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Urlacher: NFL's flagrant hit policy is 'bunch of bull...'


06:03 AM ET 10.20 | The NFL's decision to crack down on flagrant hits drew criticism from at least two members of the Bears defense. Linebacker Brian Urlacher was shocked to hear how first-time offenders now could be suspended for hits to the head and neck area. Ray Anderson, the league's executive president of football operations, said Tuesday the rules aren't changing, just being enforced more. "It's freaking football. There are going to be big hits,'' Urlacher said. "I don't understand how they can do this after one weekend of hitting. And I can't understand how they can suspend us for it. I think it's a bunch of bull (crap)."

Chicago Tribune

Brian Urlacher, Geoff Burke/Getty Images Brian Urlacher, Geoff Burke/Getty Images
October 20, 2010  07:39 AM ET

Yeah, they're going to have to get all the refs on the same page on these calls. I can see a lot of inconsistencies, where some crews let them play football, and others start off the next game by tossing a guy from the game for hits that are otherwise not even a 15-yarder.

At the same time, too many guys are getting concussions, and too many players are getting hurt. At this rate, we won't have a season next year, even if the doofy Commish gets his act together and gets a CBA signed. All the players will be in wheelchairs by the end of this year.

October 20, 2010  07:40 AM ET

Big, CLEAN hits, please.

October 20, 2010  08:03 AM ET


October 20, 2010  08:11 AM ET

Just start calling it the National Fairy League. If the hit is on. If the hit is helmet to helmet then toss the guy right then and there and suspend him a game. Maybe have escalating suspensions for repeat offenders.

October 20, 2010  08:14 AM ET

i don't like that Harrison was fined more than Merriweather....

October 20, 2010  08:15 AM ET

Sure, he's on the other end of it. Pretty transparent.

October 20, 2010  08:19 AM ET

i don't like that Harrison was fined more than Merriweather....

I agree...but maybe his mouth earned him a few extra dollars. just sayin'

October 20, 2010  08:20 AM ET

That is why girls don't play this game.

October 20, 2010  08:28 AM ET

Thats OK Brian you're safe, the way you've been playing your not going to make any big hits anyway.

October 20, 2010  08:28 AM ET

I agree...but maybe his mouth earned him a few extra dollars. just sayin'

lol...he was unusually vocal about the issue

October 20, 2010  08:29 AM ET

The Rutgers kid who will need to be spoon-fed for the rest of his life was on D. When you look at the injuries coming out of these hits, the offensive guys are getting concussions and blown-out knees, but the defense is getting the wheelchair-for-life sentence.

It's the D that has the most to lose here.

October 20, 2010  08:55 AM ET

Maybe this is why Fat Albert has refused to play. He's concerned about laying dirty hits. He's such nice sweet guy.

October 20, 2010  08:56 AM ET

If the league wants to clean up tackling, just make all the teams play the preseason with full contact but no pads or helmet. I guarantee you there would be no more "dirty" hits.

Back in college when I played rugby, we used to get all these kids coming out who couldn't make the football team thinking it would be an easy transition. The first thing we would try to teach them is how to tackle. Inevitably, they would ignore all the advice and end up with severe concussions, broken noses, broken jaws, cracked orbital sockets etc. Some eventually learned, most just quit after the first game.

I applaud the NFL for trying to make changes to protect defenseless players, but at the end of the day, teams will have to revamp the way they teach tackling at all levels of play.

October 20, 2010  09:02 AM ET

Teach the players to tackle properly and this would not be an issue.

October 20, 2010  09:14 AM ET

Looking forward to the flagrant and egregious lockout of 2011.

October 20, 2010  09:28 AM ET

To start with there is NO such thing as a CLEAN HIT, how can these guys look for the opertune place to stop a player,YOU CAN"T things happen to damn fast, Get over it.

October 20, 2010  09:28 AM ET

i don't like that Harrison was fined more than Merriweather....

So these players are going to tally up some large fines and cause those endorsing them to pay bigger bonuses for those big hits...CLEAN big hits will still cause those concussions the league is so wrapped about this week. Harrisons hit wasnt that bad...that is what he is paid to do...

Comment #19 has been removed
October 20, 2010  09:43 AM ET

That is why girls don't play this game.

You hear that Orton?

October 20, 2010  10:20 AM ET

Why don't they just play two-hand touch or flag football? How come none of the quarterbacks are taking responsibility for putting their receivers in these positions? Kolb isn't that experienced and put his guy in a dangerous position. Colt McCoy is a rookie and got two of his guys knocked out over the middle. Just saying it's the defender's fault is not entirely accurate considering they are doing what they are paid to do-tackle ball carriers. I know on a couple of these hits the ball carrier (receiver) started going down (lowering shoulders) before they were hit. As a defender, how do you tackle someone who lowers their shoulder? You are taught to stand them up. How can you do that without leading with some momentum in the shoulder, but that puts the defender's helmet in front. I say let 'em play, and flagrant hits (reviewable and punishable by booth) should result in suspension.


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