How low can you go? Penalizing hits below the knee

redsoxcentury

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smastroyin said:
A lot of people are complaining about the hit but it really looks like he was going for the thigh area and Gronk's stride put the knee there.  The Patriots took out Gordon on a similar play later in the game.  I was in the car but Zo was basically saying it was all about the fact that they are so concerned about concussions that guys have had to adjust to cutting low on these tackles so they don't get flagged for illegal hits.  I realize Zo probably complains about that a lot, but he is pretty much a homer and didn't think the hit was intentional, bad, cheap, or dirty, at least at the time.  Maybe the replay would have him thinking differently?  I just watched it and it looks more like bad luck than bad intent.
i don't think there was intent to injure or hit the knee but that kind of tackle attempt seems to create a decent likelihood of some sort of injury occuring.  heck even in the NHL they give penalties for low hits like that 
 

johnmd20

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smastroyin said:
A lot of people are complaining about the hit but it really looks like he was going for the thigh area and Gronk's stride put the knee there.  The Patriots took out Gordon on a similar play later in the game.  I was in the car but Zo was basically saying it was all about the fact that they are so concerned about concussions that guys have had to adjust to cutting low on these tackles so they don't get flagged for illegal hits.  I realize Zo probably complains about that a lot, but he is pretty much a homer and didn't think the hit was intentional, bad, cheap, or dirty, at least at the time.  Maybe the replay would have him thinking differently?  I just watched it and it looks more like bad luck than bad intent.
 
Yeah, you can target the knee of a QB who is standing in the pocket but it's really difficult to target the knee of someone who is running down the field. He went at his legs and hit his knee. It was a bad break but it didn't look dirty.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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Here's the problem with what these DB's and Safeties keep saying, they're basically being selective about the rule and only mentioning what they want.  As if its an excuse to target a guys knee.  Here's the defenseless player rule, I've highlighted the parts that apply to receivers and this hit.
 
Basically, there are two points.  Gronk was on his third step from control of the ball, if he's not out of the defenseless receiver protection, he's very close.  So hits anywhere would be open and you can treat him like a running back.  So leaving your feet to go at his knee was a choice, not something you did because you were worried about a fine.  They're targeting the knees and using the rules as an excuse.  
 
Second, if he was still considered defenseless, you're not allowed to leave your feet and launch at any part of his body provided the launch is outward and upward.  So they launch at the knees because its downward.  Justifying it by saying they have no other place to tackle, which is bullshit.  He left his feet and launched his helmet toward the front of Gronk's knee. Claiming Gronk is big and he can't tackle him any other way.  As if we didn't notice the linebacker simultaneously wrapping him up and a normal tackle coupled with the LB wouldn't have brought him to the ground.
 
Personally, I'm not sure if Gronk was out of the defenseless receiver zone.  Watching the play, It looked like he was starting to protect himself from a high hit, so he was beginning an act of warding off impending contact. If he's no longer defenseless, his head is in play and Ward is allowed to hit him all the ways he's complaining that he can't.
 
 
Article 7: Players in a Defenseless Posture. It is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in 
a defenseless posture. 
 
(a) Players in a defenseless posture are: 

(1) A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass; 
(2) A receiver attempting to catch a pass; or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or 
has not clearly become a runner. If the receiver/runner is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending 
contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player; 
(3) A runner already in the grasp of a tackler and whose forward progress has been stopped; 
(4) A kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air; 
(5) A player on the ground; 
(6) A kicker/punter during the kick or during the return (Also see Article 6(g) for additional restrictions against a 
kicker/punter); 
(7) A quarterback at any time after a change of possession (Also see Article 8(f) for additional restrictions against a 
quarterback after a change of possession); 
(8) A player who receives a ―blindside‖ block when the offensive blocker is moving toward or parallel to his own end 
line and approaches the opponent from behind or from the side, and 
(9) A player who is protected from an illegal crackback block (see Article 2); 
(10) The offensive player who attempts a snap during a Field Goal attempt or a Try Kick. 
 

