How low can you go? Penalizing hits below the knee

Mloaf71

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Maybe Jersey's should be targets?
 
The bulls eye can be the in the center of the torso and is a legal tackle.  The first ring is a 5 yard penalty, second is a 10 yard penalty...so on and so forth.
 
Only slightly kidding based on this conversation...
 

Reggie's Racquet

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Mloaf71 said:
Maybe Jersey's should be targets?
 
The bulls eye can be the in the center of the torso and is a legal tackle.  The first ring is a 5 yard penalty, second is a 10 yard penalty...so on and so forth.
 
Only slightly kidding based on this conversation...
Youse don't target nuthin in Jersey.
Capisce?
 

SeoulSoxFan

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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.
 
The distinction may be as subjective as the head shots, but what's clear to me is that Ward was indisputably targeting the lower leg area with his helmet (so was Elam on the Cobb hit). What's not definitive is that he targeted the knee specifically. 
 
The rule should be that if a defender intentionally dives at knee or below of a receiver, it should be flagged. Anything below the neck and above the knee is fair game. 
 
"Higher up" does not mean the head, S01 -- there's a quite large area between the head and the knee. If that's difficult, so be it. If that waters down the violence part of the sport, so be it. If that means safeties cannot bring Cobb or Gronk down, so be it. 
 
I'll tell you this, I do not enjoy hits to the knees -- even if the player escapes serious injury. I'd rather have a higher scoring game, where legitimate tackling is defined as area above the knee and below the neck. 
 
Even if it adds to the already thick rulebook, I'd take that trade over having Gronk or Cobb on IR and quite possibly derail their career.
 

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Super Nomario said:
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.
 
Difficulty in enforcement should not prevent a necessary rule (IMO) to be in the books. 
 
Again, it's not to determine a hit to the knee vs. the shin -- it's diving at any lower part of the body at or below the knee including the shin, maybe making an exception for an arm tackle/trip. 
 
I've seen a fair share of these dangerous hits and to me they're easier to call than hits to the head. 
 

seageral

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
The distinction may be as subjective as the head shots, but what's clear to me is that Ward was indisputably targeting the lower leg area with his helmet (so was Elam on the Cobb hit). What's not definitive is that he targeted the knee specifically. 
 
The rule should be that if a defender intentionally dives at knee or below of a receiver, it should be flagged. Anything below the neck and above the knee is fair game. 
 
"Higher up" does not mean the head, S01 -- there's a quite large area between the head and the knee. If that's difficult, so be it. If that waters down the violence part of the sport, so be it. If that means safeties cannot bring Cobb or Gronk down, so be it. 
 
I'll tell you this, I do not enjoy hits to the knees -- even if the player escapes serious injury. I'd rather have a higher scoring game, where legitimate tackling is defined as area above the knee and below the neck. 
 
Even if it adds to the already thick rulebook, I'd take that trade over having Gronk or Cobb on IR and quite possibly derail their career.
 
This is where I'm at too.  The NFL wants to help the offense anyway.
 

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
Difficulty in enforcement should not prevent a necessary rule (IMO) to be in the books. 
 
Again, it's not to determine a hit to the knee vs. the shin -- it's diving at any lower part of the body at or below the knee including the shin, maybe making an exception for an arm tackle/trip. 
 
I've seen a fair share of these dangerous hits and to me they're easier to call than hits to the head. 
 
 
Out... of commission.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Let's take a look at the Elam hit:
 

 
As reception is being made, Elam's head is clearly up and looking at Cobb. His body is already in a dive position -- early on, Elam clearly makes the decision to tackle the lowest part of Cobb's body. I believe Elam could have stayed upright, and tackle him anywhere above the knee and still have a good (lower, but still good) chance of making a tackle on Cobb.
 
In the lower frame, he clearly lowers his head, and continues in the same angle as the rest of the body that is hurtling (again, IMO intentionally) towards knee or below. The result is catastrophic. 
 
I hated the Cobb injury and obviously sick of Gronk's. Both types of injuries can be reduced with redefining what a legitimate target area is, and would love to have a discussion over how it has impacted the game after it has a chance to be enforced.
 

