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(Some Guy)   2007: NFL announces they will eject anyone guilty of helmet-to-helmet hits. Three years later, after zero ejections ... 2010: NFL announces they will suspend anyone guilty of helmet-to-helmet hits   (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com) divider line 88
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537 clicks; posted to Sports » on 19 Oct 2010 at 8:36 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-10-19 10:30:59 AM
The Homer Tax: Dog Welder: . There's also no doubt that Dunta Robinson launched himself helmet first into DeSean Jackson. Both should get a game (minimal).

I doubt it. Did you watch the replay? He didn't even hit him in the head. His shoulder landed squarely in Jackson's chest-shoulder area.

This is my biggest problem with all these rules, generally they're only enforced based on the severity of the outcome injury-wise, and rarely on the actual hit itself.

I saw no problem with that hit, I don't even think it should have been a penalty, let alone a "launching, helmet first."

We have created a class of quasi-superhumans, gave them armor, and told them to smash into each other at high speeds. What did people expect was going to happen?


It doesn't matter WHERE he hit Jackson. The point is he launched himself at Jackson and speared him. That is actually against the rules regardless of where he hit him. I've watched that replay more than enough. Have you?
 
2010-10-19 10:32:42 AM
Agatha Crispy: Like Ditka said - take away their helmets.

And Ditka is right. It's funny that people complain about the wussification of the game when these hits weren't a part of the game until recently thanks to the wussy helmets that could survive getting hit by a meteor without a scratch. These hits happen because of the helmets. They aren't tackles as the game knew it back before these over-armored wusses started leading helmet first into players' heads.
 
2010-10-19 10:34:56 AM
js34603: Of course the NFL should try to make the game as safe as possible, and dangerous or dirty plays should be punished. But trying to legislate physicality out of football is not going to work.

How about the coaches that teach people to actually tackle properly beat the shiat out of teams who don't, until tackling like you're a middle school bully goes out of style. You can't get an NFL athlete to stop doing something dangerous, but there's something to be said for calling it ineffective.

There's also some dumbass machismo at work. These idiots want to be respected or, failing that, feared. We don't need to penalize the head-spearers; just require them practice in pink tutus and you might see a decline.

whizbangthedirtfarmer: Refs seem reluctant to pull the trigger on an ejection now for some reason.

Kinda like how NBA refs go easy on fouls until the games actually matter? It's the violence that sells. The owners have no financial disincentive to let the players maim themselves, so if anything they'll pressure the refs to "let the kids play"; never mind that some of these guys are in their 30s with family and just because you don't spear yourself doesn't mean you won't get speared.
 
2010-10-19 10:43:07 AM
dragonchild: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Refs seem reluctant to pull the trigger on an ejection now for some reason.

Kinda like how NBA refs go easy on fouls until the games actually matter? It's the violence that sells. The owners have no financial disincentive to let the players maim themselves, so if anything they'll pressure the refs to "let the kids play"; never mind that some of these guys are in their 30s with family and just because you don't spear yourself doesn't mean you won't get speared.


Yes, but even some of the relatively non-violent things should see people get tossed. I go back to John Harbaugh slashing the ref in the chest when he was (over)actively arguing a call. In most other sports, YOU DON'T TOUCH THE REF or you're out. This ref just walked away. It should have been 15 yards and an ejection.
 
2010-10-19 10:48:06 AM
Dog Welder: It doesn't matter WHERE he hit Jackson. The point is he launched himself at Jackson and speared him. That is actually against the rules regardless of where he hit him. I've watched that replay more than enough. Have you?

How could he have "speared" him? With his Shoulder? The definition of "spearing" is leading with your head. He very clearly hit Jackson with his shoulder.

That's why he wasn't penalized for "Spearing" he was penalized for hitting a "defenseless receiver." Spearing is legitimately a dirty his and a penalty. The thing is Robinson 1)didn't spear jackson, and 2) wasn't flagged for spearing.

