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2018 Rule Changes - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by HardRightEdge, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Helmet contact rule:

    I've noted a couple of times that the new helmet contact rule could be a big run game changer depending on how they enforce it. Helmet contact in the trenches, accidental or otherwise, is quite frequent, whether by defenders or running backs, with offensive players not exempt from the rule.

    We got a first obvious look at enforcement in Tennessee's first possession down at the Packer's 5 yard line. Martinez came up to stuff a run and smacked the runner helmet-to-helmet. It wasn't one those instance where both guys get low and collide. They were both playing high and Martinez just headed him. No call. From the standpoint of potential chaos from this rule that's a good thing. The rule as written clearly called for a 15 yard penalty.

    Later in the game there was a play where a runner was out in space, both the runner and defender got low and collided helmet to helmet. The defender got the flag. The way this rule is written, both should have been flagged with the penalties offsetting, which is just one illustration of how these guys do not know how to write rules to get the desireed affect without unintended consequences.

    There was another helmet contact call on a Titan running back plowing into the line. I looked at the replay several times and I could not see it other than incidental, a real head scratcher.

    It's still quite early. There's plenty of opportunity for the league to make a mess of this and they are off to a good start. It may not seem impactful now since we're more concerned with the players than winning and losing, but these are 15 yard penalties and the opportunity for game changing calls and controversies is off to a good start.

    Kickoff Rule:

    The rule that now requires most of the receiving team blockers stand 10 yards back of the kick line while the kicking team can't get a running start was intended to reduce high speed/high impact collisions.

    If the way the Titan and Packer receiving teams played this last night is the norm in the league, coaches have rendered this new rule a misshapened joke. Both of these teams had all of those up blockers turn their backs, sprint back toward the returner, then flip and assume a blocking posture in some kind of pre-determined array. The KO guys had a free run for 30 or more yards down the field before contact, and some of those blockers were not fully set by the time the KO guys engaged them. The injury risk looks worse than it was before.

    This rule was intended to have the up front blockers engage the coverage guys sooner, with the coverage guys moving slower since they could no longer move until the kick. Oops. These coaches found the gaping loophole.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  2. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    so far, I hate the helmet rule. It's ridiculous as it's been applied or not.
     
  3. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    The phrasing of the rule wasn't the issue on the call as the referees just missed the correct one on that play though.
     
  4. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    To repeat, the correct call as the rule is written would be offsetting penalties when the runner and the tackler both get low and butt heads. That means replaying the down. I think the appropriate reaction had that "correct" call been made would be "wait, what?"

    I happened to have the Tampa-Miami NFL Network game replay on the tube a little while ago. There was a similar play. No flag was thrown. Given the inherent nature of the game, that is the correct call but that's not what the rules now say. Runners are supposed to get low before contact to get the extra yards and to protect their knees while good form tackling calls for getting low. When runners and tacklers do what they are supposed to do these kinds of collisions naturally occur and I do not think it is appreciated how frequently it happens.

    Conversely, looking at the no-call Martinez play, which amounted to a head butt on a high tackle and a violation of the rule, that kind of play is situationally unavoidable if the ILB is doing what he's supposed to do. Do you want your ILB coming up guessing where the runner is going and dive to that hole? I don't think that's the right way to play the game. As he comes up to the line he needs to be head up to react to redirection, misdirection or a jump cut. He should not get low until he targets the runner. In this case the runner came through high with poor vision and ran right into Martinez before he could react. Going for the wrap up, he just happened to stun the guy with a helmet hit.

    None of this even touchs on O-Line/D-Line helmet collisions where there is a fair amount of helmet contact in the run game.

    Whether it's low-to-low contact or high-to-high, helmet contact is an inevitable part of the game. Expect controvery and more rule changes going forward. So far, with my limited looks, they're confining the calls to those in space. At the very least, I hope it stays that way.

    When they inevitably get around to adjusting this rule, the least they could do is to say if both players intiate contact with the helmet it is a no-call.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  5. lambeaulambo

    lambeaulambo Cheesehead

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    I will the first to say it, the safety rules are what they are. Is this the same game we grew up watching? Nope. The wonder here is if the "old game" sprouts up in the form of a new "gladiator" league formation of some sort, which uses the old NFL as a primer.
     