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For me, again, it comes down to the defenseless receiver. Football is obviously inherently dangerous, and I don't think there's any way it's fair to completely take out high and low hits (which the NFL hasn't done, hits occur with the helmet), but I do think it's fair, and realistic, to apply it to the defenseless receiver. When the guy is catching the ball, he's not only more vulnerable to injury, he's also easier to tackle. I don't think you're losing many tackles on those plays if you force a target area between the knees and helmet, even when monsters like Gronk are the target. Even if tackling the body is, say, 10% less effective, I'd rather they take the play out of the game. As Seoul says, it's not fun to watch anyway, and the career-altering injuries aren't worth it.
 

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Unless you're going to turn the NFL into flag football, defenders must be able to hit defenseless receivers either high or low.
 
Allowing low hits, but not high ones, means accepting more knee injuries in exchange for fewer concussions. That sucks from a fan's perspective, but for the players' long-term quality of life, it's probably the right call.
 
(Of course, Gronk managed to rip up his knee and get concussed on the same play. Ugh.)
 

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
The distinction may be as subjective as the head shots, but what's clear to me is that Ward was indisputably targeting the lower leg area with his helmet (so was Elam on the Cobb hit). What's not definitive is that he targeted the knee specifically. 
 
The rule should be that if a defender intentionally dives at knee or below of a receiver, it should be flagged. Anything below the neck and above the knee is fair game. 
 
"Higher up" does not mean the head, S01 -- there's a quite large area between the head and the knee. If that's difficult, so be it. If that waters down the violence part of the sport, so be it. If that means safeties cannot bring Cobb or Gronk down, so be it. 
 
I'll tell you this, I do not enjoy hits to the knees -- even if the player escapes serious injury. I'd rather have a higher scoring game, where legitimate tackling is defined as area above the knee and below the neck. 
 
Even if it adds to the already thick rulebook, I'd take that trade over having Gronk or Cobb on IR and quite possibly derail their career.
 
How do you expect a team to actually play defense then? Gronk's size, speed, and strength already give him a huge advantage. TJ ward is giving up 40 pounds to Gronk running full speed. Gronk has routinely dragged players behind him for yardage. In a situation like that, how on earth is someone supposed to take down a guy like Gronk? It's obvious he was going low, because Gronk would have trampled him like a fucking mastodon if TJ Ward had the common decency to politely wrap and form tackle Gronk. 
 
The NFL brought this upon itself with all the emphasis on not going high. We all saw Dustin Keller's knee get blown to pieces in the pre season. Players then and now are still saying that the league gives them little to no choice. There have been a huge number of knee injuries this year, and apparently the NFL is willing to live with players getting knees blown out instead of having traumatic brain injuries.
 
All of the rules are currently skewed in favor of the offense, you can't take away low tackles from the defense too. 
 

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sodenj5 said:
How do you expect a team to actually play defense then? Gronk's size, speed, and strength already give him a huge advantage. TJ ward is giving up 40 pounds to Gronk running full speed. Gronk has routinely dragged players behind him for yardage. In a situation like that, how on earth is someone supposed to take down a guy like Gronk? It's obvious he was going low, because Gronk would have trampled him like a fucking mastodon if TJ Ward had the common decency to politely wrap and form tackle Gronk. 
 
The answer is no, Ward does NOT get to bring Gronk down, exactly because Gronk has 40 pounds on him and is running full speed. That's the advantage Gronk has, for being faster than most safeties and still outweigh him by a few stones. 
 
Being able to hit low does not equate to a team being able to play defense. In other words, I believe defense can play sound fundamental football (and tackle) without hitting high or low. 
 
Gronk is 6' 6" for god's sake -- there's PLENTY to hit. 
 

