View Full Version : A Passing Fancy = NFL Hypocrisy

09-21-2011, 05:35 PM
A Passing Fancy = NFL Hypocrisy

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Posted by Brett Cottrell


James Harrison is right. The NFLís hypocrisy regarding injuries is startling Ė kudos to Silverback for saying something about it. Harrison correctly notes the lack of protection for minority quarterbacks and defensive playersí knees, but thatís just the beginning: recent rule changes to increase scoring Ė i.e. more passing Ė have put more players in direct danger of having their heads torn off and, in Harrisonís case, their wallets raided.

Injuries are a part of football and can occur on any play, but some plays are more dangerous than others. For example, this year the NFL pushed back the kickoff to reduce injuries on kickoff returns. This idea passes the sniff test: since thereís a higher percentage of injuries on certain plays (kickoff returns), reduce the number of returns to decrease injuries.

But the NFL has taken the exact opposite path regarding the passing game. Passing plays have always been particularly dangerous, both to the receiver who is largely defenseless, and the quarterback who has to withstand the rush long enough to find the open receiver. Itís not an accident that thereís a penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver, but no such penalty for running backs.

The passing game has always been dangerous. Jack ďThe AssassinĒ Tatum and George Atkinson hospitalized their share of Steelers (ask Lynn Swann), and Mel Blount was known to body slam receivers head first. But the number of passing plays allowing for such hits was less because teams didnít pass as much. A cursory search at Pro-Football-Reference.com proves what we all know anecdotally, that for three decades passing attempts are up and rushing attempts are down.

Following the NFLís logic on kickoff returns, we should expect them to implement rules to discourage passing, but theyíve run the other way. In their quest to make a high-scoring, television-friendly product that more and more resembles a fantasy pinball machine, they are making the game more dangerous for quarterbacks and receivers. The way to deal with the problem isnít to demonize defensive players like Harrison, but rather to implement rules designed to decrease the percentage of dangerous plays. They did it for kickoffs but Iím not expecting much for the passing game. As long as the NFL continues to elevate the importance of golden-armed quarterbacks, players like Harrison should watch their wallets.

http://brettcottrell.blogspot.com/2011/ ... crisy.html (http://brettcottrell.blogspot.com/2011/09/passing-fancy-nfl-hypocrisy.html)

Discipline of Steel
09-21-2011, 06:42 PM
Well if the league could provide stats that show less injuries to QBs and WRs, then maybe the rules are having the desired effect. But i doubt it will be true. The game is left with overly bloated passing stats and probably gained nothing in terms of reduced injuries for the sacrifice. Plus i just dont understand why the league would want to demonize half their workforce. I get the impression that defenders are the only potential bad guys in this new era. Every time you make a law, you make more criminals.

09-21-2011, 09:12 PM
Let them play bump and run all over the field like they used to. Too many teams playing zones and waiting to hammer guys at and after the catch rather than contending for the ball. :2c

09-22-2011, 03:25 PM
Let them play bump and run all over the field like they used to. Too many teams playing zones and waiting to hammer guys at and after the catch rather than contending for the ball. :2c


Too many rules helping WR's get free releases and run full speed down field. With faster and stronger safeties and linebackers closing in on the pass reception, this will naturally lead to more powerful collisions.

Let the defenders jam all the way down field and there will be MUCH less high speed collisions.

But the NFL knows this will result in tougher ball movement, lower scoring games, and less ratings.

Don't let ANYONE fool you. It is ALL about ratings (read "money").

Protect the stars (QB's, etc), protect the aerial acrobatics (passing game), this opens up the running game too.

More Big Plays = More Scoring = More Ratings.

End of story.