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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Matt Ware on Defensive Rules and Fines: Offense Sells Tickets

LBS spoke with Arizona Cardinals DB and former UCLA safety Matt Ware at a recent screening of The Wooden Effect. We talked about how Matt’s been spending his time during the lockout, how his offseason workouts have been going, and we asked for his thoughts on the Kerry Rhodes-Rex Ryan mini-feud. We also got to find out from Matt if Adrian Wilson is as much of a beast in the gym as this video suggests.

In the second half of the interview, we talked about some of the rule changes in the NFL (fining teams for illegal hits) that had the Steelers saying the NFL is going soft. While the changes are nice, Matt says the problem is things happen on the field so quickly it’s hard to avoid certain hits. He also said he understands why the league is protecting its offensive stars. Here’s our interview:

Talking about the defensive changes, Ware said “I like the improvements, but at the same time some of the stuff happens so fast you can’t think about it — you just react. If you’re sitting there lining someone up from 20 yards [away] then that’s one thing, but if it’s a bang-bang play, that’s going to continue to happen because guys are moving so fast.”

We agree, and we’ve said just as much, and that’s part of what makes the rules unfair. These are split-second decisions that defensive players can’t think about, otherwise they won’t be doing their jobs well.

On the rules skewing towards high-octane offenses, Ware said “Offense sells tickets. People don’t want to come watch games that are going to be 3-0.”

Again, he’s right on with that point. But it’s not just the tickets, it’s the overall business of the NFL that demands offense. You don’t get millions of people playing fantasy football and billions of dollars in TV deals with 3-0 games, as he pointed out. That’s just another obstacle defensive players are facing, and it’s really hard when you get flagged for touching quarterbacks like Tom Brady.

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