Tony C

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Right. It's really a conundrum. The idea of just tackling in the jersey area is fine for rugby where you have scrums and such (Gronk would be a monster there, right?), but in football it'd completely transform the game. Being able to go low is essential to any undersized guy --i.e, most defensive backs -- stopping open field runners. I've always thought that, again with rugby in mind, that getting rid of helmets or drastically redesigning them into soft pads would do the trick...but in Gronk's case, for example, I don't think he even hit him with the helmet. A bit hard to tell, actually, but it seems he got his helmet just past Gronk's knee. I guess you could say that Ward wouldn't have tried for that sort of tackle if he wasn't wearing a helmet, but this all gets very gray. It may be that the status quo is just the reality: as someone said above, better knee injuries than concussions that leave players stupid for life.
 

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Tony C said:
Right. It's really a conundrum. 
 
It is, and I respect all of the opposing opinions posted here -- differences in how such a stricter rule would impact the game.
 
For now, hoping it's "just" ACL/MCL and not anything more serious damage. 
 

Ed Hillel

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Unless you're going to turn the NFL into flag football, defenders must be able to hit defenseless receivers either high or low.

Allowing low hits, but not high ones, means accepting more knee injuries in exchange for fewer concussions. That sucks from a fan's perspective, but for the players' long-term quality of life, it's probably the right call.


Not to single you out, but I can't stand when people frame it like this - high or low. It makes it seem like there are only two options. The "high" and "low" in this situation comrprises, total, maybe 30% of the body if we're using a vertical target zone? That leaves a very substantial middle.

Now, I certainly understand that there will be difficulties in enforcing the calls, and soundbites from defenders all over the league claiming they'll be forced to literally rip the hearts out of player's chests, Kano style (half circle back [or is it forward?], low punch), but I think it's quite doable. There will be an adjustment period, but I think the tackling options, in this scenario of defenseless receivers, would certainly remain viable.
 

ZP1

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Ed Hillel said:
Not to single you out, but I can't stand when people frame it like this - high or low. It makes it seem like there are only two options. The "high" and "low" in this situation comrprises, total, maybe 30% of the body if we're using a vertical target zone? That leaves a very substantial middle.

Now, I certainly understand that there will be difficulties in enforcing the calls, and soundbites from defenders all over the league claiming they'll be forced to literally rip the hearts out of player's chests, Kano style (half circle back [or is it forward?], low punch), but I think it's quite doable. There will be an adjustment period, but I think the tackling options, in this scenario of defenseless receivers, would certainly remain viable.
 
More than anything else, I think people with the attitude of "WHERE CAN THEY HIT" are going to be in for a rude awakening in a few years.  The NFL is only going to tolerate so many years of continually increasing ACL injury rates before it starts attempting to limit those as well.  If for nothing else, owners aren't really fans of spending millions upon millions on a player only to have them out at week 5 with a catastrophic knee injury. 
 

lambeau

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I couldn't agree more. The knee is the new head. Nostalgia aside, rules must keep up with increased speed, strength, and vicious targeting.
Nobody who watched Joe Namath hobbling around with braces like FDR--while still playing--questions protecting the knees of the QB.
Maybe "launching upward" was poorly writen--not imagining launching down--and is it really down if you're launching off the ground?
But CSN said tonite that blown out knees in the NFL are up this season from 25 to 43 and counting--roughly doubling.
Does anyone think this is sustainable? 50...100 RB's and WR's with blown out knees each year? C'mon.
The old rules were perfectly adequate for games like the Eagles/Lions--slogging in mud and snow--now the Lions slog to their dome and launch 200 lb DB's  protected by hi-tech helmets at your knees at 4.4 speed. Different game. Different rules.
 

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Ed Hillel said:
Not to single you out, but I can't stand when people frame it like this - high or low. It makes it seem like there are only two options. The "high" and "low" in this situation comrprises, total, maybe 30% of the body if we're using a vertical target zone? That leaves a very substantial middle.

Now, I certainly understand that there will be difficulties in enforcing the calls, and soundbites from defenders all over the league claiming they'll be forced to literally rip the hearts out of player's chests, Kano style (half circle back [or is it forward?], low punch), but I think it's quite doable. There will be an adjustment period, but I think the tackling options, in this scenario of defenseless receivers, would certainly remain viable.
 