Are you sure you were watching the correct replay all those times?
 
2010-10-19 10:54:32 AM
rufus-t-firefly: basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.

It's like when hookers get murdered. Hey, they knew the risks.


I like this post. It's ambiguous. Not sure if you mean that in a sardonical tone or if it's just a flat out joke. I go back and forth each time I read it.

*golf clap*
 
2010-10-19 10:55:39 AM
The Homer Tax: Dog Welder: It doesn't matter WHERE he hit Jackson. The point is he launched himself at Jackson and speared him. That is actually against the rules regardless of where he hit him. I've watched that replay more than enough. Have you?

How could he have "speared" him? With his Shoulder? The definition of "spearing" is leading with your head. He very clearly hit Jackson with his shoulder.

That's why he wasn't penalized for "Spearing" he was penalized for hitting a "defenseless receiver." Spearing is legitimately a dirty his and a penalty. The thing is Robinson 1)didn't spear jackson, and 2) wasn't flagged for spearing.

Are you sure you were watching the correct replay all those times?


What are you, The Disingenu-Tron 3000?
 
2010-10-19 10:58:53 AM
The Homer Tax: How could he have "speared" him? With his Shoulder? The definition of "spearing" is leading with your head. He very clearly hit Jackson with his shoulder.

That's why he wasn't penalized for "Spearing" he was penalized for hitting a "defenseless receiver." Spearing is legitimately a dirty his and a penalty. The thing is Robinson 1)didn't spear jackson, and 2) wasn't flagged for spearing.

Are you sure you were watching the correct replay all those times?


There's no way that the DB could hit Jackson in the chest with his shoulder and both players receive serious concussions.

While I don't think it was a "dirty" hit, but the top of his helmet clearly hit under Jacksons Chin or on his face mask.

Play the ball.
 
2010-10-19 11:12:03 AM
Sorry you guys are right, I swear I never saw that other angle. It looks a lot cleaner from the back angle. He definitely lowers his head, and it should have been a penalty for that.

My thing is, it doesn't look like he's taking a shot at Jackson's head. It's correct that he hits he underside of the mask in the follow-through, but is that really a "headshot?"

By that definition, any hit initiated above, say, the chest is a "headshot." Helmet-to-helmet contact happens on almost every play, to me it doesn't look like Robinson is trying to use his helmet to hit Jackson's helmet.

So, I guess my issue is that I don't understand what defenders are supposed to do in those situations? Not hit the guy at all? What do you do when the offensive player lowers his head to try and hit *you*? Which is kind of another issue for me, ballcarriers use their helmets as weapons all the time, and are never flagged for it (because it's not even a penalty). It seems like a weird doublestandard.
 
2010-10-19 11:20:06 AM
The Homer Tax: So, I guess my issue is that I don't understand what defenders are supposed to do in those situations? Not hit the guy at all?


I think there should be more emphasis on playing the ball rather than trying to hit the man so hard he drops it.

I don't disagree with you about runningbacks. I said yesterday they should switch to soft padding for helmets and shoulder pads. It'll make everbody a lot less likely to lower the shoulder or launch their body.
 
2010-10-19 11:31:32 AM
basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.


Risk, meet reward. High risk equals millions of dollars...
 
2010-10-19 11:57:15 AM
I wouldn't say this is a knee jerk reaction to this past weekend. I think the NFL's new rule of observing players with concussions or concussion-like symptoms is working. They are looking at the first 6 weeks of the season and saying, "holy shiat, this is happening more than we thought." I think this past weekend was just the final straw. Every week there's been a number of guys. Hell, the Packers-Eagles game in week one had 3 or 4 players go out. And in the Bears-Packers game, Cutler was nailed twice with the butt of a helmet, and Rodgers once.