  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Getting head hunting out of the game is a good thing. Taking "intent" out of the rules is a good thing since asking refs to be mind readers is ridiculous.

    The best current example, though not the only one, of an old school head hunter is the often penalized and fined Vontaze Burfict. Would you really want to allow him to do what he does with impunity? His egregious hits would increase many fold without the threat of penalty, fine and ejection. Do you want refs trying to read his mind? Or to take another example, can you say you're perfectly OK with this, "intentional" or otherwise:



    Or this:



    Was Davis head-in-hands on the sidelines over regret at what he did to another player or was he thinking about the amount of the fine and the possible suspension? Again, it's a good thing "intent" nind reading does not play into it.

    It should not be the existance of such rules that's in question, only where you draw the line.

    I didn't comment on the new "Rodgers Rule" only because I have not yet seen an example of it being applied or not applied when the wording calls for it. Were you OK with Barr's disabling tackle on Rodgers last season? If so, it will chap your a** that Barr's tackle is now illegal. It is now illegal for a defensive player to take down a QB with the full weight of his body when said QB is in the act of throwing. Pass rushers now need to wrap up and roll the QB down. For me, a QB taking a hard hit is an occupational hazard. It was a clean, hard hit. Whether or not somebody thinks it was a late hit is irrelvant. This rule change does not address that. I assume you'd agree with me on that point, though I'm sure many Packer loyalists would not. The reality, however, is that people turn on the TV to watch Aaron Rodgers play, not Anthony Barr.

    You know, back in 1905 Teddy Roosevelt threatened to ban the game of football after 18 deaths on the field that year. Contrary to popular belief, neither Knute Rockne or even Bradbury Robinson invented the forward pass. Credit would best be attributed to Roosevelt who insisted on rule changes to get "unnecessay roughness" out of the game. Prior to the changes, football resembled a "gladiator game", to borrow your phrase, that resembled rugby. As of 1906, the forward pass was legalized to open up the game and minimize the massive scrums where guys were getting their skulls kicked or crushed.

    So, would you like to go back to 1905 rules? I didn't think so. Again, it's where you draw the line. And writing rules that penalize the things you want to eliminate and not penalize the things you don't or simply can't instead of throwing stuff against the verbal wall and working it out later on the field, as is the NFL habit, would be a good idea. I think the guys that write these rules may themselves have taken a hit to the head one too many times.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  7. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Great points to lead this discussion off HRE. I observed the same thing on kickoffs. The new rule didn't change much, just made the process different. Side note, I wonder if we see Scott take over the kick off duties, I liked what I saw out of him, he seems to be able to do what he does on punts, hang it up their nice and high.

    The head to head rule is going to be a real pain in the A$$ if they are going to call it as inconsistently as they did in that game.

    “It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.”

    Personally, I think they should have added language about # of steps taken before contact is made. If a player is standing there just as the runner is coming through the hole and either players heads are coming down, kind of a natural running and tackling position, there are going to be way too many incidences of the penalty technically having to be called. Now if a tackler comes running up on a ball carrier or a ball carrier comes running up to a tackler and either of them put their heads down and lead with them, call the penalty.
     
  8. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    They slipped in a late rule change to exempt "incidental contact" evidently because teams were in a quandry over what this meant for linemen locking horns, but would not go so far as to say those kinds of contacts would never be flagged, leaving it vaguely situational. If I were a lineman I'd still be scratching my head.

    What I think they should do is exempt the tackle box altogether with the exception of the spearing aspect of the new rule (a player lowering his helmet to establish a "linear body posture" is an ejectable offense) along with making explicit that low-to-low simultaneous helmet hits would not be called rather than have wording that suggests that both players should be flagged with offsetting penalties. That would be a good start in providing reasonableness to the proceedings.

    In the midst of all this, SUNY Buffalo just released the results of a brain injury study of retired 21 retired Bills and Sabres players in their 50's. Guess what?

    https://www.milehighreport.com/2018/8/11/17664608/nfl-new-helmet-rule-2018

    While the Burfict/Travathan/Davis-type hits previously discussed should not be part of the game, where physicallity crosses the line into brutality, the NFL might, just might, have ventured into panic overkill or at the very least considerable confusion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  9. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't like the new rule but under the current one penalizing both players would have been the correct call.
     