(b) Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is: 
(1) Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even 
if the initial contact of the defender’s helmet or facemask is lower than the passer’s neck, and regardless of 
whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him; 
or 
(2) Lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/‖hairline‖ parts of the helmet 
against any part of the defenseless player’s body; or 
(3) Illegally launching into a defenseless opponent. It is an illegal launch if a player (i) leaves both feet prior to 
contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent, and (ii) uses any part of his helmet (including the 
top/crown and forehead/‖hairline‖ parts) to initiate forcible contact against any part of his opponent’s body. Note: 
This does not apply to contact against a runner, unless the runner is still considered to be a defenseless player, 
as defined in Article 7 above. 
 

 
 

mt8thsw9th

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ifmanis5 said:
Is it fair or not fair to see this guy is injury prone?
It is fair. He is injury prone, as has been evidenced by how often he is injured. His injury issues are a reason the Patriots were able to draft him where they were. However, a good portion of this is that he's a victim of his freakish size and athleticism; in order for players in the secondary, players smaller and less strong than him, to tackle him, they have to absolutely launch themselves at him. He's going to get hit harder than most players in the league.

Trying to tackle him like a wide receiver often ends with this type of thing happening:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5ZIw90-xiE
 
I was taught to tackle low and take down their legs, but I never played at a high level so it's probably not worth much. With that specific example, though, note it took someone launching themselves at his legs to take him down. That's likely reason he's prone to this type of injury, or perhaps it's a fluke.
 

kolbitr

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PaulinMyrBch said:
Here's the problem with what these DB's and Safeties keep saying, they're basically being selective about the rule and only mentioning what they want.  As if its an excuse to target a guys knee.  Here's the defenseless player rule, I've highlighted the parts that apply to receivers and this hit.
 
Basically, there are two points.  Gronk was on his third step from control of the ball, if he's not out of the defenseless receiver protection, he's very close.  So hits anywhere would be open and you can treat him like a running back.  So leaving your feet to go at his knee was a choice, not something you did because you were worried about a fine.  They're targeting the knees and using the rules as an excuse.  
 
Second, if he was still considered defenseless, you're not allowed to leave your feet and launch at any part of his body provided the launch is outward and upward.  So they launch at the knees because its downward.  Justifying it by saying they have no other place to tackle, which is bullshit.  He left his feet and launched his helmet toward the front of Gronk's knee. Claiming Gronk is big and he can't tackle him any other way.  As if we didn't notice the linebacker simultaneously wrapping him up and a normal tackle coupled with the LB wouldn't have brought him to the ground.
 
Personally, I'm not sure if Gronk was out of the defenseless receiver zone.  Watching the play, It looked like he was starting to protect himself from a high hit, so he was beginning an act of warding off impending contact. If he's no longer defenseless, his head is in play and Ward is allowed to hit him all the ways he's complaining that he can't.
 
This x 10. It's bullshit for DBs to claim inevitability, when they are aiming for the knees. I'm glad Gronk forgave, but Ward meant to injure and to maim.
 
 
PS: If anyone suggests that there is no option for a poor defensive player than to target the knees, I would suggest that they play more football. Even as a high school player, I knew alternatives...
 

Reverend

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OK.
 
But what the fuck else would you do?
 

Ed Hillel

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Reverend said:
OK.
 
But what the fuck else would you do?
 
In that situation, where the receiver isn't even looking at you, wrap him up around the waist, or actually reach for his leg and wrap that up. Yeah, Gronk is huge and I'm sure it's scary, but he still could have form tackled him by keeping his head up and wrapping something up. Launching like a missile at his legs with reckless abandon, momentum meets momentum, was obviously going to injure. If players (who are the ones suing) actually gave a shit about safety, they'd be willing to risk giving up a few extra yards to not potentially end a guy's career. Defenders can't bitch on the one hand about a tackle like this and then bitch about being legwhipped. As I said in the game thread, that was the same hit that took Cobb out for the year. Defender's complain about there being nowhere to hit now that they can't target the head as if there's no body between the head and the knees.
 

Ralphwiggum

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You guys are nuts. Gronk is huge and fast and really hard to tackle, and the DB has like a fraction of a second to react in a situation like that. And he knows if he lowers his shoulder and hits him anywhere above the waist he is risking a fine (yes I know the rules don't read that way but it has been called that way).

