The NFL has spent a tremendous amount of time finding ways to protect players over the past several years, but most of the changes to the game have been made to protect offensive players. A new proposed rule is aiming help protect defensive players.
Members of the NFL’s Competition Committee are considering a rule change that would make it illegal for running backs and ball carriers to lower their heads and use the crown of their helmets to initiate contact with defenders. A number of running backs feel that such a rule would completely alter the way they run, but New York Giants defensive back Terrell Thomas seems to fully support it.
“It’s hilarious seeing all these (running backs) complain about the rule change,” Thomas wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Welcome to the last 5 years of a defender’s life. We’re robots now. We can’t contact a (wide receiver) after five yards but they can contact us as long as it doesn’t create space AFTER five yards.
“A defender can’t blind side an offensive player, but an offensive player can blindside a defensive player as long as its not going back towards the ball.”
There have been a wide range of opinions on the topic, but Thomas makes some very valid points from the defensive player’s standpoint. A lot of people disagree with the defenseless receiver rules and the new proposed running back rules, which is one thing. However, if the rules are going to limit so many things for defenders it seems only fair that they would do the same for offensive players. That being said, you’re never going to stop veterans like this from disagreeing with rules that take violence out of the game.