Creating a safer game has been one of the key objectives for the NFL in recent years.
From more advanced equipment to evolving rules, the league is implementing new techniques to increase player safety every season. Week 5 this year proved why there’s room for improvement — with multiple quarterbacks and players leaving games with concussions and injuries following helmet-to-helmet hits.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was one of the most prominent examples, along with New Orleans Saints’ Taysom Hill.
While joining WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained why he’s in favor of the evolving rules.
“I think the rules all reflect that,” he said. “The league has taken player safety to a much different level than it was at other points in the NFL’s history. And rules that cover defenseless receivers, contacting the quarterback and so forth are definitely part of the game that wasn’t there when I came into the league. But, that’s been an evolution to the game that I think has been good.
“They changed the cut-blocking rule this year, so they’ve done little things every year to look at player safety and nothing more important than the health of the players. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. But unfortunately that’s one of the realities of this sport. But to minimize that is a good thing.”
Some defensive players find the new rules frustrating, but he believes college football should begin to truly prepare them for these rules.
“I understand the frustration of players at times feeling they can’t play as physically as they want to, especially when you’ve been brought up playing it one way and then it goes a different way,” Belichick said. “I hope at some point the NFL and college football could have the same rules on things like targeting and those personal foul penalties and everything so that as players learn the techniques and get instructed in college on what is and what isn’t legal contact and so forth that those rules would eventually be the same in the National Football League — whatever they end up being. Whatever the right thing to do is, but I think it’s hard to re-teach some of that.
“Like I said, it would be nice if it was all the same.”
Creating the safest game possible will be beneficial for all parties.