Ravens Gab Writers Debate the Latest Rule Changes

3 Takes: Are the NFL rule changes unrealistic?

Today we discuss the NFL’s new rule changes pertaining to illegal hits on defenseless players or as the NFL defines, players in a “defenseless posture.”  The Ravens Gab writers give their ‘take’ on the issue.

The definition of such players now includes those throwing a pass; attempting or completing a catch without having time to ward off or avoid contact; a runner whose forward progress has been stopped by a tackler; kickoff or punt returners while the ball is in the air; ….

We pose the question(s). Is the definition of a defenseless player unrealistic?  Where do the officials draw the line between playing football and safety?

Jonathan Scruggs: Columnist/Legal Analyst

“Honestly, it’s getting to the point where enough is enough. We all know the game of football is dangerous, and it would be insanity to argue that there doesn’t need to be a safe guard in place to protect players, but come on people, this is clearly becoming excessive.

Today’s players are bigger, faster, and stronger than they’ve ever been, but at the same time, football is a contact sport, and to have rules in place that state you can’t hit a receiving player until he’s had time to ‘avoid the hit’ or you can’t hit a quarterback during a change of possession (i.e. after a turnover) I mean give me a break. This is getting ridiculous. Some of the rule makes sense, but for the most part the league has over extended itself and created an atmosphere that is all but negating the importance or impact of a dominate defense. The good news is if a defender grazes the helmet of a quarterback there will be no penalty called.”

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