Before we all start making bad knee-jerk reactions here, these rules only apply to those who are taking hits helmet to helmet, forearm, or shoulder. Personally, I find the "player in the act of or just after throwing a pass" deemed defenseless absurd seeing that we'll expect more pump fakes just to get that yellow flag flying but it's quite understandable to protect the heads of our players or medical insurance is going to start skyrocketing for these players.Quote:
Pereira: New replay rules could lengthen games
The player safety changes are excellent. The changes standardize which players are defenseless and also the contact that is deemed illegal.
The eight defenseless players are:
* A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass.
* A receiver catching or attempting to catch a pass or who has completed a catch but has not had time to protect himself.
* A runner already in the grasp of a tackler whose forward progress has been stopped.
* A kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air.
* A player on the ground at the end of the play.
* A kicker/punter during the kick or return.
* A quarterback at any time after a change of possession.
* A player who is being blindside blocked.
All of these players will be protected from hits to the head or neck area when the initial contact by the defender is with the helmet (including face mask), forearm or shoulder. A defender may not lower his head and contact any one of the eight defenseless players on any part of his body with the “hairline” or forehead part of the helmet. Bottom line: Don’t lead with your helmet. Period. That protects the player being hit and the one doing the hitting.
The NFL won’t back off on player safety. All you have to do is be down on the field once to see how fierce these collisions are. Anything to protect the head and neck is a good thing.