NFL  > General NFL  > Change the helmets, not the rules!!
October 19, 2010, 01:02 PM
Ok, lots of talk about changing the rules, enforcement, suspensions etc etc....

Maybe the problem is the helmets? THe hard plastic provides guys with a ready made weapon. I know that there has been much change and technology into the inside of the helmet; air bags, new foam pads etc. But why not see if there is a soft outter shell that can contain the elements close to the skull.

Not harkening back to the days of the leather helmet just something softer. Anyone remember Don Bebee's little soft shell he wore with the Bills? Made him look like the martian from the Flintstones (is that the correct cartoon?). Not sure if that was a good idea as soft vinyl vs hard plastic could bind and pull. Could be the same problem with my suggestion, heads sticking rather than deflecting off and pulling necks. BUT I think we could have technology to fix that.

With today's technology suspect it would be possible to find a material that would provide protection to the head all within a softer outer shell, that removes the hard plastic bucket used as a weapon to transfer blows. Sometimes soft is better than hard...(don't they have a pill for that?)

Thoughts?
October 19, 2010  01:07 PM ET

Back in the day of leather helmets, players knew how to tackle....with their hands and arms. They didn't launch themselves to try and tackle with their shoulders.

October 19, 2010  01:13 PM ET

Rugby relies on a tackle made with feet on the ground, you MUST wrap a guy up, no "hitting" to de-cleat them and since guys arent' geared up in protective plastic shields the style is much different. Still rough and violent but no "hitting" in the same fashion.

October 19, 2010  01:30 PM ET
QUOTE:

plus facter in all these stupid rules encouraging ARENA PASSING GAMES...well whats needed for that ? .... smaller/faster WRs & Olinemen, plus we all know the more times a QB throws the ball, the more hits he's gonna take....so instead of the NFL allowing teams to just start running ball more to save their QBs & WRs, they keep trying to 'tweek' rules & it just won't work

Interesting point about the increased passing and "flash" required with today's other entertainment. Two little (figure of speech) guys at high speed colliding has more devestating impact than a RB plowing at slow speed into the arms of a 350lbs defensive tackle I suspect.

QB injuries that stick in my minds eye is the Safety Blitz getting his helmet under the QBs raised throwing arm or a large Defensive lineman getting all his weight to drop on a QBs shoulder, those two will generally wipe a guy out. Knockdowns and the such are a nuisance but a 6'3" 220+ QB will get back up every time.

October 19, 2010  01:52 PM ET

Mike Golic says they should just take the facemasks off. That would stop a lot of it.

October 19, 2010  01:56 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Mike Golic says they should just take the facemasks off. That would stop a lot of it.

As barbaric as that sounds he's right. We've given these guys a weapon to use, let's take it away....that'll calm them down

October 19, 2010  02:10 PM ET

I saw someone tackling another the other day by grabbing UNDER the side of the helmet..not quite on the face mask, but he had his claws under the whole thing. Probably one of the Cowboys.

October 19, 2010  02:15 PM ET

Maybe a Styrofoam outing that would absorb much of the shock. NASCAR is using this with their walls to absorb energy, maybe the NFL should try it with the outside of their helmet.

Comment #12 has been removed
October 19, 2010  02:32 PM ET

Remember the Bills safety Kelso running around with the double helmet in the 90s? Maybe thats the answer?

October 19, 2010  03:42 PM ET

A helmet in some ways is like a gun in the right hands it serves it's purpose to protect from injury in the wrong hands it serves as a weapon to do harm. Does the NFL remove or change the instrument in question or enforce the rules in regards to the which it's used.

October 19, 2010  04:10 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Remember the Bills safety Kelso running around with the double helmet in the 90s? Maybe thats the answer?

Yeah that's the guy, not Bebee but Kelso, good job clarifying. Bebee ran down Lett, another comical scene...anyone remember that, was a period long ago when the Cowboys actually won play off games in buckets, would play deep into the post-season....had discipline, a coach and everything...no really, not making this up!

October 22, 2010  10:08 AM ET
QUOTE:

desean jackson weighs around 170lbs.... 170lbs in todays NFL is the equivalent of around a 145lber playing back in the days of the STEEL CURTAIN ... what rules changes are gonna protect a 170lber to the absolute in todays NFL as much as they throw/run these small guys today? on another thread GSH posted 3 videos of hits, one was Ray Lewis on Dustin Keller. Ray Lewis is James Harrison size however Dustin Keller is a 260lb TE. Keller gets up, Desean Jackson does not....pretty clear to see why & its because of the weight differental, not the hit

So it's weight that causes concussions and not helmet to helmet hits? In all my life of watching boxing and NFL I never seen anyone get concussed from a hit to anywhere but the head.