  10. lambeaulambo

    lambeaulambo Cheesehead

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    Okey dokey. Wasn't insinuating I am okay with any of what you claim. In fact, I am not. My pt was will a new league form with different rules...that's all.
     
  11. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Oh. Never mind. ;) Rugby, Australian Rules Football and ultimate fighting are currently available options.
     
  12. RRyder

    RRyder Cheesehead

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    Literally every goal line play should have a flag thrown. That's how ridiculous this rule is. I hope they dont enforce it like the new defensive PI/holding calls
     
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  13. PackerFanLV

    PackerFanLV Cheesehead

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    Gives the refs too much control.
     
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  14. OldSchool101

    OldSchool101 Peerless Beer, Lacrosse WI

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    These new rules make about as much sense as everyone waiting at one of those intersections where there is no traffic going the other way. . You know, that intersection where everyone just sits at the redlight, wasting away several minutes of their life as it flashes away before their eyes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  15. lambeaulambo

    lambeaulambo Cheesehead

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    Where is Vince McMahon when you need him LOL
     
  16. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    Garbage rule strikes again. In our favor but still junk
     
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  17. Jerellh528

    Jerellh528 Cheesehead

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    The helmet rule is going to be reallllly upsetting this season, I can already tell
     
  18. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    The replay from a second angle looked like he hit with his shoulder, not the helmet. Worst case, it was a brush and incidental. Not a good call.
     
  19. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Sadly, I think that is going to be the case all season if they don't redefine this, like right now! Every week there are going to be constant examples of why it should or shouldn't have been called and how that effected the outcome of the game. If people thought the catch rule was a problem, this is going to blow that right out of the water.

    Every player in the NFL grew up learning the basics of tackling, if the NFL thought every player would suddenly unlearn that, they are fooling themselves. Might as well just turn it into the FFL.....Flag Football League. Yes, pun intended.
     
  20. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Look on the bright side. No calls were made in the tackle box where this could really be an unholy mess if called by the letter of the law.

    You're right, though. A guy can be executing good form tackling, targeting with the shoulder, the ball carrier makes a quick more or goes to the ground, and the defender contacts with the helmet unintentionally. It happens quite a bit, a natrual part of the game, and its hard to see how they can force it to be any different.
     
  21. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    He's where everybody else is....in a fight staged by Trump. :eek: Oh wait, McMahon's been there, done that already. ;)
     
  22. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Spot on and I am sure someone out there is piecing together all of the video from preseason games where this rule has been enforced, unenforced, enforced correctly and incorrectly. Great, its the preseason and wins and losses don't count. But when the games start counting, this is going to be a big deal, especially when it decides the outcome of a game.

    I understand the intent of the rule, but whoever decided on the definition and enforcement of it, seems to have never watched an NFL game in their life.
     
  23. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    This came from the owners. Maybe Kraft leading the way. Hoodie seems to have endorsed the concept, though I don't know what he might have said about it's early implementation. What Bob and Jerry want, Bob and Jerry get. Bob and Jerry are worried about the long term liability exposure and medical costs for players in retirement. They see head trauma as a big tail risk, not the cost of doing business.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  24. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    It needs to be saved for the obvious ones. Cue up the 2 hits on Adams last year where the tacklers targeted high, put their heads down and plowed thru his face and hearhole. Those are penalties. The rest are football. If they're trying to get everyone to get their eyes up, which I'd be happier with a rule that allowed everything as long as your head was up, than trying to micromanage all this stuff, but if that's their intent, this is going to be a long disjointed season for every defense. and with the gambling spectre over all of the sport now, it becomes another way for the officials to seemingly control the game. Real or not, doubt will creep in even more. what's the over under on the integrity of the league being destroyed if the line is 11 years?
     
  25. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    I still think the NCAA got this right and the NFL has screwed the pooch with this new rule, if it stands as is. I believe in college football, there is someone up in the box looking for or reviewing targeting calls, not heads dropping in the course of normal football play. For the last several years, I haven't seen it screwed up more than a few times in the college games that I have watched. I have watched 2 NFL preseason games and :eek::eek::eek:

    If the NFL continues with letting refs on the field toss a flag anytime they feel a head came down in the course of contact, this is going to be on long season and most of that is going to be conversations after games as to how this call or that call was blown.
     

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