The big news in the NFL right now is the talk about fining and suspending people who deliver helmet to helmet hits in games, along with people who deliver "devastating hits". This was all spurred by three hits from Sunday (and all three of the people who delivered the shots were fined today). The first one was a hit by Dunta Robinson on Desean Jackson that knocked out both of them for a few minutes, and they both suffered a concussion from the hit that will probably keep both of them out of their next games. The second one was a blatant helmet to helmet shot by Brandon Meriweather on Todd Heap. And the third was from when James Harrison hit Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi in the head on separate plays, although the hit on Massaquai was the one that resulted in the fine. Robinson and Meriweather had to pay up 50,000, and Harrison had to pay 75,000 because he has done this before, but none of them were suspended.
Following this, there was a ton of talk by all of the media people over what should happen. Some of these hits even made Rodney Harrison (someone who was accused of being one of the dirtiest players in the NFL) cringe, and his comments on the NBC pregame show last Sunday about how he was never scared of being fined, but after he was suspended it made him change his ways was one of the things that caused the NFL to make this decision.
A lot of players in the NFL are mad about this though, the most outspoken player I have seen so far is Chris Harris who is a Safety for the Chicago Bears (and his nickname is "The Hitman") who has been talking about this on Twitter for the last couple of days.
I'm all for player safety. This is a violent barbaric sport. You have a split second to make decisions when making a hit, as a DB my job is
To make the play or cause a fumble. U can't half [way] a tackle n this league bc players like adrien peterson,josh cribbs,aquan boldin will
Break those tackles. Its a fine line. That's part of the sport n u knew that when u signed that contract to play football.
I guarantee u Dick Butkus,Mike Singletary, Richard Dent,Doug Plank,Otis Wilson didn't think twice when hittin someone but NFL want us to now
No one intentionally tries to hit illegally (helmet to helmet) its just part of the game. The reason u see a lot of guys getting hurt now as
Opposed to back n the day is bc its a diff breed of athletes now. Guys r a lot stronger and faster which creates higher impact hits.
Ur not supposed to be 250lbs n be able to run a 4.3 but that's what ur dealing with that u didn't have back n the day therefore the velocity
And impact these guys are hitting with is unbelievable and of course dangerous. Its a damn Gladiator mentality. #sorry
I feel the NFL is singling out defensive players. What about the running backs who are running towards me then lower their heads at contact
Will they get suspended as well?
Think about the Brandon Jacobs n Marion Barbers n Adrien Petersons. They r physical runners who lower their heads n try to run u over to get
That extra yard or first down. That's inviting helmet to helmet contact. There is no way u can get from it in this league ....point blank
My thoughts on this after the jump.
When I look at this entire situation, I feel like the NFL is going overboard. I am all for trying to keep players from being hit in the head because I know how serious concussions are. We all remember when Kurt Warner got his concussion last season (I think it was the 3rd or 4th of his career) and how he was having light sensitivity issues with his eyes because of it, and you hear stories all the time from players who have had concussions and how they still feel the effects from it. I'm sure that most of us can agree that they should fine ways to protect players from that, and they should keep improving the helmets to players are better protected from headshots.
But this entire "Devastating Hits" thing... It makes no sense. The NFL markets itself on big hits, they are even selling the picture of the James Harrison hit. And they don't even say what constitutes a devastating hit. Watch the Punt Return for a Touchdown that Devin Hester had against the Seahawks on Sunday. On that play, Earl Bennett drilled Jon Ryan (you can see it around the 40 second mark of this video), and it took him a while to get up after that. Is that a "devastating hit"? Or is it just a good block? Or you can look at the hit on Warner by Bobby McCray against the Saints in the playoffs last year (I won't post the video, because we have all seen it enough), that was considered to be a legal hit, but now would that be considered a devastating hit and would he get fined for it?
It seems to me like all this will do is make the defensive players have to think too much when they are trying to tackle someone. They are changing the game, and the people won't be allowed to play the way that they were taught to play since they were in Pop Warner. And even with these new rules, players won't have the time to react because of how fast the game is played. I don't think that most of these devastating hits were intentional, and the only one that I thought was a dirty hit from the four that I mentioned at the start of this post was the one by Meriweather on Heap because you can tell that he intentionally went for the head. With the Robinson play which was the most talked about, I think that was a legal hit. Robinson hit him around the shoulder, then his head went up into Jackson's chin. As for the Harrison ones, I think that he can be a dirty player, but his shots were just normal plays. The one on Massaquoi only happened because he bobbled the catch and he was trying to adjust so he could make the catch when he was hit.
The only way I would support fining or suspending people for devastating hits is if they are intentionally trying to hurt someone. But with most of these plays, everything happens so fast that the defensive players can't react in time, and people will get hurt on some plays. Thats the way it is, and the only way you can stop this is if you just take all of the contact out of the NFL, but nobody wants to see that. The NFL would basically be like the Arena League but without all of the hits, and almost every game would have each team going over 40 or 50 points because the defensive guys would be afraid of being fined if they touched someone. All of these players who are being injured now also make you wonder why the NFL would even think about going to an 18 game schedule. It seems to me like that would just make all of this worse.
I am all for player safety, but the NFL is going too far with all of this. I'm fine with preventing head shots, but this devastating hit stuff is too much, and players are already limited in where they can hit people. That is part of why Fitz was injured in the Preseason, it seems like the only place you can hit a receiver now is in their legs, and sooner or later you won't be allowed to hit there either if some big name player goes down for the entire year because of an ACL injury after being whacked in the knee.
So, what does everyone else at RotB think? Am I alone in thinking the NFL has gone too far?