I wish they could enforce a tackling zone like this.  I love football but between the overwhelming evidence of CTE being caused by the sport and horrific injuries to the lower extremities, its tough to watch if you contemplate the long-term consequences.  However, the speed of the game and the size of most players is such that I don't think a "tackling zone" is truly practical.  
 
Ward really had only one shot of stopping Gronkowski there and that was to take out his legs - if he hits him in the torso, for instance, its likely Ward who is laying on the turf concussed.  As such, he went low.  I don't think making a low shot a penalty would have changed the outcome.   Its just an inherently violent sport the way its currently structured.
 

sodenj5

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
The answer is no, Ward does NOT get to bring Gronk down, exactly because Gronk has 40 pounds on him and is running full speed. That's the advantage Gronk has, for being faster than most safeties and still outweigh him by a few stones. 
 
Being able to hit low does not equate to a team being able to play defense. In other words, I believe defense can play sound fundamental football (and tackle) without hitting high or low. 
 
Gronk is 6' 6" for god's sake -- there's PLENTY to hit. 
You know it's much more difficult to bring someone, especially a guy like Gronk, down if you tackle him at the center of his mass as opposed to going up high or down low. Again, if Ward goes for the center of Gronk, he's likely stiff armed or shrugged off.

You can't just say, oh well, Gronk is huge and fast so he wins and rules should enforce that. That's ridiculous.

Players need to have some means of bringing these guys down. They already can't touch them, can't hit them while "defenseless", can't hit them high, now they can't hit them low either?

I'm not saying the current situation is the solution, but it's what the current rules dictate.
 

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Ed Hillel said:
Not to single you out, but I can't stand when people frame it like this - high or low. It makes it seem like there are only two options. The "high" and "low" in this situation comrprises, total, maybe 30% of the body if we're using a vertical target zone? That leaves a very substantial middle.
Right, but when a player of Gronkowski's body type (6'6", 265 lbs.) has a full head of steam, aiming for the middle is a suicide mission for a DB with T.J. Brown's (5'10", 200lbs.) body type.
 

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lambeau said:
 
But CSN said tonite that blown out knees in the NFL are up this season from 25 to 43 and counting--roughly doubling.
Does anyone think this is sustainable? 50...100 RB's and WR's with blown out knees each year? C'mon.
 
I would like to see further data on this. How many of these plays were low tackles like Cobb / Gronk and how many were other contact, and how many were non-contact (like Welker). And was 25 last year an aberration or are we suddenly seeing a jump this year?
 
Right now I am firmly in the "it's fine as it is" camp as that's the best way for defenders to have a chance and I think the rules are too far skewed towards offense already. But if there really was a huge jump in the number of injuries rather than just a few very visible ones due to the quality of player, I could be convinced that another rule change was a good idea.
 

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sodenj5 said:
You know it's much more difficult to bring someone, especially a guy like Gronk, down if you tackle him at the center of his mass as opposed to going up high or down low. Again, if Ward goes for the center of Gronk, he's likely stiff armed or shrugged off.

I'm not saying the current situation is the solution, but it's what the current rules dictate.
 
Of course it's more difficult to bring down Gronk - Gronk is supposed to shrug the guy off. But, Ward can slow him down and still "defend" him. There's nothing wrong with shrugging a guy weighing 40 pounds less. Why is this a no-no in your book?
 
You can't just say, oh well, Gronk is huge and fast so he wins and rules should enforce that. That's ridiculous.
 
I'm saying Gronk is huge and fast and unlike other TEs who's not as fast (thus tackled easier) and big (thus tackled easier) rules should not put him at more of a risk for knee injuries. 
 
Your quote makes it seem like rules should give him extra advantage. Not the case.
 
Players need to have some means of bringing these guys down. They already can't touch them, can't hit them while "defenseless", can't hit them high, now they can't hit them low either?
 
Again, as EH posted upthread this is dubious framing.
 
Players can tackle the vast majority (aka between neck and knee) area of the body and have every opportunity to do so. Hitting a playing while "defenseless" is a necessary rule to prevent unnecessary injuries. So is preventing (the key word here) the DIVING and LAUNCHING into someone's knees.
 
