James Harrison Sounds Off on NFL Rules Changes

Anyone on Twitter or searching WordPress might’ve already seen this @jharrison9292 but I am re-posting his blog post here:

It’s been weighing heavy on my mind all day, so I figure I might as well just let it out.  I want to make it clear that I am all for player safety.  I don’t disagree with all of the rule changes.

But come on…REALLY? Now you have to wait until a guy catches, or even worse, you have to let them catch the ball before you can even attempt to tackle him.  Along with that, you cannot let any part of your helmet or facemask touch any part of them basically from the chest up. If you are following the letter of the rules exactly, now most tackles, if not ALL tackles can be flagged, fined and/or result in ejection from that game, or future game(s).

I understand the intent behind making the rules, but in their attempt to make the game safer, they are actually clouding what is allowable.  Even the referees are confused.  A close look will show you that the referees were calling things that were not even supposed to be called, and NOT calling things that were actually illegal.

The decision to call a penalty or impose a fine is seemingly, at least some of the time, dependent upon the uniform and the player.  After my meeting this past fall with Roger Goodell, Ray Anderson, and Merton Hanks and some others, who I now have absolutely no respect for (to keep it PG), I definitely believe there is no equality in their enforcement of these rules.

These rules are targeting hard hitting players and defenses i.e. STEELERS.  I guess the NFL needed a poster child for their campaign.

The quarterback rule clarification (Rule 12, Section 2, Article 13) is a great change.  But that’s just saying “Hey Steelers..by the way…Ben’s nose getting broken last year really did not deserve a penalty.”

I know there are hits out there that could go either way, but if it’s me I already know which way they are going to go.  I love this game, but I hate what they are trying to turn it into.

I wonder why the NFL is suddenly coming down so hard on player’s safety issues.  I can’t help but think it’s not actually for the safety of the players.

He’ll get no argument from me.

I’m all for player safety, but I really do think things are going entirely too far.  I think there are two major factors contributing to the cases of early onset dementia that don’t exist, or at least don’t exist to nearly the extent, that they did in the era those guys played (the 60s, 70s, & 80s).  One is the rampant use of steroids.  The other in the 70s and 80s was Astroturf.  People tend to think of it as a surface that caused leg injuries only.  But just think of all the times those players would’ve fallen and hit their head off the ground.  Astroturf was basically concrete, and smacking your head off concrete ain’t good!  Field turf that we have today has to be much more brain-friendly, and that combined with the stringent post-concussion protocols put in place the past few years should go a long way towards eliminating new cases of early onset dementia when today’s players enter their 40s and 50s.

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