It sucks but going for the legs is the smart move from the DB's perspective. Gronk was tackled and Ward won't get fined. The thing is, it is probably still a good rule from the NFL's perspective if they are trying to cut down on head shots. Sucks for Gronk and Pats fans but I don't blame Ward in the least. It is a ridiculously violent game played by monstrously large men who can run like deer. This shit us going to happen.

Edit: the idea that coaches and GMs will be sympathetic to a guy who gave up a few extra yards or worse, allowed a tackle to be broken so that they made sure they didn't injure is a laugh.
 

lexrageorge

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If Ward doesn't go all out to make that tackle against Gronk (or against others in the others in the same situation), his NFL paychecks will be numbered.  We see tackles like Ward's every Sunday.  
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Jesus.

Were blaming TJ Ward for not making sure Gronks knee safety was his top priority when making the tackle?

People need to take a deep breath and revisit this thread when they're able to discuss this with more clarity.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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I'm not blaming Ward for the tackle, its legal.  But I'm sick of the bullshit explanations.  It's like a kid telling his parents, if you don't buy me a new car, I'm going to keep wrecking yours.  So when a DB says a year ago if I can't hit a guy in the helmet, I'm going to blow out his knee (which Ward did) and then it happens, its bullshit.  I don't know much about TJ Ward, so I can't speak to his style of tackling overall, but I'd be interested to know how often he goes low when another type of hit would have worked just fine.
 
And I don't completely agree with the league on headshots.  The ones where the contact starts below the neck and the helmet rides up or the receiver ducks and helmets touch shouldn't be on the defense, but they are.  But the defenders need to stop acting like they have a right to a knockout shot, either to the head or knee.  I see plenty of tackles where a defender puts pad to the midsection, wraps up, and stops a receiver.  
 

Stitch01

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Ward probably should have just stuck to saying "I was just trying to get him to the ground" or something like that.  He doesnt need to make excuses for a legal play, he wasn't penalized and he isn't going to get fined.
 

Toe Nash

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I said this before but how many times have we seen Gronk drag multiple would-be tacklers extra yards or break their tackles entirely? You take him out by the legs. This isn't complicated.
 
Who cares how Ward explained it. Before he even said anything plenty of media and you guys were saying the same thing about avoiding headshots.
 
He's been tackled that way tons of times, it happened to work out the wrong way this time. This is fulfilling the worst stereotype of Pats fans wanting extra protection for their guys (Brady knee rule). Stop whining.
 

21st Century Sox

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This type of hit happens multiple times per game in every NFL game. Even if a defender says that they are trying to take out a player, it is not something they can just make happen pursuing a player running at full speed. If you look at the hit, Gronk's front leg is fully planted exactly at the moment of impact. When running full stride as he was, I don't know the percentage of time that the forward leg is fully planted, but it is obviously quite low when compared to rest of stride.
 
It is not a freak injury, as the defender was going at the legs, but the hit and foot plant must be simultaneous. Though it sucks, it is the proper way to tackle a crazy big/strong runner like Gronk. Sure, you can try and drive at the waist and wrap, you will be unsuccessful more often than not. These defenders are not paid to take a player down in the safest way possible, they are paid to take the player down with the shortest possible gain. Again, I think you run that play hundreds of times, I think Gronk walks away hundreds of times. Perfect storm of timing.  
 

knucklecup

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It would never happen but they should be playing in hockey helmets.

How many players would launch themselves like a weapon if they didn't have the ultimate weapon on their head?

You'd actually see defenders keep their heads up and wrap tackle.
 

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mascho said:
 
Biased wording of the article aside, Ward has a point.  Defensive players, because of the emphasis on hits to the head, are forced to go low.  
 
I honestly have no problem with Ward. He made a football play. I didn't think it was dirty in the slightest. The play happened at full speed, he didn't aim for the head, Gronk's leg was planted at the exact same time as the hit, etc etc. Just really shitty football luck. And from what I saw of the reaction from players from both sides, including Ward, none of the players thought it was a deliberate attempt to injure or reckless either.
 
I hate to do this, but I'm mentally assigning posts that accuse him of dirty play into the "homer bias" bin.
 

mascho

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Yeah, I've got no problem with Ward either. A split second either way and it's just a scary looking hit. Just horrible luck that Gronk's leg was planted at the moment of impact. He has to make a split second decision on how to try and stop a speeding tank.
 

