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  1. #1
    Shadesofgrey's Avatar
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    How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    What a joke

    How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars. I swear, every year the league gets lamer when it comes to crap like this. Football is a rough contact sport played by men....not a bunch of overpayed over protected pansie asses

    Cowboys' Williams injured four with tackle in 2004 By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com
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    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The so-called "horse-collar" tackle, which came under heavy scrutiny from the NFL's powerful competition committee after Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams injured four players with the maneuver in 2004, was banned by the league on Tuesday. :upset:


    Owners voted 27-5 to enact sanctions against the tackle. The dissenting votes were cast by Dallas, San Francisco, Detroit, New England and New Orleans. Players who use the horse-collar tackle will now be penalized 15 yards, and could be fined, as well.

    "I really hate the fact that the rule is kind of being named for one player," said Atlanta Falcons team president Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee. "Roy Williams is a good player and, according to the rules that existed (in 2004), he didn't do anything that was illegal. We try not to punish one player, but rather to address the future of that kind of tackle. And, as a committee, we were nervous about it."

    Essentially, the horse-collar tackle was one in which a defender grabbed the inside back of a player's shoulder pads and then yanked him down from behind. The competition committee, in reviewing videotapes from last season, concluded the horse-collar tackle resulted in six serious injuries. Williams was the perpetrator in four major incidents, the most notable of which sidelined Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens for the final two games of the regular season and the first two playoff contests.

    Williams could not be reached on Tuesday, but last week, in discussing the possible sanctions, termed the rule "crazy."

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones voted against the change, saying he was concerned about ambiguities in the new rule. A 15-yard penalty will be called only if the tackle immediately brings the ball carrier down, and only if he's in open field.

    "I'd rather it had been a fine and it not gotten to the penalty phase," Jones told The Associated Press.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Gotta disagree with you on this one. I think the "horse collar" tackle should be illegal, as it is essentially the same type of thing as face-masking. The defense should be tackling the player, not his equipment. Plus, the injury factor is significant.

  3. #3
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    Gotta disagree with you on this one. I think the "horse collar" tackle should be illegal, as it is essentially the same type of thing as face-masking. The defense should be tackling the player, not his equipment. Plus, the injury factor is significant.
    I agree with Shades, this is an unnecessary rule change that puts an undue burden on defenders who are already under too many restrictions. The main argument seems to be the injury to T.O., which was a leg injury, not a head or neck one. I understand the need to protect a players head and neck by making any grabbing of the helmet or facemask illegal, but the horse-collar doesn't affect the head or neck any more than a good solid hit or impact with the field. The exact same effect of a horse-collar can still be achieved by grabbing the jersey over the shoulder pads and yanking down. Where does it end?

  4. #4
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    It was a freak accident/injury.I mean what are we coming to flag football? come on. Back in the early days guys got killed before equipment.If anything we need better equipment to protect the players not give them more handicaps.
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    But how is this any different than a facemask. I'm all for smash-mouth football, but I'd rather see them hit someone than fishhook a piece of clothing.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  6. #6
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    The main argument seems to be the injury to T.O., which was a leg injury, not a head or neck one.
    Did you see the play in question? Williams grabbed TO from behind and pulled him in an awkward position, basically bending him up and breaking his leg. While the horse collar tackle might not have as much risk of hurting the head or neck, the position of the tackler as he's pulling someone down seems to leave the player open to what could be serious back and leg injuries.

    I can see both sides of this issue. Yes, it appears the NFL may be taking away some of the hard-nosed rough contact from the sport, but this tackle is based on grabbing of the equipment and using it to pull a player down, much like using the facemask, which is also illegal.

    My only concern is how well it's going to be called by officials, and why cut blocks haven't been addressed at all.
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  7. #7
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    Did you see the play in question? Williams grabbed TO from behind and pulled him in an awkward position, basically bending him up and breaking his leg. While the horse collar tackle might not have as much risk of hurting the head or neck, the position of the tackler as he's pulling someone down seems to leave the player open to what could be serious back and leg injuries.

    I can see both sides of this issue. Yes, it appears the NFL may be taking away some of the hard-nosed rough contact from the sport, but this tackle is based on grabbing of the equipment and using it to pull a player down, much like using the facemask, which is also illegal.

    My only concern is how well it's going to be called by officials, and why cut blocks haven't been addressed at all.
    I did see the play in question and it seems to me, a defender can still grab the jersey over the shoulder pads and do the same thing, can still grab the side of the shoulder pad and do the same thing, can still wrap his arms around the top of the shoulder pads and do the same thing. I see little difference between those tackling techniques and the horse-collar. The injury to T.O. was a freak thing that can happen in any tackling situation when a players leg gets caught in a vulerable position.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I see this as a knee-jerk reaction that is not going to change things. What's next, making any contact with shoulder pads illegal?

  8. #8
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    The injury to T.O. was a freak thing
    Obviously not that freak of a thing if the same tackle was responsible for six serious injuries, two of which I'm told were season enders.
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  9. #9
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    Obviously not that freak of a thing if the same tackle was responsible for six serious injuries, two of which I'm told were season enders.
    I'm sure you could scrutinize any tackling technique and isolate numerous serious injuries. My point is that it doesn't take a horse-collar tackle to cause a serious injury to a players leg caught in a vulnerable situation. That is something that can happen in any tackling situation. Obviously the Joe Theisman incident is a prime example of a "freakish" leg injury not cause by a horse-tackle, but by his leg caught in a vulnerable situation.

