Coming soon to a television screen near you: NFL defenders screaming at officials after being penalized for touching a quarterback below the knees.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent revealed Monday morning that the league’s competition committee will be looking into more protection for quarterbacks on low hits.
— TroyVincentSr (@TroyVincentSr) March 14, 2016
To be fair, the competition committee is also looking into banning chop blocks (read more on that here), which have been the bane of defensive linemen for years.
That said, quarterbacks are already the most protected players on the field. It’s understandable, given the massive contracts being dolled out to players at the position, that the league would want to keep them from injury. This is especially true in this day and age where it seems the talent gap between those who are competent and those who are not continues to widen.
Defenders aren’t allowed to touch quarterbacks in the head. They aren’t allowed to hit below the knees. Pretty soon they might start to feel like the only safe place to touch them is right between the numbers, which is much harder than it sounds when dealing with guys like Russell Wilson, who can wiggle their way out of the tightest of spaces.
The NFL is seriously evolving. No longer are big hits a lauded spectacle in the eyes of many who desire their fun in a less violent package. It’s certainly not your father’s league any more, but that doesn’t mean the change is for the worse.
Given the way many of the top players from years past have had to live after football, racked with pain for the rest of their days or worse, setting up a league where dramatic injuries are lessened must be considered a step in the right direction.