Bellhorn

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Ditka on Mike and Mike just said that Gronk exposes too much of his lower body when he runs. Sounds like 20/20 hindsight.
 

DJnVa

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I'm surprised Ditka knows it's Monday. He's nonsensical half the time-2 weeks ago he didn't know there were ties.
 

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knucklecup said:
It would never happen but they should be playing in hockey helmets.

How many players would launch themselves like a weapon if they didn't have the ultimate weapon on their head?

You'd actually see defenders keep their heads up and wrap tackle.
 
 
Yes, the refusal to change the helmets leaves the NFl in a bind.
 

Ed Hillel

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The big distinction for me here is that Gronk was vulnerable. When you have a receiver in the act of catching a football, he can't defend himself or properly and instinctively protect his body. In that situation, the entire body of the receiver is exposed, and, as Paul correctly points out, there is still a large target area for defenders outside of the knees and head. In addition, given the fact that the receiver is outstretched and focused on the ball, impact to the body in any area is likely to be effective in completing the tackle, even when you're talking about a guy of Gronk's stature. How often do you see a guy break a tackle in that situation? The fact that these safer alternatives for a tackle exist is what makes it a dangerous and dirty play from my perspective. To me, going a guy's knees in that situation is akin to engaging a DL low when he's focused on blocking a guy high, only the collision is inherently going to be more violent. If the NFL is serious about protecting its players, this is another area they should look at. I know people are going to say the game's too fast, and I've never played in the NFL, but from where I sit I don't buy it the players couldn't adjust. For those saying I'm upset because it's Gronk, or whatever, I said the same thing when Cobb went down earlier this year on the same kind of hit.
 

Ed Hillel

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He's 6 foot 7 or so. What is he supposed to do, run hunched over?


Especially when he's in the process of catching the ball. What a dumb comment, which is entirely unsurprising, given the source.
 

Doctor G

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knucklecup said:
It would never happen but they should be playing in hockey helmets.

How many players would launch themselves like a weapon if they didn't have the ultimate weapon on their head?

You'd actually see defenders keep their heads up and wrap tackle.
The head hits have increased since the players have gone to smaller shoulder pads. Shoulder pads used to be a lot more substantial.Check out Ronnie Lott's pads http://www.bing.com/images/q=ronnie+lott&qpvt=ronnie+lott&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=49B9620F11B10EC9EB280C6F436A15F23374AA44&selectedIndex=0M aybe the problem isn't the helmet as much as the reduction in size of the shoulder pads 
 

mascho

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The change in shoulder pad size is a function of technology. By the same token thigh pads used to be huge and thick, now the Nike Combat pads they wear are less than an inch thick. Same goes for shoulder pads.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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Doctor G said:
The head hits have increased since the players have gone to smaller shoulder pads. Shoulder pads used to be a lot more substantial.Check out Ronnie Lott's pads http://www.bing.com/images/q=ronnie+lott&qpvt=ronnie+lott&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=49B9620F11B10EC9EB280C6F436A15F23374AA44&selectedIndex=0M aybe the problem isn't the helmet as much as the reduction in size of the shoulder pads 
 
I've been on the bring back the big shoulder pads thing for along time.  I see a  few benefits.  The biggest being that it gives you something to hit with that is not your head.  the second being that it might slow the game down.  These guys are bigger and faster then ever before.  But it feels like player size and speed have grown faster then the human body's ability to absorb that much force.  I love the speed and athleticism of the NFL, but if the trade off is a slightly slower game with less injuries then I am for it.  But if everyone is wearing bigger shoulder (and legs pads) then shouldn't everyone be slowed down at the same or a similar rate?  The game might be slower, but not look any slower.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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While it was a legal play, and I agree that Ward's job is to tackle Gronk as quickly as possible, legal doesnt necessarily mean "not dirty".  DB's are the first ones to lose their shit when they get low blocked on running plays, even though the hits are legal and the blocker is just doing his job.  Rodney Harrison got hurt by the Titans on a low block, and has complained about it for years* being a dirty play, even though it was a legal hit.  The "I took out his knees because I didn't want to get flagged" excuse is going to get old pretty quickly.  There needs to be more emphasis made on having guys tackle between the head and the knees, and DB's shouldnt complain if guys start targeting their knees on blocks, with the "I didnt want to miss my block and get cut" excuse.   
 