Look at Keller's injury and tell me that wasn't preventable:
 
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPHDtUFSIuQ[/youtube]
 
Keller was not at full speed, yet defender forego his chance to make a tackle within the body and launched into the knee area.
 
NFL should protect its assets, and players should also protect themselves. Unlike Gronk, Keller was playing on a prove-it 1-year deal.
 
Edit: speaking of Keller:
 
"@DUSTINKELLER81 Praying for @RobGronkowski and a speedy recovery and a MAJOR comeback..something has to be done about these low hits!!!"
 

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
Of course it's more difficult to bring down Gronk - Gronk is supposed to shrug the guy off. But, Ward can slow him down and still "defend" him. There's nothing wrong with shrugging a guy weighing 40 pounds less. Why is this a no-no in your book?
Because the game is already so offensively biased. When you're giving up 40 to 50 lbs to a guy with a full head of steam, you're suggesting that the defender should just try and corral him or slow him down? Wait for the reinforcements?

I don't disagree that low hits are dangerous. Football is dangerous, played by men that are bigger and faster every day. However, the way the rules are constructed, your solution is just unreasonable. You can't tell a guy to politely slow Gronk down until more men show up and eventually drag him down.
 

OCST

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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.
this.

those saying that Ward should somehow have tackled differently - you realize that Gronk outweighs him by ~65 pounds, yes?
 

seageral

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sodenj5 said:
Because the game is already so offensively biased. When you're giving up 40 to 50 lbs to a guy with a full head of steam, you're suggesting that the defender should just try and corral him or slow him down? Wait for the reinforcements?

I don't disagree that low hits are dangerous. Football is dangerous, played by men that are bigger and faster every day. However, the way the rules are constructed, your solution is just unreasonable. You can't tell a guy to politely slow Gronk down until more men show up and eventually drag him down.
 
 
Why?  The NFL wants more offense.  This solves two problems with one rule.  
 
I don't see how not having a small guy be able to tackle a big guy negatively affects the game.  In fact I'd rather not see guys knees taken out.  I'd much rather see some big dude shrugging off tacklers running down the field.  That (could/should) be part of the advantage of having a big guy able to run fast.
 

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Make sure the discussion doesn't confuse tackling with hits on a defenseless receiver. That's the only issue. Do defenseless receivers, the period from a catch until they are able to brace for a hit, deserve any extra protection? We're not saying Ward has to go mid section all the time, just on WR's defenseless.

And on Gronk, the calvery was there. An LB was running with him. Ward didn't need to go knees to get him down, however clean under the rule.
 

seageral

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Also little guys CAN take down big guys without going low by latching on to the waist and then sliding down to the ankles.   
 

j44thor

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What about changing the equipment to protect the knee better?  Is it possible to create some sort of titanium or kevlar brace that prevents the knee from caving in?  Perhaps it slows down the player 10% but if if gives you a 50% chance of avoiding that type of injury would it be worth it?
 
Maybe a RB that needs all the lateral agility he can get wouldn't want a brace but a pocket QB, lineman or TE that predominantly runs seam routes would seem to benefit from additional protection.  Of course I have no idea if it is feasible but it seems like it is at least worth looking into.
 

seageral

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j44thor said:
What about changing the equipment to protect the knee better?  Is it possible to create some sort of titanium or kevlar brace that prevents the knee from caving in?  Perhaps it slows down the player 10% but if if gives you a 50% chance of avoiding that type of injury would it be worth it?
 
Maybe a RB that needs all the lateral agility he can get wouldn't want a brace but a pocket QB, lineman or TE that predominantly runs seam routes would seem to benefit from additional protection.  Of course I have no idea if it is feasible but it seems like it is at least worth looking into.
or razor sharp spikes on the knee to discourage diving for them.
 