I love defense more than offense, and yes, I love big impacts. But I'm sick of seeing these guys continue to drop their heads and try to knockout somebody out instead of simply making a good, hard tackle. The helmet has become a weapon, and for right now, I'm glad the NFL is doing something about it. If the game begins to suffer because of suspensions, they can revisit the issue. But I'd rather see healthy players.

/and this isn't exactly keeping your head up as you tackle
l.yimg.com
 
2010-10-19 11:57:29 AM
Here's part of the problem: If you are facing someone, you're leading with your head. You can't really send your shoulders somewhere without the head leading the way. Especially these non-neck motherfarkers. You can completely intend to hit with your shoulder and still make inadvertent helmet contact - hell, I don't see how you can avoid it. Especially considering the speed at which these guys play. The whole head/shoulder thing is a red herring anyway as the no-head rule is primarily to protect the tackler. At full speed you can blow a defenseless receive up just as dangerously with your shoulder as you can your helmet. Remember the warren sapp hit? All shoulder.

Not to mention that the growing evidence says it's all the little hits that lead to mental damage down the road - not the highlight reel big hits. this doesn't address that - or even acknowledge it - one single bit. So they'll fine some guys and maybe even suspend one now and again just so they can claim they reacted to the issue but it's just lip service. the long term problem will still be there.
 
2010-10-19 11:59:19 AM
Ruffian: /and this isn't exactly keeping your head up as you tackle

How the hell can you keep your head up when you are trying to put your shoulder into a guy?
 
2010-10-19 12:15:59 PM
JohnBigBootay: How the hell can you keep your head up when you are trying to put your shoulder into a guy?

And how are you trying to knock someone out when you hit them in the chest?

Again, I'll concede that Robinson "Lowered his head" (I agree that I don't see how he couldn't have, but it's immaterial). But he lowered his head and went straight for Jackson's chest. If he *was* trying to go for his head, he missed horribly.

I said it before, but for me it starts getting into a situation where I don't understand what defensive players are supposed to do. It seems to me like we're getting to a point where there's going to be a "tackle zone" akin to the strike zone in baseball. It's going to be below the chest, but above the knees (you're not allowed to go after players knees anymore either, remember?), any hit outside the "tackle zone" is an automatic 15 yarder.

Ironically, if you look at the hit again, if Robinson had "kept his head up" it would have been helmet-to-helmet.
 
2010-10-19 12:21:38 PM
Maybe the NFL and owners should think about ways to protect their investments.

www.fugly.com
 
2010-10-19 12:22:29 PM
JohnBigBootay: How the hell can you keep your head up when you are trying to put your shoulder into a guy?

Take a second to face your computer monitor. Without moving your body, tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. See how your neck bends that direction. That is exactly how you keep your head up when driving your shoulder into a guy. Do defensive and offensive lineman stare at the ground when they get into a three point stance, shoulders parallel to the ground? No, they lift their heads so they can see across the line. Same concept. When you lower your head, that's what lead to neck injuries. Your vertebrae line up and compress against each other. Raising your head as you tackle should put our facemask right in the hip or chest of your opponent. It also allows you to use your arms to wrap around your opponent. When you bow your head, for one, you can't see, and two, your arms cannot wrap around as much area..
 
2010-10-19 12:31:17 PM
tommyl66: The intent makes it dirty, not the execution.

In this case, no hit will ever be dirty. No football player intends to use his head to permanently injure someone when they try to dislodge the ball or finish a play (other than Merriweather maybe, that was a dirty play). But the infliction of physical pain through violent collision is part of football, and in that process you will have situations where heads are going to collide.

Removing the helmets is a possibility I suppose, but I don't think massive facial injuries are much better than concussions. And I don't think they need more training on how to tackle...by the time they are in the NFL they all know how to make a proper form tackle. The issue is you can't make a proper form tackle on every play and very seldom have the time to properly line yourself up in the split second you have to break up a pass.

I heard Chris Carter say maybe increasing the dimensions of the field might reduce these kind of collisions, and that's certainly something to think about. After all they are still playing on the same size field as they did when the big guys were 5 foot 8 200 lbs. Maybe a little more space for these behemoths would reduce the chance of these hits.
 
