Finally after last years all talk, no action on the subject of steeper penalties for illegal hits, the NFL has alterted the rules on what illigal hits will now cost.
So now the NFL will punish teams as well as players for hits deemed illegal, similarly to off-field conduct.
A couple things cought my eye when reading this.
A 15-yard penalty will result for anyone who leaves both feet before contact to spring forward and upward into an opponent and delivers a blow to the helmet of his opponent with any part of his helmet.
I thought they already had a rule inplace for this scenario? Like the hit Harrison put on Massaquoi?
Defenseless players cannot be hit in the head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm or shoulder. 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; kickers or punters during a kick or a return; a quarterback during a change of possession; a player who receives a blindside block from a blocker moving toward his own end zone.
Notice the part of about "a quarterback during a change of possession"? Call that the Kurt Warner effect. The rest have already been in place I thought.
Also, hits to the head of a passer that aren't considered "forcible" blows will no longer be penalized.
Here is one change in our favor. Now you can graze a QB's helmet and get away scot free.
But the one that really got under my skin was this one
The punishment will be financial, although league vice president Adolpho Birch said Tuesday that he didn't rule out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell applying further sanctions such as stripping teams of draft choices.
Now there threating to take away draft picks? Do they want to give us a reason to unite? They've already target Wood and Harrison. Now the whole team? I wouldn't want to be a QB coming up agaisnt this team.