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The defenseless player rule redefined/expanded.


Audible_Red40

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http://www.boston.com/sports/football/articles/2011/03/16/nfl_suspensions_more_likely_for_illegal_hits/?rss_id=Boston.com+--+Football+news

The league looks at two years worth of plays to determined repeat offenders.

Rules defining a defenseless player will be expanded and now will include eight categories:

--A quarterback in the act of throwing;

--A receiver trying to catch a pass;

--A runner already in the grasp of tacklers and having his forward progress stopped;

--A player fielding a punt or a kickoff;

--A kicker or punter during the kick;

--A quarterback at any time after change of possession;

--A receever who receives a blind-side block;

--A player already on the ground.

Whoa. Defenseless player? Have at it.

The worst one IMO, is a QB in the act of throwing. How oh how to avoid this? Not AFTER he throws, but in the ACT.

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I get the idea behind this, but some of these are ridiculous.

A QB in the act of throwing - This one's close; it seems to me that this would change a lot of sacks into penalties if enforced.

A receiver trying to catch a pass - What ever happened to "they were both going for the ball?"

A player in the act of fielding a punt or kickoff - If this covered only those calling fair catch, I'd agree, but otherwise that player should be fair game. If this is instituted, they might as well eliminate the fair catch rule since you could just field the kick then kneel.

A kicker or punter during the kick - Does this mean during the act of kicking/punting? I agree with that. If it means during the play, then that gives the kicking team a one man (well, maybe a 0.5 man) advantage during the play.

A QB at any time after change of possession - Again, this amounts to a man advantage for the team losing possession.

The other three are fine with me. Three out of eight - not impressed with these changes.

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These new rules are horrendous. I realize they are trying to keep players safe but this will negatively impact the game. Why would you take away a defensive players chance to hit a qb while throwing the ball to force a turnover? Why would you take away a defensive players chance to hit a receiver when trying to hang onto a ball and cause a turnover?

I totally understand they want to keep players safe but this is getting to the point of absurdity.

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--A quarterback in the act of throwing; - So the only time you can get a sack is if he's running around in the pocket? When does the "act of throwing" start?

--A receiver trying to catch a pass; - So defenders need to LET them catch it before they hit them?

--A runner already in the grasp of tacklers and having his forward progress stopped; - What happens if he breaks free?

--A player fielding a punt or a kickoff; - That's ok

--A kicker or punter during the kick; - That's ok

--A quarterback at any time after change of possession; - So he can tackle, but not be blocked?

--A receever who receives a blind-side block; - Huh?

--A player already on the ground. - Ok

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In reading the article...the way I understood it was that penalties that would have already been called in those 8 circumstances now might result in suspensions. To me, it didn't sound like they were going to start throwing flags more often or take away things that defenders can do. For example, the WR is considered defenseless when leaping up over the middle. He can be hit/tackled/whatever, you just can't lead with your helmet or hit him in his helmet. That was a flag last year and will continue to be one next year. The only difference is that now that situation is more likely to net the offender a suspension. If someone read that differently, then I apologize.

---------- Post added March-16th-2011 at 12:48 PM ----------

--A quarterback in the act of throwing; - So the only time you can get a sack is if he's running around in the pocket? When does the "act of throwing" start?

--A receiver trying to catch a pass; - So defenders need to LET them catch it before they hit them?

--A runner already in the grasp of tacklers and having his forward progress stopped; - What happens if he breaks free?

--A player fielding a punt or a kickoff; - That's ok

--A kicker or punter during the kick; - That's ok

--A quarterback at any time after change of possession; - So he can tackle, but not be blocked?

--A receever who receives a blind-side block; - Huh?

--A player already on the ground. - Ok

Again...the rules for when to throw the flag seem to be the same. It's just that if you're flagged for these, you might be more likely to miss some games after the NFL reviews the play.

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How about a QB in the act of a pump fake? How is the defender supposed to know if the QB is in the act of throwing or just faking?

If this is going to be a rule then pump fakes should be banned also.

simple, the defender will slow up, and after the pump fake maybe the defender will giggle a little and say..... ahhh man you really got me that time QB

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How about a QB in the act of a pump fake? How is the defender supposed to know if the QB is in the act of throwing or just faking?

If this is going to be a rule then pump fakes should be banned also.

exactly. the problem with these type of rules is that theyre so subjective. can you imaging a game changing 15 yard penalty due to a pump fake hit? combine that nonsense with the ever confusing and fundamentally flawed tuck rule and defenses dont stand a chance.

what about the qb after COP? can he go out to tackle and not be blocked?

it seems that the nfl through various means is trying to alienate the fanbase. quibble of 9 billion, further girlification (no offense ladies) of the game, rules that unfairly give advantage to the offense. as Oldfan said in another thread, "youre losing me, man"

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--A quarterback in the act of throwing; Stupid. How can you stop a pass when you are not allowed to touch the QB.--A receiver trying to catch a pass;

--A runner already in the grasp of tacklers and having his forward progress stopped; If the RB is still fighting for yards, then extra tacklers can come in to tackle him like rugby league.

--A player fielding a punt or a kickoff; Fair ctach signals chasers to stop otherwise its fair game

--A kicker or punter during the kick; Ok

--A quarterback at any time after change of possession; The QB get should get out of the way if he doesn't want to get steam rolled. Likwise punters & kickers.