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I'm more amenable to changing defenseless receiver rules than tackling rules, but not sure how that would have prevented what happened to Gronk
 

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I agree with Seoul in principal; there is a lot of area in between the knee and neck for a defender to hit. The problem is it's really hard for defenders to aim every single hit particularly at today's game speed. The league has said they don't care what the defender's intent is or if the receiver changes position; the burden is on the defender to not launch at the head. Considering how fast the game has become, and how inherently dangerous helmets are, I don't think there's any way to avoid all gruesome contact injuries unless you outlaw all launching. If you tell defenders to only aim for the midsection, it won't be long until a player lacerates an internal organ, like Jason Witten before, due to a player launching head first into a receiver's torso. At that point we are having this conversation again. Maybe the league should only allow wrap up or push down tackles. At that point, the game will be a shell of what it was 5-10 years ago. But football, like all sports, has gone through major evolution since it's inception.

I'm not necessarily advocating for such a league. I do know, however, that it is becoming harder and harder for me to watch some of these hits, whether the headshots or the Gronk/Cobb knees. These players are being maimed. We are watching their future and lives forever be altered.

This isn't to sounds like a giant Jorge Pussada. I enjoy football and continue to watch each week and appreciate that the players willfully volunteer to potentially sacrifice their bodies for a paycheck. But the league is in a precarious time and they know it. It'll be interesting to see where it is in 10 years.
 

ZP1

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sodenj5 said:
Because the game is already so offensively biased. When you're giving up 40 to 50 lbs to a guy with a full head of steam, you're suggesting that the defender should just try and corral him or slow him down? Wait for the reinforcements?

I don't disagree that low hits are dangerous. Football is dangerous, played by men that are bigger and faster every day. However, the way the rules are constructed, your solution is just unreasonable. You can't tell a guy to politely slow Gronk down until more men show up and eventually drag him down.
 
It's not an unreasonable solution.  It certainly means that teams would have to go with bigger and stronger safeties than some of the ones in the league now however. 
 

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The more I think about it, the less I support the idea that a safety weighing 40 lbs less is bound to be "shrugged" off a larger TE like Gronk.
 
If a player is in stride, it's much easier to knock them off balance. It does not take a perfect form tackle to do so, and certainly not a knee hit. 
 
Taken to extreme, it shows laziness in DBs -- you can stop Gronk if you have taken proper angles, and knock him off with a legitimate, hard tackle in the head-to-knee area. Not all the time perhaps, but that's football too.
 
Here's a bunch of safety hits. Some are obvious head/knee hits, but I see plenty neck-to-knee hits that knock a guy off 3 yards:
 
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuZNhXCiTug[/youtube]
 
Edit: Ironically, for the future of the sport, I want below the knee hits eliminated. If parents are concerned with concussions, torn ACLs cannot be that far behind.
 

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j44thor said:
What about changing the equipment to protect the knee better?  Is it possible to create some sort of titanium or kevlar brace that prevents the knee from caving in?  Perhaps it slows down the player 10% but if if gives you a 50% chance of avoiding that type of injury would it be worth it?
 
Maybe a RB that needs all the lateral agility he can get wouldn't want a brace but a pocket QB, lineman or TE that predominantly runs seam routes would seem to benefit from additional protection.  Of course I have no idea if it is feasible but it seems like it is at least worth looking into.
 
See I think this is probably the only way to go. Knee braces and such that are mandatory (across the board) would both protect a sensitive area and also slow down  the game in general, such that other injuries would presumably be reduced.
 
Of coruse I say this in absolute ignorance of what a knee brace entails -- probably a good reason it doesn't make sense, but I think the most obvious objection -- that it unnaturally slows things down -- is actually a good thing.
 
P.S.: it may have been a joke about leather helmets, but I actually think that's also key. Having helmets that are virtual weapons of war is ridiculous -- rugby should be the model in that regard. Less head protection will lead to fewer head injuries and fewer injuries caused by the head.
 

Stitch01

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What am I supposed to be looking at on that video that is analogous to the Gronk tackle yesterday? I see a lot of hits on WRs that would be 15 yard penalties and heavy fines today.
 

JimBoSox9

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The more I think about it, the less I support the idea that a safety weighing 40 lbs less is bound to be "shrugged" off a larger TE like Gronk.

If a player is in stride, it's much easier to knock them off balance. It does not take a perfect form tackle to do so, and certainly not a knee hit.

