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Thread: “Defenseless” kicker/punter rule needs to go

  1. #1
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    “Defenseless” kicker/punter rule needs to go

    “Defenseless” kicker/punter rule needs to go

    Posted by Mike Florio on December 19, 2013, 8:03 AM EST
    AP
    The thickness and complexity of the NFL rulebook means that, for most fans, the rules will be learned only when they are applied in a game. Or, as the case may be, when they’re not applied.


    After Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin blew up Bengals punter Kevin Huber on Sunday night but wasn’t flagged, everyone learned that kickers and punters are included within the league’s laundry list of defenseless players. Throughout the down, even during the return.


    Applied as written, the rule prohibits all contact with the head or neck of the punter or kicker, as well as any hits against the punter or kicker with an opponent’s helmet. Applied as written, this includes the ball carrier when using a stiff arm or when dipping his helmet to guard against an otherwise legal helmet-to-helmet hit from the punter or kicker, like the hit Pat McAfee applied to Broncos return specialist Trindon Holliday in October.


    Per a league source, literal application of the rule would indeed prohibit even the ball carrier hitting the punter/kicker in the head. The source explained that, as a practical matter, the NFL would allow contact with the head of the punter/kicker in that situation.


    The distinction between what the rule says and how the rule would be applied undermines the rule and displays its potential absurdity. As written, the player with the ball could never contact the kicker or punter in the head or neck area. If the league would never apply the rule that way, the league needs to consider changing the rule or dumping it.


    It makes far more sense to make punters or kickers defenseless only when they aren’t trying to tackle or impede the runner. The current rule forces men like Garvin to realize — at full speed — that the player to whom he’s about to apply an otherwise clean block is the one player on the field who can’t be hit in the head or neck, even though that player is trying to position himself to tackle or slow down the man with the ball.

    What was Garvin supposed to do? Recognize in the blur of bodies that the body he was about to strike belonged to a man who was wearing an invisible red jersey?

    For all other defenseless players, the circumstances make their protections clears. Quarterback in the pocket. Receiver in the act of catching a ball. Punt returner trying to field a kick.


    Under current rules, the league expects players whose livelihood depends on making blocks to not block one of 11 men a certain way, when the one protected man is otherwise mingling with the rest of his teammates. It’s not realistic, and for a guy like Garvin who is making the minimum salary and will now lose $25,000, it’s not fair.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...e-needs-to-go/

    I don't agree often with this knucklehead, but I think this article is spot on.

  2. #2
    Is this an article by Florio, involving a Steelers angle, where he is not advocating lynching the Steelers player???

    Did I wake up in the Twilight Zone this morning?

    That being said, I agree with the premise of his article. The moment the punter decides to engage into the play, he should be any other player.

  3. #3
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Too vague even if you add the "if the punter decides to play tackle football" to the rule. Then how do you determine if the punter was trying to get involved or not. There are too many of these gray area rules. The punter is playing or he isn't and if he isn't then he needs to punt and get off the field, there's plenty of time to do so while the punt is in the air. If he's going to play, then he's fair game and Garvin's hit is just a good hard block.

    The NFL is trying to make a PhD a requirement to understand the darn game.

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
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    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

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    Bungals fans start whining and crying everything Steelers at a very young age.

    After seeing Bengals punter Kevin Huber absorb a devastating hit in Sunday night's loss to thePittsburgh Steelers, one young fan is calling for vengeance.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer notes that seven-year-old Nicholas Andrew Johnson penned a letter to Huber after the punter took a hit from Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin that broke his jaw and possibly cracked a vertebra. Despite the fact that Garvin was fined $25,000for the collision, Johnson isn't satisfied:

    Dear Kevin,
    I hope you feel better soon. I am mad at the Steelers because you are my #1 player. I am 7 years old and love the Bengals and Bearcats. I know you played for the Bearcats and Bengals and I love the teams. I hope that Steeler player loses his house and has to live in his car.
    Get well soon,
    Nicholas Andrew Johnson.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap200...evin-huber-hit

  5. #5
    Stay classy, Cincinnati!

  6. #6
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    The funny part about all of this is that Huber is taking it like a man. He isn't whining or complaining, only stating it's football.

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  7. #7
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    For those of you old enough to remember or for those of you who may have seen the clip of Turkey Jones dumping Terry Bradshaw directly onto his head during a game in the 70s, what do you think his punishment would have been in today's NFL? Man, that was a vicious tackle.



    Pappy
    Last edited by papillon; 12-19-2013 at 12:29 PM.


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  8. #8
    Hall of Famer fezziwig's Avatar
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    They should have the kickers and punters wear red uniforms or better yet, pink uniforms. The game moves too fast at times for a player to recognize at full speed, what player is whom during the course of the action.

  9. #9
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    If they want them protected, they should kick the ball and run off the field and not be allowed to interfere with the ball carrier at all. It's a bogus concept to protect the kicker once possession changes and the action really starts. If they can't be blocked, then they get their arses off the field.

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer fezziwig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jooser View Post
    If they want them protected, they should kick the ball and run off the field and not be allowed to interfere with the ball carrier at all. It's a bogus concept to protect the kicker once possession changes and the action really starts. If they can't be blocked, then they get their arses off the field.
    Nice.... !

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