“Slower” NFL will cause more severe injuries

October 25, 2010 by

SEATTLE- After the NFL sent out a league wide memo to all 32 teams on Saturday enforcing the crackdown on illegal hits it showed that players are starting to play without the “head-hunting” mentality. However by preventing sever head injuries through illegal hits it’s left open a slew of other sever injuries.

Watching some of the games across the league there were several plays that reflected the new ways of NFL play. Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was cut around the knee’s which caused him to be taken out for a period of the game. Ravens safety Dawan Landry was loading up on a hit on Bills wide receiver Lee Evans but suddenly pulled up allowing Evans to score a game tying touchdown.

Those are just two examples of how the new NFL mandate has hurt the NFL and also leaving players open for other sever injuries.

As ESPN NFL Live analyst Mark Schlereth said “each team should play two-hand touch football, and see what happens to the league’s ratings.”

After seeing some of the games played this weekend I think fans might get more of a feel if each team just throw on their team jerseys, no pads, and a colored towel or some form of flag and either play backyard two hand touch or flag football.

Think about it, just like in Invincible, “OK so this is the play were we throw the ball to Vince and he runs around everyone.”

In reality the league is trying to cover itself from future law suits and the current image of the league.  However the fact is the NFL wasn’t built as a “Power Puff Girls league”  and it surely wasn’t built to be as slow as baseball. Ever since the AFL and NFL the league has promoted bone crushing hits and playing as hard as you can for four quarters.

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Jack “The Assassin” Tatum, Lawrence Timmons, Lyle Alzado, Dick Butkus, Chuck Cecil, “Mean” Joe Greene, Ray Lewis, John Lynch, and Ray Nitschke among so many other hart hitters that built up the tough NFL mentality.

Now it’s not to say that if you have a concussion you still have to play, because there is a fine line between safety, protection and playing through pain. Some injuries like a broken thumb or a sore shoulder you can play through but when it comes to fractures, concussions and broken bones that’s when you have to call it off.

In the modern day kids are tough at a young age to be tough, and play through pain. As you play through the ranks up to high school, college and into the NFL you know from the moment you put pads on what you’re signing up for.

Now if you watch a Wranger commercial and see Brett Favre and think you have what it takes to play in any football league outside of Fantasy Football you’re wrong. However because no one has done that in league history the league should have some say in how the game is played.

Thus maybe adding in more penalties to insure that players still have it in their mind not to go helmet-to-helmet. However fining players and suspensions should only result in the highest severity of hits. What suspensions are for currently in the league is off the field problems, like Jeremy Stevens.

Hopefully the league gets it right and allows the players to play hard and fast, but still within the league rules.

You can follow Lars at Twitter http://twitter.com/larshanson

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    Comments

    4 Responses to ““Slower” NFL will cause more severe injuries”
    • trevor harris says:

      good article, some good points made here. i think ultimately the nfl players will adjust. they’re world class athletes, they’ll figure out a new way.

    • Lars Hanson says:

      Trevor: Yeah which could be a good thing (that they find a new way to get around NFL rules)

    • Rick Bridges says:

      It’s a double edged sword to me. Defensive players and paid to hit. It’s what they do on a daily basis. The hits that concern me the most are the low hits to an offensive player running at full speed.

      I recall Falcons running back Byron Hanspard flipping through the air with his clearly broken leg in tow on a kickoff return back in the 90′s. The defender went low and ended his career. No flag was thrown. Michael Vick broke his leg against the Baltimore Ravens in pre-season due to a low hit, again no penalty, and cost Dan Reeves his job.

      I understand the helmet to helmet concerns but if it’s that the issue then put them back in leather helmets. That will fix them leading with the head.

      At the same time, I’ve seen many running backs lower the head to absorb a hit and knock out a much lighter cornerback. I’m sure it’s not intentional. Some running backs like Michael Turner run with a very low center of gravity already. But if it was reversed and the defender did the same thing, it would result in a suspension.

      The league needs to get the rules clarified better for both defense, and offense.

    • Rick Bridges says:

      *correction* Vicks broken leg was 2003 not the 90′s. His absense brought on the coaching change of Mora Jr. who then allowed Vick to be Vick. Dan Reeves actually had Vick under a little control. Had that not happened and he played that season, Reeves may have snuffed out the dog fighting issues that Mora Jr. allowed. Mora Jr. openly admitted he covered for Vick where as Reeves would not have played those games.

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