2010-10-19 12:34:43 PM
How about restrictor plate, NASCAR style, football. Every player is required to wear 20ounce shoes. That would slow the violent hits of the game.
 
2010-10-19 12:47:50 PM
Ruffian: Take a second to face your computer monitor. Without moving your body, tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. See how your neck bends that direction.

Exercise completed. Now, beef up your deltoids to linebacker size, put on a helmet and some shoulder pads and you do the same.
 
2010-10-19 12:55:27 PM
The Homer Tax: And how are you trying to knock someone out when you hit them in the chest?

Again, I'll concede that Robinson "Lowered his head" (I agree that I don't see how he couldn't have, but it's immaterial). But he lowered his head and went straight for Jackson's chest. If he *was* trying to go for his head, he missed horribly.

I said it before, but for me it starts getting into a situation where I don't understand what defensive players are supposed to do. It seems to me like we're getting to a point where there's going to be a "tackle zone" akin to the strike zone in baseball. It's going to be below the chest, but above the knees (you're not allowed to go after players knees anymore either, remember?), any hit outside the "tackle zone" is an automatic 15 yarder.

Ironically, if you look at the hit again, if Robinson had "kept his head up" it would have been helmet-to-helmet.


This is all hair-splitting subjective horseshiat designed to make it look like they are reacting to a problem but they actually are not. Sure, go ahead and suspend the most obvious and egregious examples. That may make some small difference. But what it will lead to is extremely uneven officiating. These guys are really fast and they are really quick. A minute adjustment at full speed can turn an intended shoulder hit into helmet to helmet contact before you can blink.

And this does absolutely nothing to counteract the actual problem of the cumulative damage of all the little hits that the evidence says is the cause of the psychological problems down the road. Suspend guys for the huge middle of the field hits - fine, I don;t really care. But it's just pandering and grandstanding. It might even keep a guy or three from a bad injury. But it doesn't at all address the brain problems these guys are having which is way more damaging and affects a lot more people.
 
2010-10-19 01:01:04 PM
... and yet I'm so glad that Calvin Johnson's TD vs. Chicago was called back on a technicality. I hate how refs prioritize things. Oh, he caught it? Naa, we'll call it back to be on the safe side. Helmet to helmet hit? Awww, it's just boys being boys.

/nfl refs: hey, at least we aren't nba refs!
 
2010-10-19 01:03:58 PM
JohnBigBootay: Ruffian: Take a second to face your computer monitor. Without moving your body, tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. See how your neck bends that direction.

Exercise completed. Now, beef up your deltoids to linebacker size, put on a helmet and some shoulder pads and you do the same.


Or you could, you know, lead with your arms, not just the head.

Rugby tackles. (new window) Not much spearing. Spearing sounds gayish.
 
2010-10-19 01:08:34 PM
rufus-t-firefly: basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.

It's like when hookers get murdered. Hey, they knew the risks.


Excellent. Too bad the person at whom it's aimed won't be able to understand it.
 
2010-10-19 01:13:40 PM
Here's the problem:
helmetfootball.com

you don't see many head-to-head hits in this sport:
3.bp.blogspot.com

now THAT'S some good wrap-up-and-drop-'im form.
 
2010-10-19 01:17:06 PM
JohnBigBootay: Exercise completed. Now, beef up your deltoids to linebacker size, put on a helmet and some shoulder pads and you do the same.

Keep telling yourself that NFL players, as big as they are, aren't flexible. The ability to move your neck is key. DB's need to be able to turn their heads back to look for the ball. Linebackers need it to swivel their heads and check their defensive alignments, and as I said earlier, lineman need to be able to look across the line at where they are attacking. Are you really so determined to believe that you can't tackle someone with your head anywhere but down? Let me ask you, do they hit tackling dummies with the crown of their helmet?

