NFL Questions And (Maybe Some) Answers for Week 6

Good Morning TSF Family, player safety will be the issue at hand this week as the league has passed down a new ruling that will severely fine and suspend players for helmet to helmet contact and “devastating” hits like the one placed on the Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Jackson (above). “Flashin’ “Brett Favre meets with NFL Security today and does Andy Reid really think having Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb is a luxury?

With the speed of the NFL game being at an all-time high, what possible measures can be taken to prevent several of the violent collisions that occurred on Sunday. There’s no way that you can ask a player to pull up once he’s committed himself to making a tackle. The slippery slope here is the intent to deliver a helmet to helmet or “devastating” hit which will be interpreted by officials on the field and then by those in the League offices. Case in point; the Steelers hit by James Harrison on Browns receiver Muhammad Massaquoi could be interpreted as an intentional helmet to helmet hit at live speed. A closer look through instant replay shows that Massaquoi’s head dips right before impact. There’s no way you can fine or suspend Harrison for this hit. A bigger problem occurs when a player like Harrison is targeted (Joshua Cribbs was also knocked out by a hit by Harrison in this game) a la Rodney Harrison and the late Andre Waters.

The hit by New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather on Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap is the type that the NFL wants to avoid, the type in which a player launches himself at another player at a players helmet or leads with his helmet.  To be totally honest, I don’t know what else can be done in the way of equipment to protect players – better mouthguards or additional padding in helmets. The thing is that these players are stronger and faster than ever and that’s not going to change.

Has Andy Reid really convinced himself that having two quality quarterbacks in the NFL is a luxury? There’s a saying that says, “If you have two quarterbacks, you have none.” As promising as the Eagles quarterback situation looks as long as the team is winning you have to wonder how fast the climate will turn once the Birds lose two out of three. You have Vick who’s playing for a new deal somewhere and wants to get back out there to continue the momentum he’s built while Kolb is out to prove that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. As for Reid as long as he keeps us on edge he’s happy.

That loud smack on the wrist was from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to Brett Favre. If Favre is found to be “holding a smoking gun” in this case what should be the punishment? I think the NFL sent  somewhat of a message with the four-game suspension of Ben Roethlisberger. It’s obvious that they are going to tread lightly with Favre who for some reason seems untouchable. When the Vikings are out of playoff contention that’s when the Leaue Office will drop the hammer, if not it will occur after the Vikings are eliminated – at which point Favre will appropriately “retire”.

 

 

22 Responses to “NFL Questions And (Maybe Some) Answers for Week 6”

  1. Miranda says:

    So its up to the refs to determine what they deem “flagrant”. While every flag thrown to a degree is somewhat the ref’s bias one way or another…this does seem like its going to be more problematic than for good…what’s flagrant to one person isn’t going to be flagrant to ten more.

    and this is disturbing (regardless of coming from PFT) – this is VERY disturbing:
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/10/19/chris-johnsons-fantasy-owners-should-thank-espn-jack-del-rio/

  2. Ron Glover says:

    I heard that comment or something like that during the game last night drifting in and out of sleep.

  3. Origin says:

    RG – Grat write up once again brotha.

    On the head injuries – First I want to say that the league and the talking heads are hypocrites. They are the same ones that hype up jacked up segments on their shows. Or laugh at the hits that Chuck Cecil put on folks back in the day.

    There really isn’t too much they can do about the head injuries. You are asking defenders to not hit players with their helmets. But offensive players use their helmets to protect themselves or use the helmets to ram defensive players. So is it an illegal hit if a DB is going to hit a WR in the mid section, but at the last second the WR puts his head down and balls up to protect himself. All of this resulting in a head to head collision. You see this every week and the defensive player gets called for a head to head collision.

    The problem is the field is too small and needs to be larger like the CFL. Also the QBs are passing the ball just too much………if you throw the ball that much someone is going to get hurt.

    Folks need to understand this is the risk players take to play football. Just like a boxer knows that to box there is a great chance of brain damage. A football player knows that their is a risk of concussion. The thing that really pisses me off is that the talking heads make it seem as the only risk to players is concussions and brain damage when they retire. Like leg and joint injuries aren’t a concern too. I have seen Dan Hampton in a walker at the age of 43. Or players having their legs amputated because the damage from years of playing is so severe. Or how players bones just disintegrated after retirement because of the punishment from playing for years.

    As far as Andy – He is just happy that he is winning. But it is icing on the cake that Kolb is playing well.

    On Farve – Like I said nothing will happen to him. A simple slap on the wrist and a payoff to old girl. The teflon don does it again…..oh and I don’t know what type of smoking gun

  4. Origin says:

    This should read

    “On Farve – Like I said nothing will happen to him. A simple slap on the wrist and a payoff to old girl. The teflon don does it again…..oh and I don’t know what type of smoking gun but the way women been clowning Farve the last few weeks it must have been a saturday night special.”