    Injuries are an unfortunate fact of life in the NFL and I am not against trying to prevent them, but how far does it go? While backs and recievers get bigger and stronger, defenders trying to bring them down are saddled with more and more restictions.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    My point is that it doesn't take a horse-collar tackle to cause a serious injury to a players leg caught in a vulnerable situation.
    I don't disagree, but I think if we're going to make facemask tackles illegal, then we should also at least look at the horse-collar tackle, which utilizes another piece of equipment to hook and pull down the guy.

    Why not just tackle him with your arms or hit him with your body? Why not jump and wrap up his legs to bring him down? If you have to grab and pull, why not grab his jersey to slow him down? When a person is running and you grab him by his collar from behind and pull him, that begs for injury more than many tackle methods I've watched because you're grabbing a piece of equipment that's controlling their whole upper body. If I give you a tug on your jersey, it's not going to do a whole lot by itself. But if I grab the collar of your shoulderpads and pull, you're going to be moving wherever I'm pulling quite easily.

    While injuries are a part of the game, that method of tackling seems to be exceptionally risky, IMO. That said, in terms of how far it goes, I think this should be it. They' restricted the ability to grab onto the facemask and pull a guy down, and now they've restricted the ability to grab onto a guy's collar and bring him down. It seems the NFL does not want its players getting a hook on a player's equipment and pulling him down like that

    I don't think this kind of tackling happens often enough to where this rule changes the way teams play defense or teach how to tackle, but obviously it happened enough to cause some serious injuries, and if this means being able to watch more guys on the field and hear less about injuries, I don't see how that's a bad thing.
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  11. #11
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    You make some excelent points Nick. For the most part you are right that grabbing the jersey is gererally less likely to cause injury than the back of the shoulder pads, but I still believe the potential for the type of injury caused by a horse-tackle is still there if you get a strong grip on a jersey in the right position. Additionally, from what I have read, there is nothing illegal about grabbing the side of the shoulder pads, which by definition is utilizing a piece of equipment to make a tackle that very much mirrors the effect of a horse-collar. Should making it illegal to grab any part of the shoulder pads be implimented?

    I can live with the horse-collar ban, and I hope it really does cut down on injuries, but I can only imagine how tough it will be for a defender racing down the field, lunging and grabbing at a big strong back or reciever and trying to make a tackle while consciously trying to remember what not to grab a hold of. Doesn't seem like there is much left up high to work with.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    Additionally, from what I have read, there is nothing illegal about grabbing the side of the shoulder pads, which by definition is utilizing a piece of equipment to make a tackle that very much mirrors the effect of a horse-collar. Should making it illegal to grab any part of the shoulder pads be implimented?
    If there have been a number of serious injuries from being pulled down by that part of the equipment, then yes. I'm not sure how easy it is to grab the side of someone's shoulderpads though.


    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    I can only imagine how tough it will be for a defender racing down the field, lunging and grabbing at a big strong back or reciever and trying to make a tackle while consciously trying to remember what not to grab a hold of. Doesn't seem like there is much left up high to work with.
    Then go for the legs and stop the runner at his source. Or catch up to him first to where you can get a good grip around his body. Or just flat out hit him. There's plenty of things up high to work with. I think you're overestimating the presence of horse-collar tackling in the game if you think its removal makes it so much more difficult for a tackler to properly bring a guy down.
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  13. #13
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    If there have been a number of serious injuries from being pulled down by that part of the equipment, then yes. I'm not sure how easy it is to grab the side of someone's shoulderpads though.
    I'm not sure how easy it is either, but it does happen.

    Then go for the legs and stop the runner at his source. Or catch up to him first to where you can get a good grip around his body. Or just flat out hit him. There's plenty of things up high to work with.
    Very often those things are easier said than done, especially if you don't have an angle or happen to be pursuing a ball-carrier side by side, step for step. In any case, we'll just have to wait and see how it all shakes out once they put the pads on.

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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    For those of you that have played organized tackle football the horse collar tackle is about the only effective way to bring a guy down especially if he has a speed advantage...Some of you talk about pulling jersey, but in todays NFL that isn't practical as the players wear their jerseys skin tight...Men that play in the NFL are well compensated for the risks they take...It's a choice they make...While we are at it lets take the fighting out of Hockey..the jab out of boxing...

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    Re: How far is the NFL going to go to protect their precious superstars

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadesofgrey
    For those of you that have played organized tackle football the horse collar tackle is about the only effective way to bring a guy down especially if he has a speed advantage...Some of you talk about pulling jersey, but in todays NFL that isn't practical as the players wear their jerseys skin tight...Men that play in the NFL are well compensated for the risks they take...It's a choice they make...While we are at it lets take the fighting out of Hockey..the jab out of boxing...
    Goods points Shades. I think the competition commitee wanted to address SOME injury area, and the situation with T.O. suited their purposes. While they're at it, they can take their pick from body slam tackles, twisting ankle and knee tackles or rib shots and come up with a lot more than six injuries that result in tears, breaks or separations. Singling out the horse-collar was as much a result of a high profile injury than an effort to stem injuries IMO.

    Football is a violent sport that will always involve injury. If the competition commitee starts a trend to try and ban tackles that cause injury, we'll soon be playing soccer (not that there is anything wrong with soccer, it's just not NFL football).

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