Direct from Jeff Fisher's mouth that is a quote that details what parts of the helmet players may hit with. Lets considerfor a second the purpose of this rule, it is safety right? the goal is to stop these guys from hitting things with their head, its a good goal.
Ok that's great but lets look closer, it you cant lower your face when you lower your shoulder that means that players will be taking a lot more hits with their chin and face potentially. Any Boxer knows that the quickest way to knock someone out is to connect with power to your opponents chin. So whats the trade off here? How many times does does a RB really lead with the crown of the head, these guys in the competition committee, mainly Jeff Fisher keep telling us this rule is so restricted in regards to when it can be called (outside the tackle box, in open field, and it must be blatant) that we wont be seeing flags all over the place. And i believe this i think its a fairly irrelevant rule to be honest, players dont want to hit things solely with their head, its not the most effective way to run.
Head on collisions happen when you drop your body level.
I havent even touched on enforcement of the rule yet, how are Refs suppose to differentiate between the crown of the helmet and the hairline region, i mean to two regions touch right, its about a two inch difference. Do we really expect Refs to be able to make that decision in real time with any degree of accuracy? What about when the game is one the line?
This rule is for show, its not going to change the way runners run, its not going to reduce collisions, and it is not going to "save the game", its for show, its so the NFL can say look we are working to make this game safer, its so Roger Goodell can look at the owners and say "look at what i'm doing to protect your profits".
I talked about this the other day and it really bothers me, this is not a impactful way to protect players, it's a smokescreen to make people think your protecting players.
According to John Fox VIA NFLN and I paraphrase, research shows this penalty would have been called 35 times last season.
If Roger Goodell was serious about protecting players he would look at new helmet technologies. Im just going to Copy and paste something I wrote yesterday in here,
It’s insane to me sitting at home watching tv to see Roger Goodell spouting off about how much he cares about player safety and how important this new rule banning “leading with your helmet” or “using your helmet as a battering ram” because how many times does that really happen every game? One maybe two times? ESPN has been running a “highlight reel” that consists of one to two plays from the entire season where they found blatant “leading with the helmet”. The new rule requires that the offense be blatant, the defender or offensive player must obviously square up then lead with the crown of the helmet. How much does this really help players? Not much I say, seems like a publicity stunt to me, “hey look at us we care about our players”.
Do you care about your players Roger? according to some sources (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/helmet-wars-and-new-helmet-could-protect-us-all) NFL players can take upwards of 1500 hits to the head in a single season, multiply that out over a career and its incredible the amount of hits a player takes to the head, and the need for player safety is evident and paramount to the continued success of the league. So i ask you Roger what is more important, penalizing players for a hard hit (they are taught to make in pop warner) maybe once a game or finding new helmet technology that will protect all players all the time.
According to this article on helmets there are two types of force, linear and rotational acceleration, Linear is what it sounds like, straight line force that causes skull fractures. The helmets we currently have are good at preventing this, as evidenced by the amount of skull fractures in theNFL every year (none?).
“Rotational acceleration is less intuitive. It occurs most acutely during angular impacts, or those in which force is not directed at the brain’s center of gravity. You don’t have to know much about football or hockey to realize that rotation is a factor in a whole lot of hits. “Think about it,’ says Robert Cantu, a neurosurgeon at Boston University School of Medicine and the author of 29 books on neurology and sports medicine. “Because most hits are off-center and because our heads are not square, most of the accelerations in the head are going to be rotational.’”
It is important to note that not a whole lot is known about concussions but some advancements have been made, we now believe that concussions happen deep in the white matter of the brain and occurs when a big hit puts a strain on the nerve cells and axons. Rotational force is more likely to cause a concussion.
This may be an unfair indictment of Goodell because he has tried to improve player safety but really there are much bigger more impactful things that can be done to improve safety and this does not include implementing a rule that wont even stop the hits they are penalizing from happening.
Now ill end this post but anyone who is interested should go check out the new helmets they are inventing and the one they have already invented by MIPS that works to reduce rotational force and therefore concussions.