A huge outcry erupted after Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers leveled Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13 on a bang-bang play that involved a helmet to helmet collision. Six days later in the third quarter of the Seattle Seahawks game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jags fullback Tommy Bohanon led with the crown of his helmet and concussed K.J. Wright. The firestorm following the helmet to helmet hit on Wright consisted of a half dozen tweets.
This was pretty much the extent of the twitterstorm of outrage following the hit on Wright.
That block on kJ Wright was helmet to helmet— Beaston Johnson (@BeastonEaston2) December 10, 2017
The Seattle defense was on the field after Russell Wilson tossed one of his three interceptions in the game, and when K.J. Wright read the play and stepped over to fill the gap, this is the collision that happened.
It is undeniable from that picture that Bohanon led with the crown of his helmet. However, perhaps it was such a bang-bang play that Bohanon did not have a chance to react and the helmet to helmet was the result of an unexpected collision. The film should answer that, so here are a series of stills of Bohanon in the lead up to the hit.
In this first picture, Bohanon’s head is upright.
Just a tiny bit later, Bohanon dips his head.
And then continues to lower his head.
So that just before impact there is no doubt that K.J. is about to get drilled by a lead blockers who is unquestionably leading with the crown of his helmet.
Proper blocking technique for a fullback involves leading with either the hands or the shoulder, never with the crown of the helmet. In this situation Bohanon unquestionably led with the crown of his helmet, and now Seattle may be without one of their best defenders when they face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15 with first place in NFC West on the line.