Taken to extreme, it shows laziness in DBs -- you can stop Gronk if you have taken proper angles, and knock him off with a legitimate, hard tackle in the head-to-knee area. Not all the time perhaps, but that's football too.

Here's a bunch of safety hits. Some are obvious head/knee hits, but I see plenty neck-to-knee hits that knock a guy off 3 yards:

[youtube]http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuZNhXCiTug[/youtube]

Edit: Ironically, for the future of the sport, I want below the knee hits eliminated. If parents are concerned with concussions, torn ACLs cannot be that far behind.


Hear hear. It's kind of boggling my mind that so many people seem to take the premise for granted that a form tackle from a smaller player can't derail the mighty Gronk.

It's the launching that's the problem and it's infuriating because it's also shitty football. They're shitty hits. If you launch you lose momentum and if you get into his body you leverage up. If you tuck your arms in and bounce off he's gone and if you wrap you can hold on and slow him down. CBs launch because it gets flashy results and is easier. I don't see how some refinement of "defenders may not initiate contact with both arms against their body" is irrevocably unenforceable.
 

crystalline

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If everyone wears knee braces, the high impact hits to the legs will just shred ankles or hips instead of knees.
 

wibi

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SeoulSoxFan said:
The more I think about it, the less I support the idea that a safety weighing 40 lbs less is bound to be "shrugged" off a larger TE like Gronk.
 
If a player is in stride, it's much easier to knock them off balance. It does not take a perfect form tackle to do so, and certainly not a knee hit. 
 
Taken to extreme, it shows laziness in DBs -- you can stop Gronk if you have taken proper angles, and knock him off with a legitimate, hard tackle in the head-to-knee area. Not all the time perhaps, but that's football too.
 
Here's a bunch of safety hits. Some are obvious head/knee hits, but I see plenty neck-to-knee hits that knock a guy off 3 yards:
 
Edit: Ironically, for the future of the sport, I want below the knee hits eliminated. If parents are concerned with concussions, torn ACLs cannot be that far behind.
 
You have to be kidding, right?
 

DaveRoberts'Shoes

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crystalline said:
If everyone wears knee braces, the high impact hits to the legs will just shred ankles or hips instead of knees.
The knee brace thing doesn't work.
 
Goddamnit I'm so bummed out about Gronk.
 

Reverend

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DaveRoberts'Shoes said:
The knee brace thing doesn't work.
 
Goddamnit I'm so bummed out about Gronk.
 
What about the Batman knee brace?
 

 
Lie to us, Chris!!
 

DaveRoberts'Shoes

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What about the Batman knee brace?
 

 
Lie to us, Chris!!
 
 
It's DOCTOR Chris, motherfucker!
 
I didn't go to offshore medical school for two and a half years so you could not call me doctor.
 
Batman always makes the wrong read.  He's like Joey Galloway with a utility belt.
 

rbeaud

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Tony C said:
Right. It's really a conundrum. The idea of just tackling in the jersey area is fine for rugby where you have scrums and such (Gronk would be a monster there, right?), but in football it'd completely transform the game. Being able to go low is essential to any undersized guy --i.e, most defensive backs -- stopping open field runners. I've always thought that, again with rugby in mind, that getting rid of helmets or drastically redesigning them into soft pads would do the trick...
See, I cant buy into this line of thought. Open field tackles are plenty common and have greater consequences in Rugby given the man on man defense necessitated by the basic rules. Gang tackle someone and the other team has at least one free man somewhere. Miss a tackle off a scrum/ruck/maul and its off to the races!

I had the luxury of attending the 1995 Rugby World Cup in person. Jonah Lomu was the unstoppable force, a tight end body playing a wide receiver position with no penalty of speed or athleticism despite his size. (Jonah's 95 highlight reel is a unending wave of "that has to hurt"). And yet, the SA scrum half (Joost) at all of 88 kg brought Jonah and his 120 kg to a screeching halt with a perfect form tackle in the open field (saved a likely try that would have stood over full time!). It may have cost his team a few yards (at most) which, admittedly, are not as crucial in Rugby.