    Yeah Miranda I was going to post that. Man oh man that is a mess….so if they are telling them to make time outs what else are they telling them to do???

  5. Ron Glover says:

    We understand ya “O”.

  6. Miranda says:

    If Favre is found to be “holding a smoking gun” in this case what should be the punishment?

    Why Ron?? Why??________you throw it up all high and slow, am I supposed to not knock it out the park?

  7. Ron Glover says:

    @Miranda, I couldn’t help it.

  8. Temple3 says:

    In reverse order:

    3. Favre has been untouchable because he is a $%@#@# CASH COW. He generates more hits, more interest, more buzz than any other player in the league. It’s not all positive, but he is THE LIGHTNING ROD for the league. No one wants to kill the goose that lays golden eggs.

    2. I agree with the saying about having 2 QBs…but in the grand scheme of things, it’s irrelevant because the Eagles are going anywhere with Vick or with Kolb. McCoy is a nice player, but the offensive line still struggles in short yardage situations. The defense still relies on gimmicks and the LBs still suck (relatively speaking). I prefer to see Vick play – and he makes them better on 3rd and short, but then again — Reid might call a dumb ass draw like he did in the playoffs last year and get stuffed.

    1. I think the NFL is right to emphasize the problem with guys leading with their heads. That’s the real issue — and it’s a bigger issue than helmet-to-helmet contact. Players can control whether or not they lead with their head. None of them were taught to lead with their helmets, but they do it because of the payoffs. Harrison caused Cribbs to fumble and caused Massaquoi to simply drop the ball. There is a payoff to leading with the helmet, but the costs outweigh the benefits.

    There are too many players in these league who can’t tackle for shit. Those are the guys who should be practicing their fundamentals — hit, wrap and drive….keep your head up. See the hit…drive through the ball carrier, separate the ball carrier from the ball, take him to the ground. That’s the game. The head hunting is bullshit. Teams lose every week because these scrubs are trying to blow someone up and MISS THE TACKLE.

    As much as the league has changed the rules to enhance offensive production, we can see what happens when teams that tackle take the field. The Steelers, Ravens and Jets win games because they tackle. They hit, wrap and drive. You don’t tend to get 2nd effort yards against these teams. You don’t get that extra first down to keep the drive alive.

    On the flip side, on the play before Cribbs was hit by Harrison, Peyton Hillis ripped off a nice run and was tackled (partially) by Ike Taylor. Taylor was about to get run over by Hillis’ helmet and 240-pound frame, except for 3 things: the sideline, the on-time arrival of James Farrior, and Taylor’s own positioning as a defender. He executed a form tackle to the best of his ability and finished the play. If he tried that with Peyton Hillis, they would have been peeling him off the field, too. Offensive players will continue to be allowed to make strikes with their helmets because defenders are not considered defenseless — so this issue is bigger than mere helmet to helmet contact.

    It goes to the heart of how the game is played. Some cats are gonna have to get in the weight room. Now you have to tackle Hillis and Pocket Hercules by giving up the chest and taking one Earl Campbell-style. We’ll see how long that lasts. What’s a defender supposed to do with MJD? You can’t get under him — he’s 3 feet tall. If you tackle him high, you’re going for a long, long, long ride. This should be interesting.

  9. Temple3 says:

    Origin:

    Clearly I agree with most of what you said, but it is worth noting that head butting is illegal is boxing.

    100% right on re: offensive players.

    I’m glad you raised the issue with other types of injuries. This stuff is getting so much scrutiny because of the spectre of Congress hovering over the NFL. It’s a debilitating game. Few guys can emerge from it unscathed — and they tend to play far, far away from the hashmarks.

    Final Note:

    Has anyone publicly ridiculed the NFL for placing O.J. Simpson 40th on the list of all-time great players. They should have just left him off the list. I wonder which Top 20 player stole his spot.

  10. Ron Glover says:

    @ Temple, I’m with you on O.J.’s poor ranking.

  11. Origin says:

    Temple – I understand that the head butting is illegal in boxing butt shots to the head from punches are still allowed. I would love to measure the punching power from a boxer or MMA fighter hitting someones face. The force must be incredible…………but somehow the media and Congress are talking about head to head collisions in football….and brain damage. Yet many boxers over 40 can barely talk and have poor motor skills.

    To me this is typical knee jerk reactions and that all these concussions happened on Sunday. This is America once again partaking in entertainment without fully understanding the repercussions from said entertainment. They think this is like Tom and Jerry or the 3 Stooges were folks get knocked the hell out or blown up and just shake it off and walk off O.K.

    Its like when folks see movies and see these great stunts performed by their favorite actor on the screen without getting hurt. Yet never realizing that the stunt was performed by a stunt man/women that got hurt or lost their life to perform the stunt for the star of the movie.

