The NFL has set its eyes on the question of whether or not wearing gloves is too much of a competitive advantage.
Rich McKay, the Chairman of the league’s Competition Committee, recently spoke with Sam Farmar of the Los Angeles Times about this issue. He wonders if the gloves players use these days are giving them too much grip.
“I think it’s time to go back and look at the gloves and see if, with what’s going on here with sports science in the past 10 years, if there isn’t too much of an advantage being gained,” McKay said.
It is interesting to note that wide receivers and defensive backs aren’t the only players utilizing gloves these days. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Kurt Warner, when he played, all took to wearing gloves on their throwing hands, something former quarterback Rich Gannon pointed out to Farmar.
Another former player, Hall of Famer Tim Brown, thinks the gloves these days are making things way too easy for receivers. He specifically points to Odell Beckham Jr. and the crazy one-handed catches he makes look so routine.
“The guy’s a freak of nature, no doubt about it, I’ll give you that,” Brown said. “He has the big hands and all that. But those gloves are so ‘tackified’ these days that that’s part of the reason you see guys making those kinds of catches.”
Brown points specifically to Beckham Jr.’s three-fingered catch that made him famous as a rookie, saying, “you can’t make that play without those kind of gloves. It’s just impossible.”
Brown isn’t the only former receiver who is taking note of the outrageous plays being made by today’s pass-catchers. Cris Collinsworth also wonders if things may be getting out of control but thinks that might be exactly what the league needs, for entertainment purposes.
“I think if they took the gloves completely away from the guys, including the quarterbacks at this point, it would have a major impact on what the game looked like on the field. And not for the better,” Collinsworth told Farmer. “…Every Sunday we say, ‘Oh, my goodness! Look at that!’ That’s a good thing. It’s an entertainment business. Why not make it as entertaining as possible?”
Defenders might not agree with Collinsworth’s take on the issue.
Perhaps in the end the league will curtail the types of materials that are deemed legal, because banning gloves is never going to be an option. It is obvious that this issue needs to be investigated, especially considering it’s something that has been unregulated for so long.