--A receiver who receives a blind-side block; I agree 100%. Cheap shots on unsuspecting chasers should be discouraged as they are very dangerous, espcially when the blocker uses a shoulder charge.

--A player already on the ground. Fine

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I was reading in the paper today that there have been proposals by "some" owners to do the following on kickoffs in The Rock Hill Herald:

1) eliminate the wedge all together, meaning all players must go one on one. (they put in a rule a couple of years ago limiting the number of players on a wedge)

2) the kicking team could only start 5 yards behind the ball, meaning, no player can go more than 5 yards back to start.

3) moving the kickoff back to the 35 from the 30 to get more touchbacks. The receiving team would receive the ball at the 25 instead of the 20.

4) getting rid of kickoffs all together and each team starts at the 25.

I think every one of these are ridiculous. I know concussions and injuries are a hot button issue, but this will ruin the game. You cannot take the violence out of the sport. These players know what they risk.

**EDIT** sorry, I didn't see the other thread about kickoffs.

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It is my understanding that this has to do with helmet-to-helmet stuff. Defenseless doesn't mean you can't be tackled or even hit. It just means that you are considered to be in a position where you cannot react accordingly to someone leading with the crown of the helmet. All pretty reasonable if you ask me.

I was watching DVD of the classic 1983 NFC championship game the other day, and I was amazed at how much less brutal the game seemed. People were tackling hard but almost none of the brutal head-to-head stuff we see so much of today. Even Dexter's big hit on White looked perfectly reasonable. I have no problem with the league getting back to real tackling and less of the eye-popping hits... and these rules have nothing to do with sound tackling.

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A QB in the act of throwing?

Seriously?

How many GAMEs turn on a defensive player coming off the end and hitting the QB as he's throwing and forcing a turnover?

Outrageous.

This game is getting very difficult to love.

~Bang

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How many GAMEs turn on a defensive player coming off the end and hitting the QB as he's throwing and forcing a turnover?

And you will still be able to do that without a fine. This is about suspending/fining players putting ILLEGAL hits on an expanded definition of defenseless players. You can still do legal hits, just as you always could against the previous definition of defenseless players.

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And you will still be able to do that without a fine. This is about suspending/fining players putting ILLEGAL hits on an expanded definition of defenseless players. You can still do legal hits, just as you always could against the previous definition of defenseless players.

Says who?

By the sound of what I see above, hitting a QB in the act of throwing the ball is just that.

If he's got his arm ****ed, lay off.

I hope you're right, but pardon me if i don't trust that the mindless officials won't **** this up beyond belief. One more rule that they must "interpret" on the field in the heat of the moment.

The rulebook is smothering the game.

~Bang

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A QB in the act of throwing?

I believe this already was considered defenseless... I believe the only new ones are:

--A kicker or punter during the kick;

--A quarterback at any time after change of possession;

--A receever who receives a blind-side block;

---------- Post added March-17th-2011 at 05:54 PM ----------

This comes from the 2010 League Policies for Players manual:

Illegal acts that jeopardize the safety of players will not be tolerated. The League will continue to stress enforcement of the personal foul rules, with special emphasis on the unnecessary roughness and roughing the passer rules that prohibit hits on players in defenseless positions, including passers in the act of passing, receivers in the process of attempting to catch a pass, a runner whose forward progress has been stopped and is already in the grasp of a tackler, a kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick, and a player on the ground at the end of a play. You should pay special attention to the rule concerning low hits on the quarterback where the defensive player had an opportunity to avoid forcible contact. These hits are illegal and will result in both onfield penalties and discipline by the league. Officials will continue to be instructed that, if there is any doubt as to the potential for a foul, they should lean toward player safety and call the foul.

This part hasn't changed -- just adding those three elements to the term defenseless. The bold shows that most of these were already considered defenseless. It didn't mean you couldn't touch them last year... and it won't mean you can't in the upcoming year either.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81c8823a/article/leagues-official-player-safety-rules

---------- Post added March-17th-2011 at 06:03 PM ----------

This is a more appriopriate quote from the same manual:

NFL rules provide special protection to defenseless players, by prohibiting (a) hits delivered to their head or neck area by an opponent with his helmet (including facemask), forearm, or shoulder, and (B) hits delivered by an opponent with his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/"hairline" parts) against any part of the defenseless player's body (i.e., "butting, spearing, or ramming" a defenseless player.)

Defenseless players are defined as (a) a player in the act of or just after throwing a pass; (B) a receiver catching or attempting to catch a pass; © a runner already in the grasp of a tackler and whose forward progress has been stopped; (d) a kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air; and (e) a player on the ground at the end of a play.

So again -- this is not about clean hits -- this is about primarily helmet-to-helmet hits.

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The NFL is going the way of the NBA. They are passing stupid rules that happily sacrifice the sport on the alter of marketing. They need less injuries to their offensive player because so many fans, especially those that aren't real football fans, like to see offense. They change the contact rules with wide outs to open up the passing game and now they are hobbling the defenders. Is there a rule stopping a running back from ducking his head and putting the crown of his helmet into a defenders face mask? Of course not. Is there a rule stopping an offensive player from leveling a defender with a blind side block? Of course not. The NFL is basically saying if defenders get injured we're ok but we can't risk the little darlings on offense. How long have defenders complained about lineman diving at their knees? Exactly.

They do THIS and are likely throwing away next season. I would love to see the NFL replaced by a different league at this point.

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