OFFSEASON! Let’s do the concussion/safety chat since there is no real news.

So concussions. They bad. What are we gonna do about that stuff?

My personal views: I hate many of the new safety rules. Helmet to Helmet, Roughing the passer, illegal contact…all those rules. But I don’t hate them because they make the game more wussy, I hate them because they are half-assed fixes to a real problem and cause more issues than they solve. Banning Helmet to Helmet hits is great in theory, but in practice it’s terrible. For every good call, we get several of the following:

-Defender led with shoulder in clean hit, but ref was at the wrong angle and called it anyway
-Defender was aiming low, but receiver ducked down upon the catch and ran into the defender, yet the defender gets called anyway
-Defender already in midair and unable to defy the laws of physics then the receiver turns into him (This is a major issue I have with roughing the passer. Seems like the defender is already in midair when the ball leaves and he can’t stop his momentum then, why should he get called?)
-Clean hit, but it looked bad in real time so the ref plays it safe and flags the defender anyway.

Also, now defenders are aiming even lower, at the knees, and what a surprise, knee injuries were at an astounding level last year. Correlation =/= causation, but woof, doesn’t look good.

I’ve made it clear on earlier comics, but I’m very much in favor of the changes for safety.  I just think the NFL has done a crap job of it so far and the rule changes they’ve made have been bad to mediocre and haven’t really solved anything while making the game worse. We should always make sure the refs have as few big subjective calls to make, not more. Refs are human and the game is fast paced, they aren’t going to get it right all the time. The more highly subjective calls they have to make, the more likely they will screw it up, and then everyone is unhappy. Plus, those calls are devastating for defenses, which just sucks even more.

It’s a contact sport. The violence is never going away, it’s part of the appeal. They need to figure out better ways to fix the current violence though.