And second, a helmet and shoulder pads do not restrict neck movement at all, unless your neck muscles are so weak that you can't support the slight weight of the helmet.
 
2010-10-19 01:20:34 PM
Ruffian: Are you really so determined to believe that you can't tackle someone with your head anywhere but down?

Not in the slightest. But you don't make many tackles standing straight up, you're leaning forward. Often toward a guy running right at you. The way he cuts has as much to do with where your head ends up as what you intend to do with it. My point is that inadvertent helmet contact will be commonplace despite the best of intentions. If you're hitting a guy high as receivers often are it's gonna happen all the time.
 
2010-10-19 01:23:57 PM
Ruffian: Take a second to face your computer monitor. Without moving your body, tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. See how your neck bends that direction. That is exactly how you keep your head up when driving your shoulder into a guy. Do defensive and offensive lineman stare at the ground when they get into a three point stance, shoulders parallel to the ground? No, they lift their heads so they can see across the line. Same concept. When you lower your head, that's what lead to neck injuries. Your vertebrae line up and compress against each other. Raising your head as you tackle should put our facemask right in the hip or chest of your opponent. It also allows you to use your arms to wrap around your opponent. When you bow your head, for one, you can't see, and two, your arms cannot wrap around as much area..

All that may be true, but when you boil it down the main difference is that keeping your eyes up and wrapping a guy up takes effort and work, while any idiot can put his head down, brace himself and throw his body into an unsuspecting target. Its laziness, plain and simple.
 
2010-10-19 01:41:20 PM
JohnBigBootay: But you don't make many tackles standing straight up, you're leaning forward. Often toward a guy running right at you. The way he cuts has as much to do with where your head ends up as what you intend to do with it. My point is that inadvertent helmet contact will be commonplace despite the best of intentions. If you're hitting a guy high as receivers often are it's gonna happen all the time.

If you're a dumbass, sure. Attacking with the head is such bad form I wonder why a league as competitive as the NFL practices it, even if there's more testosterone in the locker rooms than. . . well, anything else.

You want to block someone, you block with your body -- and wrap them up for good measure. You deflect with your shoulder (it's good form for knocking someone out of bounds). To break up a play or disrupt balance, use your hands. Yes, the head will be forward, but in an actual tackle, you keep your head clear to see where you're going. People saying you don't lead with the head are wrong, but that doesn't make you right. The head will be forward but you can avoid contact with it. I mean, those eyes and ears aren't mounted on the skull for show.

There's no justification for spearing -- it's not just dangerous, it's bad form. Have you ever seen a wrestler, martial artist or even a street fighter use his head except in movies or video games? The only time to use it is the rare surprise attack when the arms are already tangled up -- it's an attack of the last resort. Helmet-to-helmet contact shouldn't be viewed in the context of deliberate or not, but as a failure. It's not going to stop anyone by itself, and trying to intimidate a fellow pro is going to get mixed results at best.

Look at the image cefm posted. That is perfect tackling form. Yes, the head is forward but it's CLEAR -- it's not touching anything. All the momentum is being delivered by the shoulder to center of mass (actually a little lower to make the waist buckle), the arms are applying torque to lift the legs off the ground. The guy won't feel as much pain, but so what? Half a second later he's flat on his back and there's nothing he can do about it. THAT is your farking job, defenders, to get the ref to wave the play dead as soon as possible.

Thing is, some people will just be stupid, and want to be feared in the league. Don't penalize them; just make them wear pink tutus and bras in practice for the week after. Make sure the media sees it, and take lots of pictures. You might see some of these derptarded hits go away.
 
2010-10-19 01:54:57 PM
dragonchild: Look at the image cefm posted. That is perfect tackling form. Yes, the head is forward but it's CLEAR -- it's not touching anything.

