The Brady Effect 03/25/2009Posted by sportretort in Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: buffalo bills, j p losman, new england patriots, NFL, nfl rules, quarterback protection, tom brady, tyler thigpen
The NFL has adopted 4 new rules dealing with contact to the head, trying to protect players.
And now comes the Brady Adjustment. It is not new rule, reasons the NFL, merely an adjustment. Defenders who are on the ground can not lunge at the quarterback, contacting them first in the knee or below, if the play is still going on. (Apparently it is OK to do it if the play is over.) Where to start with this one?
New England quarterback Tom Brady was hurt in the first game of the season last year. His season was over. A terrible thing for Brady and the Patriots, for sure. No injury is good. And the league has gone out of its way to try to protect players, and quarterbacks in particular. But why has this adjustment happened after Brady’s injury? Buffalo Bills qb J P Losman suffered a sprained knee after a similar hit in 2007. That hit resulted in a 15 yard penalty because it was ruled a late hit. But there was no outcry, no rule adjustment. Is it because Losman is not the ‘star’ that Brady is? Is it because Losman played for the Bills and Brady played for the Patriots? If this injury had happened to Tyler Thigpen of Kansas City, say, rather than to Tom Brady, would we be adjusting the rules now? I think not. Now, if you are a defensive lineman rushing the passer and get knocked down, you can not go after the quarterback until you get back up. Will the quarterback have to pull back and allow time for the rusher to get up, or will he continue at full speed attempting to make a play?
The NFL has gone out of their way to protect the quarterback. I do understand it. For most teams, the quarterback is the face of the franchise. But are they going to far? Soon, are we going to put red jersies on the quarterbacks and
allow no hits? Teams do that in practice. Perhaps we should put flags on the quarterbacks and have them be downed when their flag is pulled. Players are bigger, stronger and faster today. Collisions can be violent. The new rules about head contact, for example, are good, and protect all players. But you can not take aggression out of the game, and only for one specific player on the field. No one wants to see any player injured. Certainly having lost Brady for the season impacted New England. But if a quarterback can give 100% to make a play then a defender should be able to give 100% to stop him. Why is a quarterback allowed to throw a pass with a defender draped on his back? Fully half of all NFL teams had quarterbacks miss playing time due to injury last season. Should the quarterback be down at first contact? No. And if he is allowed to give an extra effort, the chance of injury increases. It is a part of the game.
Let them play.