Hopefully Gronk comes back and in the future gets to deliver a Steve Largent-like revenge hit. 
 
*Since Rodney was a Patriot, and his injury cost the Pats a trip to the SB, he has every right to continue to do so. 
 

Reverend

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I think there's some cognitive dissonance on the knee hit plays because they are legal and perhaps even necessary, but just on the look of it, it seems like it should be illegal. Knee hits are just evil. They are evil for the same reason that, if pretty much anyone here had to fight Gronk to the death, the only available options would be gauge the eyes, strike the front area of the neck (jugular or carotids), strike the groin, or strike the knee laterally (preferably the inside).
 
Those are all visceral blows. So it makes sense to go for the knees. And it's legal and, based on the rules, perhaps even necessary, especially against a guy like Gronk. But it's exceedingly... distasteful. I know I don't like seeing it.
 

SMU_Sox

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One of my biggest pet peeves is that people can't accept randomness and make all these narratives to explain it. He got a vicious knee shot. That he had a broken arm last year has nothing to do with him getting blasted low. He plays a high contact position in a high contact sport. Shit happens. This isn't a hamstring. Now maybe none of you have the balls to say what you're hinting at but I seriously hope we can bury the injury prone label for Gronk. He's as injury prone as any other big physical TE. If your argument is that big physical receiving TEs are more prone to injuries than the average player I can see that. I don't know if it is true but I could why that is.
 

tims4wins

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Reverend said:
I think there's some cognitive dissonance on the knee hit plays because they are legal and perhaps even necessary, but just on the look of it, it seems like it should be illegal. Knee hits are just evil. They are evil for the same reason that, if pretty much anyone here had to fight Gronk to the death, the only available options would be gauge the eyes, strike the front area of the neck (jugular or carotids), strike the groin, or strike the knee laterally (preferably the inside).
 
Those are all visceral blows. So it makes sense to go for the knees. And it's legal and, based on the rules, perhaps even necessary, especially against a guy like Gronk. But it's exceedingly... distasteful. I know I don't like seeing it.
 
This is where I stand. When one of the Pats defenders lays a big hit on a guy, but it is to the knees, does anyone here jump off the couch with a big "YEAH!!"? I know I don't - my more natural reaction is to cringe, no matter which team I am watching. Not trying to make this into an "I'm a better fan than you" argument, I just hate seeing guys go after the knees.
 

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SMU_Sox said:
One of my biggest pet peeves is that people can't accept randomness and make all these narratives to explain it. 
 
I hear you. And I'd argue this applies to a lot more than just sports injuries.
 
Just remember: good things happen to good people!
 

SMU_Sox

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Like Dogman said though - his back, I think anyway, has not kept him out of games. We aren't 100% sure of that though as BB wouldn't say which injury kept him out earlier this year and there was speculation it was his back. I don't think it's fair to conclude anything from that.
 
There are many physical style WR's, DE's, RB's who stay on the field more or less than Gronk. He's just closer to the "got injured" side of the spectrum than a guy like Dez Bryant who, when he feels like it lol, is a very physical WR.
 
It is semantics, but it is also a notion of hey - this time it isn't random. Well yeah, that's what people say every time. It isn't random because I can build a narrative. Well no, Mr. Poster, just because you can build a narrative doesn't de facto mean anything. And really what if your narrative has merit but it's still 95% random? This is a hit on the knee. Shit happens. It really really really stinks. But if Gronk is prone to anything it is getting laid by really really really good looking women whom SoSH would deem 5's.
 

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smastroyin said:
 
At the same time, whether a hit ends up at the knee or the thigh is also a random event.  
If you make knee hits illegal, then what?  You can't target lower than the waist?  Because any attempt to tackle lower than about the mid-thigh is going to present a chance to hit the knee.
 
If TJ Ward is a great enough player to time his leap perfectly to hit the knee in stride right at the full extension point and plant then, well, damn.  He probably shot JFK too.
 
