NFL legend Jerry Rice is shocked at a new rule banning offensive players from lowering their helmets into defenders. He calls the rule “powder puff” and argues that players lower their heads for protection.
Jerry Rice appeared on NFL Live to discuss his views of the NFL’s newest rule. He didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about the ban.
Speaking candidly about the rule, he said, “football is football,” and continued, “do you want to turn this into like a powder puff football?”
Like a number of players, Rice does not want to see the game he loves watered down because of player safety. He also believes players lower their helmets to protect themselves because, “when you’re out in the open field, you’ve got to be able to drop your shoulders and deliver a blow.”
Still, Rice knows a player can’t lead with the crown of their helmet. The problem is a player can’t drop their shoulders without lowering their head.
The bigger problem might be technique. Players play football differently than 10 or 20 years ago. Defenses hit harder, and running backs aren’t afraid to hit back. It is possible to play the game hard and clean. A number of defenders preach clean technique and hard hitting. It’s not impossible. The idea is just brand new to offensive players.
As the game has become more violent, Roger Goodell has made player safety a priority. The NFL’s new helmet rule is designed to increase player safety, not turn the game “powder puff,” as Jerry Rice puts it.
The Pro Bowl has become so soft Roger Goodell is considering extra player compensation to increase intensity. The new rule is a response to increased player violence on the field.
We won’t know how the new rule effects the game until the 2013 season begins. Running backs will adjust and so will defenses. The league is very pass happy right now, so the rule probably won’t have a drastic impact.
Is Jerry Rice right calling the new helmet rule, “powder puff?” Was he out of line in his comments?