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'Why fix the Tuck Rule if it isn't broken,' Steelers say

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Why? Because why not, says the NFL. The league voted to abolish the Tuck Rule, and made it illegal for ball carriers to use the crown of their helmets against defensive players in the open field.

Karl Walter

The NFL voted to eliminate the controversial Tuck Rule Wednesday - the rule that says a passer's arm is still moving forward while drawing his arm back after faking a throw.

The Steelers, however, did not vote in favor of this rule, standing alone against 29 other teams, and two (New England and Washington) who abstained.


According to the Post-Gazette, "We didn't think it was necessary to make a change," Rooney said. "We were satisfied the rule was being officiated the right way. Why change something that's not broken, as far as were concerned?"

Oddly, the Steelers voted in favor of a rule to penalize ball carriers for ramming the crown of their helmets into defensive players - except at the goal line, of course, where it is frequently used. The infrequency of Steelers rushing touchdowns seems to suggest the lack of that rule wasn't hurting them at all, so the addition of the rule now, and the Steelers' vote in favor of it, seems to suggest they were ok with changing something that isn't broken.

What the Steelers have changed so far in this offseason is a roster full of players who, Tuck Rule or spearing rules aside, did not perform well enough to win games.

So what difference do any of these rules make? Probably none. A theory about Ben Roethlisberger's desire to pump passes while defenders are close to him is silly, considering multiple instances last year alone seemed to call for the Tuck Rule anyway, but were ruled fumbles anyway. Not to mention the short-sighted nature of such a decision.

The value of these rules really doesn't seem to change the basic foundation of the game or the Steelers organization, but at least it gives national writers a chance to joke about the Raiders and mention the Patriots.