Today, the NFL announced that it had passed the proposed rule change that would disallow runners with the ball to lower their heads outside of the tackles. Recently, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte chimed in on Twitter saying that the proposed rule change is “absurd,” and that “the only way for a running back to lower his shoulder is to lower his head.”
“It’s a way of protecting yourself from the tackler and a way to break tackles,” said the former Pro Bowler. Today, Forte tweeted, “Next year they’ll probably be a no jumping over defenders rule,” taking an obvious shot at the 31 voters who were in favor of the movement.
It will be interesting to see other player’s reactions as the day and the week goes on, as I am sure we’re no where close to hearing the end of it from Forte’s fellow peers. I can’t imagine guys like Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch will be too thrilled either because they have made a living by going against the context of the new rule.
I cannot say that I disagree with Forte. Along with a few other rule changes over the past couple of years, the NFL is making it harder and harder for players to play to their full potential. In turn, the NFL is creating animosity among the fans. One such rule that affected one of Forte’s teammates, Devin Hester is that of moving the kickoff up to the 35 yard line.
Since the rule change, it has skyrocketed the number of touch backs in the NFL over the past two seasons. While player safety is definitely an issue, and I give credit to the NFL for taking precautions, as a fan I am severely disappointed in all of these changes. Some of the most exciting plays over the years have been those of watching Hester take a kickoff to the house or Peterson trucking a tackler to the ground and dashing for an improbable touchdown run.
One can only hope that the madness stops here, but I wouldn’t count on it.