Cribbs, Jackson and Massaquoi were all diagnosed with concussions, but they weren't head shots?

October 22, 2010  04:51 PM ET
QUOTE:

you are correct ... a concussion is caused by the brain banging against your skull.... direct contact to the head is not necessary to cause this to happen ...as the saying goes, "its not the fall that kills you, its the SUDDEN STOP" .... last I checked, auto accidents causing 'whiplash' is a big cause of concussions/head/neck/spinal injuries.... kinda like the Kevin Everett pick you posted too....that hit wasn't direct helmet to helmet,but in fact chin to shoulder pad, but because it stopped him cold & twisted the neck/spine just right to cause major problems, he nearly died &/or paralyzed for life....lucky guy

Finally getting somewhere, the NFL is not out to stop the hard legal hits even though injury can result via whiplash or a hard tackle in which a players helmet may hit the ground either of which can cause a concussion. They are however stepping up the fines and possibly suspending those players who are headhunters and use their helmets as a weapon looking for that knockout shot little do some of them realize but it's also to prevent them type of players from doing harm to themselves as well as others, hence the message sent being helmet to helmet contact is what will draw the fines and or suspensions.

October 22, 2010  05:08 PM ET
QUOTE:

only way is to slow both offensive & defensive players down to reduce impacts & like I demonstrated they don't have to be helmet to helmet..... which eludes back to my original point about NFL doing the EXACT OPPOSITE by advocating PASSING GAMES & therefore defenses to counter them ...everyone on both sides of ball is FASTER & even smaller at some positions ( ie: average PATS LBer 5 years ago was 260lbs, today they average 245lbs but are ALOT FASTER...which generates more powerful hits ? the slightly heavier but slower guy or slightly lighter but faster guy? ...depends on who they're hitting, which seems to be smaller/faster WRs who are getting hurt & running dangerous routes previously run infrequently by most teams in NFL ..well gotta run ...been fun

Stay with me here I know it's hard for you to stay on topic and not go off on some wild tangent about weight etc. The NFL is only out to curb the helmet to helmet blows period.

October 22, 2010  05:19 PM ET
QUOTE:

so then they aren't really trying to stop concussions....especially since NO OFFENSIVE PLAYERS have been issued flags, warnings or even finger waving in regards to their leading with their heads & initating helmet to helmet contact ...ie: Maurice Jones Drew, Earl Bennet & Josh Cribbs tried but got knocked out before he could hit Woodley....what a shame...you don't seem to understand that if defensive players can't put their heads down, they will be CLOBBERED by offensive players doing it to them & the way we ALWAYS USED to THWART THIS was by SLOWING THE GAME DOWN ...ie: RUNNING GAME with RUNNING BACKS & dedicated run blocking Olinemen & WRs ..all slower & therefore more likely to get congested & scrum more so than reach peak speed & BANG while also properly built to withstand bigger hits

Say it with me now eliminating helmet to helmet collisions WILL reduce concussions.

October 22, 2010  06:44 PM ET
QUOTE:

... the way we ALWAYS USED to THWART THIS was by SLOWING THE GAME DOWN ...ie: RUNNING GAME with RUNNING BACKS & dedicated run blocking Olinemen & WRs ... all slower & therefore more likely to get congested & scrum more so than reach peak speed & BANG while also properly built to withstand bigger hits

In a standard formation with 5 fixed linemen a play can unfold with 36 different scenarios for who receives the snap and who ends up with the ball. This is not a lot ... and there is not a lot of strategy if you're just smashing some big guys together in predictable ways.

Adding more variables (speed, quickness, slot receivers, H-backs, etc) is the only way to prevent the opposition from developing a statistically sound response to your otherwise predictable behavior.

 
October 23, 2010  11:34 AM ET

Ironically football was nearly outlawed +100 yrs ago because the teams would use a tactic where the running back would get folded into a HUGE scrum and both sides would just push against one another and folks would get crushed and trampled. By the time they noticed this was going on in the scrum someone would be seriously hurt. This was a very slow formation yet caught in the middle you would get ground-up like hamburger.

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