    In football there is no way people moving that fast and that large on a small field are not going to get concussions. You cannot fully prevent head shots (whether they were intended or not). When folks are running at one another at such high rates of speed. This is not the matrix tacklers cannot change their trajectory in mid air. Once a defender commits it does not prevent an offensive player from putting their head down to protect themselves. If they really cared about ending concussions remove the freaking kick off and punt returns. The league really doesn’t care because we all know they only change rules when the media gets on their back. I remember when Cunningham and Palmer both got their knees blown out from the same type of hit. Yet when Brady knee was blown out there was an uproar from the media that something needed to be done. Next thing I know the rules about hitting QBs low was changed.

    And lets be real coaches teach these dudes to separate the ball from the WR or offensive player. Coaches also teach defenders to put their helmet on the ball in order to punch it out and to intimidate WRs by pounding them into the ground. Heck Belichick talked about it when they beat the Rams in the Superbowl. Until coaches are called out for teaching this type of football then its all talk. We all know if the players aren’t performing to the standard that the coaches want they will be removed from the game and someone else will be put in who will do exactly as the coaches ordered.

    IMO Temple what will happen is that defenders will start hitting WRs and other skill position players low. The thing is this happens to TE all the time due to their size. Now the question is what happens to smaller players like D. Jackson. Hits like this could result in blown out knees. Any football player would tell you they rather be hit in the head then in the knees, because the legs are how they earn their living. Now I could see a few WRs getting their knees blown out which would eventually result in the rules changing (especially if one of the golden boy star skill players gets hurt) stating that no hits below the waist when a WR is catching a ball. Almost like how you can’t hit a QB but from his shoulder to his waist. This would probably increase yards after catch and we would see even worse tackling.

    I think the league still wins if new rules are put in place. The league would be like the AFL or NBA light. You would have QBs passing for 600 and teams having scores 56 to 49. You know use Americans love to see scoring.

  12. Origin says:

    Another thing Temple they will soon remove OJ name from all the record books. This is just the beginning.

  13. Temple3 says:

    Origin — totally agree.

  14. Burundi says:

    Juice, just behind Barry Sanders, has to be considered the 1st “best” pure running back (with apologies to Gayle Sayers, according to some) and definitely deserves to be higher, but he is indeed being phased out.

    @T3, conspicuously absent from your analysis of offensive players leading with their helmets was your boy Hines Ward. Thoughts?

  15. Ron Glover says:

    Another point on the safety issue, they want to increase the amount of games and throw out hefty fines. But the same players that are paying out these huge fines for hits that the game markets pay a larger price once the cheering stops. And that’s when the NFL shows its true colors. A player is only offered health coverage under the NFL for the first five years of his retirement.

  16. Temple3 says:

    Burundi:

    Most of Hines’ greatest hits don’t involve his helmet. He does definitely keep himself low and wrap up the rock (hence, he leads with his helmet when he is in traffic). Wes Welker does the same thing. By way of contrast, guys like Moss and Owens don’t because they seek to avoid the hits that Ward delights in issuing and receiving.

    When Ward broke Keith Rivers jaw, he didn’t use his helmet. When he sent Ed Reed into the stratosphere, he didn’t use his helmet. When he introduced Jarrett Johnson to the sky, he didn’t use his helmet. And when he bodyslammed Courtland Finnegan with one arm, he didn’t use his helmet.

    So, I hear your point, but when I think of Hines Ward, I think of DB, LB carnage strewn all over Heinz Field. Don’t you?

  17. Temple3 says:

    RG:

    Great point. The league’s position on this is going to come to a head. Harrison won’t walk away from the game, but clearly, players are animated on this topic. Miami’s LB Crowder went off on this yesterday. He’s not alone.

    The league has to stake out a consistent position, but more importantly, the union needs to force their hand to the greatest extent possible. If the owners have already effectively agreed that players will be locked out in 2011, it makes sense to add this to the contested areas and get some alignment if and when they strike an agreement.

  18. Ron Glover says:

    I hope the players union realizes how much leverage they actually have. In the case of Harrison it’s already taken him out of his game and that’s when injuries are likely to occur. His mental approach to the game may be shot from here on out.

  19. Temple3 says:

    Burundi:

    Ward did get Reed with his helmet. Rivers was with the shoulder.

  20. Origin says:

    Brotha Temple I know you watch the NFL more then me………..so could you please explain to me the difference between the the Ray Lewis hit on teh Jets TE. And the hit on D. Jackson this past weekend. Supposedly the NFL videos that was sent to all teams explains Duante Robinson’s hit as illegal and the Ray Lewis hit as clean.

  21. Burundi says:

    T3: I was gonna bring that hit up, but I’m also sure I’ve seen him use his helmet on other plays with less devastating effect of the others—but I’ve seen him do it when he sometimes convinced players that he was simply gonna run out of bounds. Oh yes, I definitely recall him sneaking some folk…

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