Past And Present Steelers Critical Of NFL’s Rule Change

The NFL’s announcement of a potentially game-changing rule, outlawing initiating helmet-to-helmet contact, has drawn plenty of fair criticism. How seriously will it be penalized? What type of hit deserving for an ejection? How will the league create consistency?

The criticism has come from fans and players. Two Pittsburgh Steelers voiced their concerns on Twitter. Former cornerback Bryant McFadden blasted the league on Twitter for their decision.

Vince Williams was a little more subdued about it but essentially said such contact is unavoidable.

To be fair, the league is not making helmet to helmet contact with both players face up illegal, though naturally, someone is going to drop their head in the process.

The NFL hasn’t offered much clarity on the ruling yet. The league has said they will continue to tweak the rule and explain it to players throughout the offseason. Packers President Mark Murphy said the rule will rarely be enforced, saying he’s counted only five plays last season that would result in an ejection.

Murphy did say the league will call more penalties this year.

Like we said yesterday, no one is arguing against player safety. But the NFL has seemed to make it nearly impossible for defenders to actually tackle. It could result in more players going low at the ball carrier’s knees to avoid even the chance of an illegal hit.

If this were a league that has shown consistency and clarity when it comes to rule changes, perhaps the new legislation wouldn’t be such a problem. But for one that reportedly changes their rules before even telling anyone, as they did with the catch rule in this year’s Super Bowl, who knows what is going to happen.

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