No doubt. Beautiful tackle. But if he runs a 4.4 40 (and I doubt there are many rugby guys who do) and he'd have cut right at the last second that dudes melon would be right in his gut. Beautiful tackles happen all the time in the NFL - no need to go to another sport to find them. Fact is there is way less helmet to helmet contact than there was 25 years ago but there is always gonna be some. Limiting the big hits is just a virtually meaningless PR move anyway. The NFL has had very, very few Daryl Stingley kinds of injuries. Trying to limit them further is a fine idea and it will get lots of column inches and page hits but it doesn't do squat for the real problem of the cumulative effect of all the little hits that leads to psychological problems after your career is long over.
 
2010-10-19 02:00:44 PM
JohnBigBootay: Fact is there is way less helmet to helmet contact than there was 25 years ago but there is always gonna be some.

...no. There is helmet to helmet contact constantly now. Players avoided leading with the helmet until recently because it farking hurt to hit someone with your helmet. New helmets apply the force to the victim, not the wearer.
 
2010-10-19 02:07:01 PM
bubbaprog: ...no. There is helmet to helmet contact constantly now. Players avoided leading with the helmet until recently

You are absolutely wrong on this count. Like I posted in the other thread, go read Jerry Kramer's instant Replay about the 67 packers and the nutcracker drill. Hell, go look at some NFL BIG HIT videos from the 70's and 80's. Or ask yourself why the 'spearing rule' was adopted. Hint: it was not because people didn't used to hit with their helmet. shiat, throughout the 60's the go-to defensive lineman tactic was the perfectly legal helmet slap. You are misinformed.
 
2010-10-19 02:22:34 PM
JohnBigBootay: But if he runs a 4.4 40 (and I doubt there are many rugby guys who do) and he'd have cut right at the last second that dudes melon would be right in his gut.

Gut, not helmet. Helmet-to-helmet contact should only be routine on the line of scrimmage and only then because those guys are chest-to-chest trying to push past each other.

DBs are the last line of defense. It's more important that they be sure tacklers than hard hitters, so I'm boggled as to why NFL defensive coordinators put up with bad form. It's probably less common than it seems because of highlight reels, but yeesh, the margins of victory are so thin you can't afford even one dumbass DB trying to win a dick-waving contest with a receiver that's really more interested in getting to the end zone.
 
2010-10-19 02:29:14 PM
Burn_Atlanta: rufus-t-firefly: basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.

It's like when hookers get murdered. Hey, they knew the risks.

Excellent. Too bad the person at whom it's aimed won't be able to understand it.


Meh, you sound like someone who never played the game.
 
2010-10-19 02:44:44 PM
dragonchild: DBs are the last line of defense. It's more important that they be sure tacklers than hard hitters, so I'm boggled as to why NFL defensive coordinators put up with bad form.

That I can agree with. Lots of those guys rarely use their hands for tackling. Granted, some of them are absolutely great at it - Polamalu is an example. He generally heads center mass with his shoulder and he makes tons of tackles but I rarely see him wrap a guy up. But I do see a lot of the dive for the ankles and come up with air tackles.
 
2010-10-19 02:54:07 PM
Leading with your head isnt just dangerous, it's less effective. You can't wrap up, and it greatly decreases your tackling area. Head across, arms up, see what you hit. That also puts your helmet right on the ball, which leads to fumbles. We'd see fewer missed tackles if defenders used the basic techniques rather than going for knockout shots all the time.
 
2010-10-19 04:41:51 PM
If you want to crack down on particularly dangerous cases of spearing, fine. But I hate it when people try to define a cheap hit just by pointing out "helmet-to-helmet contact". That happens a dozen times on every play.
 
2010-10-19 04:54:08 PM
Skyrmion: If you want to crack down on particularly dangerous cases of spearing, fine. But I hate it when people try to define a cheap hit just by pointing out "helmet-to-helmet contact". That happens a dozen times on every play.

Uh oh. Look out for the rugby lobby - if you touch helmets that means you are a criminally insane neanderthal that doesn't know anything about technique.
 
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