March 15th by KC58
The NFL wants to change its rules for NFL running backs to prevent them from lowering their heads. These running techniques have been known to not only injure running backs but also injure defensive players as well. Retired running back Emmitt Smith does not like it to much and has openly come out against the NFL for suggesting the new rule.
“If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off? You’ve absolutely lost your mind.” Smith said in an interview with radio station 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
The NFL’s Ruling Committee will propose the change at the league meetings next week. In order for it to pass they would need 24 of 32 NFL owners to sign off.
“As a running back, it’s almost impossible (to not lower your head), The first thing you do is get behind your shoulder pads. That means you’re leaning forward and the first part of contact that’s going to take place is your head, regardless.” Smith Said.
I do see where Smith is coming from on this. Parts of the game happen so fast that you can not prevent them from happening. Unfortunately where was Smith when the NFL was doing this on the Defensive side of the ball? My opinion is they needed this rule. The NFL has come out very proactively about preventing concussions but they still allow their offensive players to continue to lead with the crown of the helmets. This does not make sense, what is good for one side of the ball should be good for the other.
Smith said “If I’m a running back and I’m running into a linebacker, you’re telling me I have to keep my head up so he can take my chin off?” Yes Emmitt that is exactly what they are saying. I played football in my younger days and know that coaches have always taught to never lead with your head, and always keep your head up! When you raise your head up your not sticking your head higher your actually tucking it into your shoulders for better protection. Just try it, square up to the screen, lower your body and point your nose up. (Kudos to the ones who actually did it!) See the back of your head actually goes to a safe position between your shoulders. This prevents your head from being violently pushed back.
I was not a fan of the NFL neutering defensive players but now that they have I applaud the move to keep the balance more equal between defensive and offensive players.