The NFL passed a vote that prohibits runners from lowering their head and leading with the crown of their helmet. The rule has been met with loads of criticism from current and former NFL running backs and now a big time analyst has become the latest to speak out against the new rule.
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network spoke out against the rule saying the NFL owners were wrong for passing the rule by a 31-1 vote.
“While I applaud the league for most of what’s going on with the safety concerns, and all players and former plays applaud that, I look at this rule and I say, at some point I think we’re crossing a line,” Mayock said, per Pro Football Talk.
“To me, a running back has got to be able to drop his pad level. And when a running back drops his pad level, his head goes with it. That’s just the way you play football. And from a defensive player’s perspective — which I was — I understand and respect that. I think it’s part of the game, and I don’t think you can legislate all contact and all forcible head hits out of this game.”
Mayock goes on to say that the new rule completely changes the game and that banning rushers from lowering their helmets makes the game we love no longer football.
“I’m not a fan of this rule at all. I think it crosses a line. We all love safety, but at some point, football’s got to be football,” Mayock said. “If a running back can’t drop his pad level, I don’t think it’s football anymore.”
I have to agree with Mayock. If running backs are not able to lower their pads, they will also be more vulnerable to low shots and leg injuries. That completely goes against what the league is trying to do with their new rule.
At some point, the league just needs to let players play the game. By continuously changing the rules to limit contact, they are turning off fans and making players relearn how to play the game.
It’s unfortunate to see the game heading in this direction, but the NFL is still king and people will continue to watch. The game may just become unrecognizable at some point.