All the same, this type of tackle happens every weekend at all levels of Rugby. Yet the juggernaut that is the NFL can't figure out how to wrap up and take down an offensive player without destroying knees or concussing heads? (BTW, I'm still incredulous that Brady's knee was shredded by a player nearly prone on the ground. That play is illegal in Rugby; have to be on your feet to make a play....why isn't that a sensible rule for the NFL?).

It's all because the defender has no incentive to protect themselves thanks to body armor. I lost track of how many football guys came out to play Rugby and left the field injured because they launched at the opposing player. Or how many guys were wrecked by the wrestlers. These guys instinctively knew how to use someone's own body again themselves.

Surely the finest specimens of athleticism in the land (alleged...I'm a rugby homer can ya tell?) can do better than mere ruggers and ostracized (from the Olympics) Greco roman wrestlers???

Even looking at this as "product" and "entertainment", the NFL is doing a poor job of protecting their investment. Healthy Gronk is good for the game. Ward shredding a knee, eh, not so much. (FTR, MLB should protect catchers at the plate under similar logic.)

Maybe in another post I can marvel at how one referee and two line judges manage to corral most effectively 30 men on a pitch...
 

wibi

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JimBoSox9 said:
Hear hear. It's kind of boggling my mind that so many people seem to take the premise for granted that a form tackle from a smaller player can't derail the mighty Gronk.

It's the launching that's the problem and it's infuriating because it's also shitty football. They're shitty hits. If you launch you lose momentum and if you get into his body you leverage up. If you tuck your arms in and bounce off he's gone and if you wrap you can hold on and slow him down. CBs launch because it gets flashy results and is easier. I don't see how some refinement of "defenders may not initiate contact with both arms against their body" is irrevocably unenforceable.
 
You do realize those shots at the legs (because lets not kid ourselves that those guys are specifically aiming for the knees to hit at a game that moves that fast) is pretty dangerous for the DBs, right?  That hit on Gronk could have gone very differently if the timing was just a little bit off and we'd be talking about how a DB got knocked the fuck out by Gronk instead of this hand wringing over a hit that looked low but far from being intended to injure ...
 

wibi

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rbeaud said:
It's all because the defender has no incentive to protect themselves thanks to body armor. I lost track of how many football guys came out to play Rugby and left the field injured because they launched at the opposing player. Or how many guys were wrecked by the wrestlers. These guys instinctively knew how to use someone's own body again themselves.
 
Observation of the thread
 

doc

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j44thor said:
What about changing the equipment to protect the knee better?  Is it possible to create some sort of titanium or kevlar brace that prevents the knee from caving in?  Perhaps it slows down the player 10% but if if gives you a 50% chance of avoiding that type of injury would it be worth it?
 
Maybe a RB that needs all the lateral agility he can get wouldn't want a brace but a pocket QB, lineman or TE that predominantly runs seam routes would seem to benefit from additional protection.  Of course I have no idea if it is feasible but it seems like it is at least worth looking into.
This was tried with Army football about 20 years ago, end result was more but less  severe knee injuries.
 

E5 Yaz

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DaveRoberts'Shoes said:
 
 
It's DOCTOR Chris, motherfucker!
 
I didn't go to offshore medical school for two and a half years so you could not call me doctor.
 
Batman always makes the wrong read.  He's like Joey Galloway with a utility belt.
 
 
Lie to us, Dr. Chris Motherfucker
 

SeoulSoxFan

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wibi said:
You have to be kidding, right?
 
I think JBS9 did a much better job at that than I did:
 

JimBoSox9 said:
Hear hear. It's kind of boggling my mind that so many people seem to take the premise for granted that a form tackle from a smaller player can't derail the mighty Gronk.

It's the launching that's the problem and it's infuriating because it's also shitty football. They're shitty hits. If you launch you lose momentum and if you get into his body you leverage up. If you tuck your arms in and bounce off he's gone and if you wrap you can hold on and slow him down. CBs launch because it gets flashy results and is easier. I don't see how some refinement of "defenders may not initiate contact with both arms against their body" is irrevocably unenforceable.