first touch the ground on the dive that makes a little more sense.

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On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 9:11 PM, Ghost Rider said:

This just adds to the ####ification of the NFL.  It is impossible to lower your shoulder without your head dipping down, so if a ball carrier now lowers his shoulder to try and run over a defender and his helmet makes incidental contact, he is subject to being disqualified.  Way to go, NFL. :no: 

This is going to be an absolute disaster. Horrible call just now on the Pats - Eagles replay. Horrible calls on most games this week.

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Just happened again in same game. Goddert lowered his shoulder. Defender was ready to tackle him but when Goddert went lower, he went lower and their helmets hit. 15 yards tacked on. This is going to be so embarrassing. Smart teams will teach their players how to draw 15 yard penalties.

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40 minutes ago, lod001 said:

This is going to be an absolute disaster. Horrible call just now on the Pats - Eagles replay. Horrible calls on most games this week.

I think they are going overboard with it in the preseason and will then adjust when the regular season begins.  Still will plenty of stupid calls, but it won't be as egregious as we are seeing so far this summer. 

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2 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

I think they are going overboard with it in the preseason and will then adjust when the regular season begins.  Still will plenty of stupid calls, but it won't be as egregious as we are seeing so far this summer. 

They better hope so but there is no doubt a bad call is going to cost a team a win this year which could cost a playoff spot.

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1 hour ago, lod001 said:

They better hope so but there is no doubt a bad call is going to cost a team a win this year which could cost a playoff spot.

As long as it helps the big money gambling interests turn a profit the league will look away and let this happen.

:tinfoilhat:

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16 hours ago, Ghost Rider said:

I think they are going overboard with it in the preseason and will then adjust when the regular season begins.  Still will plenty of stupid calls, but it won't be as egregious as we are seeing so far this summer. 

All you need is one stupid call and that's enough for me. 
Some fans will win, some won't and the integrity of the game is the real loser. 

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On 8/12/2018 at 4:47 PM, Stuart Ullman said:

Yeah, I heard the announcers say that they're flagging everything and are going to review the penalties before regular season to firmly decide what is and isn't s penalty.

I don't understand this practice. The preseason is shorter than ever, and installing fundamental changes in the way a D plays a game doesn't seem to be best suited for the very short period of time leading up to the season -- causes a huge amount of churn and potentially even more confusion as coaches install different interpretations of the rule in practice and then in preseason games. Just generally more confusion than if they figured all this out in early summer.

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25 minutes ago, Stompin' Tom Connors said:

I don't understand this practice. The preseason is shorter than ever, and installing fundamental changes in the way a D plays a game doesn't seem to be best suited for the very short period of time leading up to the season -- causes a huge amount of churn and potentially even more confusion as coaches install different interpretations of the rule in practice and then in preseason games. Just generally more confusion than if they figured all this out in early summer.

I know its been several weeks but when refs visited the Eagles back in June to explain how the rule would called even the refs couldn't agree.  Players said they were more confused after the presentation.

Said linebacker Nigel Bradham, “We were trying to ask questions to get a better understanding, and yet they couldn’t really give us an answer. They couldn’t give us what we were looking for.”

“[The refs] were kind of like, ‘Hey, we didn’t make the rules.’ Because I think guys were kind of frustrated,” running back Wendell Smallwood added. “Most of the defense was like, ‘Man, how are we supposed to tackle?’ They were frustrated.”

Edited by Amused to Death
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On 4/2/2018 at 9:29 AM, Ilov80s said:

I think they are doing everything they can to keep it viable. The sport is extremely dangerous and I think there are real concerns about it turning off future fans and especially parents. 

 

I think we have to see how it plays out in games before we damn it. 

Hey

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18 hours ago, lod001 said:

They better hope so but there is no doubt a bad call is going to cost a team a win this year which could cost a playoff spot.

Yep.  You can pretty much bet the farm that this rule will end up deciding a big game -- there is going to be a "Calvin Johnson catch rule" moment sometime this season.

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21 minutes ago, flapgreen said:

Hey

Not so great so far. 

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This is what happens when you have a huge bureaucracy that is disconnected from the reality of playing football.

It's been said before, but the NFL is becoming more and more unwatchable because of all the flags and rules interference. They should be making the rulebook simpler not expanding it with vague rules. 

Much like "Deflategate", this is a rule that has no connection to physics. And how its being called is just dumb. Teams are going to win and lose games because of this rule and fans will justifiably be pissed. 

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