Yep--as per my post before the one you quoted, I totally agree. I'm often amazed by the body control these guys have to rush but not hit the kicker and stuff, but there are limitations to how accurate they can be in hurling themselves at another player, especially when they have a directive to stay away from the head.
 
You also don't want to be just another guy who gets trucked going for Gronk's midsection as he runs off a long that you failed to prevent.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Count me on the camp that says knee hits should be fined. 
 
The argument seems to be, since high hits aren't allowed due to fines, the smaller defenders only have lower body to target to bring a bigger player down.
 
However, who said safeties should be able to take out 6' 6", 270 lbs running at full speed in the first place? That's called a size & tackling mismatch and if TJ Ward/McCourty can't get Gronk/Graham down so be it. 
 
It was mentioned upthread that without tackling low Gronk would have waltzed into the end zone. If that's the case, that's what's supposed to happen. Gronk should not be stopped by a TJ Ward unless Ward had a chance to wrap him up "properly". If not, that's a win for having a huge TE that can run like a safety.
 
I understand that TJ Ward did not, could not target the knee specifically. However, my concern is being allowed to dive full force at the general vicinity is guaranteed to increase chances of torn ACL/MCLs. Who'll be next?
 
As far as watering down the product, so be it. Add x points per game. Have safeties bounce off larger backs or tight ends. To me, that's seems to be part of football.
 

Stitch01

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We could just play flag football too.
 
I dont mean that to be snarky, but if we're going to be so concerned about injuries that we dont care if players have a chance to make tackles, why not play with flags?  Fewer injuries and can still have "tackles".
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Stitch01 said:
We could just play flag football too.
 
I dont mean that to be snarky, but if we're going to be so concerned about injuries that we dont care if players have a chance to make tackles, why not play with flags?  Fewer injuries and can still have "tackles".
 
That's 2 different arguments. Not allowing to dive at and below the knee is different than allowing to "have a chance to make tackles". 
 
I don't mind snark, but fining what Ward did does not stop football from being football. 
 

BucketOBalls

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Stitch01 said:
We could just play flag football too.
 
I dont mean that to be snarky, but if we're going to be so concerned about injuries that we dont care if players have a chance to make tackles, why not play with flags?  Fewer injuries and can still have "tackles".
 
You would think there would be a middle ground.  I can see that only allowing, say the torso to be targeted might make it overly difficult to bring guys down. Maybe add some sort of handholds to the torso area to compensate?   I dunno.
 

Reverend

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BucketOBalls said:
 
You would think there would be a middle ground. Maybe add some sort of handholds to the body section to make it more practical to grab the middle and wrestle guys to the ground while allowing targeting between the thighs and neck. I dunno.
 
:iseewhatyoudidthere:
 

Stitch01

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
That's 2 different arguments. Not allowing to dive at and below the knee is different than allowing to "have a chance to make tackles". 
 
I don't mind snark, but fining what Ward did does not stop football from being football. 
Football is a violent game, there are going to be injuries unless you want to fundamentally change the nature of the game (which we can do, we can turn it into a much more non-contact sport if we want or play with flags or whatever).  Smaller guys are going to go low to take out bigger guys, occasionally its going to result in a fluke injury.  Sucks when it happens, but we dont need more rules to hinder playing defense.  As you pointed out, TJ Ward didnt/could not target the knee specifically. There isnt a fundamental long-term player health issue here like there is with concussions/headshots (yes I know Gronk got concussed yesterday).  Its a torn knee. Shit happens.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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TJ Ward, November 2012 after a $25K fine for a shot to the helmet.
 
 
 
“The funny thing is, it won’t change it,” Ward said. “Things are going to happen. The next thing is you’re going to see guys with blown-out knees because they’re going to start to get hit low. And before you know it, that’s going to be illegal, and we’ll start getting fined for that. 
 
TJ Ward yesterday after a shot to Gronk's knee.
 
 
Ward said he would’ve “possibly” gone higher on the hit if the rules were different.
“When [the NFL] set the rule, everyone knew what was going to happen,” Ward said. “This can happen if you have those types of situations. It’s pretty much inevitable, and they forced our hand with this one.
 
My problem is guys like him and DJ Swearinger have the attitude that if I can't spear a guy with my helmet, I have to take out his knees, and if I do it enough, maybe they'll change the rule. 
 
