Re: Goodell Continues His Assault On Pro Football
posted at 12/4/2010 7:00 AM EST
And the beat goes on...with this out of control NFL Commissioner. The current craze is to protect "defenseless" QBs and WRs from those mean, nasty NFL defenders. Actually, this is just an extension, and further restraint on defenders.
The origins of this movement stem from the Patriots' upset win over the Rams, in 2001. In the aftermath of that game, then Rams' head coach, Mike Martz, complained about how the Patriots "illegally" roughed up his merry band of WRs, along with his RB, Marshall Faulk.
Three years later, after the Indianapolis Colts made similar whines, the NFL Rules Committee, then spear-headed by Martz, Colts' head coach, Tony Dungy, and Colts GM, Bill Polian, came up with the "Polian Passing Rules". These "rules" were more in the form of rule modifications...as referees were instructed in place an emphasis on illegal contact on WRs after 5 yards...and a corresponding more liberal interpretation of what constitutes pass interference.
Subsequent low hits on QBs caused knee injuries to Cincinnati Bengals' rising star, Carson Palmer, and established star, Tom Brady. This led to another rule change in which defenders were ordered not to hit QBs at the knee or below.
For the past two years, the potentially devastating effects of head injuries and concussions have been brought to light. As a result, the NFL has looked into developing a better helmet, and doing what it can to protect its' players. Positive strives have been made to prevent teams from rushing players back, and to curb player machismo, through education and awareness regarding concussions.
The aforementioned liberalization of the passing rules has led to teams adopting strategies to punish WRs, QBs, and RBs in the open field, in hopes of intimidating these skill players, and forcing turnovers. This, and exotic blitz packages designed to pressure passers, and throw-off the timing of pass plays, are the only tactics left to defenders in their attempts to contain the league's potent spread offenses.
Over the past few weeks, the league has attempted to outlaw helmet to helmet collisions. These types of hit...or close facsimile there to, have resulted in a rash of penalties and fines. To date, the greatest offender in this area have been the Pittsburgh Steelers' star DE/OLB James Harrison. Harrison has drawn $125,000 in fines for four alleged illegal hits.
Recently, Steelers' owner Art Rooney, II has questioned whether Roger "Jets" Goodell, and the league, has over-reacted and over-stepped it's bounds in it's proactive approach to protecting players: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_712044.html
Steelers' WR Hines Wards has called Goodell and the league ministers a bunch of hypocrites: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_711773.html;
Other players have voiced complaints: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_711761
What say you? Do you think that the Steelers are right...and that Roger "Jets" Goodell has over-stepped his bounds?