Now to their credit most of them really don't like the part of the rule that governs a hit that starts at the chest and rides up to the helmet, or becomes helmet to helmet because the receiver ducks.  I agree with that part. If they relax the rule so direct helmet to helmet is illegal, but the riding up after a chest his is OK, these guys might cease being assholes.  But for me, right now, this is just an asshole way to approach it.  The whole I mangled Gronk's (or Keller's) knee, now do I have your attention Mr. Goodell shit has to stop. I'm guessing changes of some type come in the offseason.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Stitch01 said:
There isnt a fundamental long-term player health issue here like there is with concussions/headshots (yes I know Gronk got concussed yesterday).  Its a torn knee. Shit happens.
 
I think finer points matter here. Just like the head hunting rule, as subjective it may be, diving at a knee can be officiated and although shit happens in the NFL it's preventable shit. 
 
We're not talking about an arm tackle at the ankles. It's the Gronk injury and pretty much the same type of hit on Randall Cobb:
 
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1NPK9ncwIs[/youtube]
 
I cannot believe this type of hit cannot be officiated. 
 

Stitch01

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OK, I guess Id want to know what exactly you want to have flagged (Im not sure if you think Ward was aiming for Gronk's knees or not, you sort of said yes and no) and, if so, how many times have we seen that sort of low hit with no injuries and how many current tackle attempts per game would be getting flagged? I dont know the answer, but Id want to before thinking about changing the rules in a manner that encouraged defenders to hit up higher again.
 
I dont find calls for a rule change based on one or two injuries with little regard for what it does to the game particularly compelling.  JMHO.
 

lambeau

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"The next thing you're gonna see is guys with blown out knees...and we'll start getting fined for that."

--TJ Ward 11/21/12 after being fined $25,000 for launching and driving Cowboy Kevin Ogletree into Buster Skrine causing two concussions.
 

Super Nomario

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Stitch01 said:
OK, I guess Id want to know what exactly you want to have flagged (Im not sure if you think Ward was aiming for Gronk's knees or not, you sort of said yes and no) and, if so, how many times have we seen that sort of low hit with no injuries and how many current tackle attempts per game would be getting flagged? I dont know the answer, but Id want to before thinking about changing the rules in a manner that encouraged defenders to hit up higher again.
 
I dont find calls for a rule change based on one or two injuries with little regard for what it does to the game particularly compelling.  JMHO.
I agree with this. Whether or not the rule makes sense in the abstract, enforcement would be a bitch. Look at the "Brady rule" - how often are defenders actually flagged for hits below the waist on QBs? Almost never, and that makes the few that are called seem arbitrary. I have nightmares of players getting flagged because they hit a receiver in the calf or lower thigh, or endless replay reviews to determine if the defender's shoulder hit the receiver's shin or his knee.
 
Tackling is an inherently violent act that carries some risk of injury. You can't eliminate that risk entirely without eliminating tackling.
 

Reverend

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lambeau said:
"The next thing you're gonna see is guys with blown out knees...and we'll start getting fined for that."

--TJ Ward 11/21/12 after being fined $25,000 for launching and driving Cowboy Kevin Ogletree into Buster Skrine causing two concussions.
 
Do you even read the threads? Are you aware there are other people posting and how they go about it?
 

Jettisoned

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PaulinMyrBch said:
TJ Ward, November 2012 after a $25K fine for a shot to the helmet.
 
 
TJ Ward yesterday after a shot to Gronk's knee.
 
 
My problem is guys like him and DJ Swearinger have the attitude that if I can't spear a guy with my helmet, I have to take out his knees, and if I do it enough, maybe they'll change the rule.
 
Yeah, they're pissed off because they get fined if they go for kill shots to the head to knock the ball loose.  Now they go for knees, which doesn't have quite the same effect at knocking the ball loose but it forces the other team to use players further down the depth chart.  I'm not saying he did anything against the rules as they're written, but the idea that you can make these sorts of hits on people without intent to cause serious bodily harm is ludicrous.
 
It's not totally nuts to alter the rules to try to minimize this sort of thing.  Just force them to do form tackles.  There are all kinds of restrictions on blocking and teams still manage to do that pretty effectively.