This will be a long post and has to do with recent rule changes that in my opinion are beginning to ruin the game of football.
Theres an Aesop's fable that goes:
"A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich.
"Just think," said the man's wife, "If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster."
"You're right," said her husband, "We wouldn't have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day."
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs."
What does that have to do with anything? read on.
On March the 24th the AP released:
"NFL owners have passed four player safety rules for next season. One of them is the elimination of blindside helmet-to-helmet blocks.
The changes came Tuesday at the NFL meetings in California.
The new rules state that the initial force of a blindside block can't be delivered by a helmet, forearm or shoulder to an opponent's head or neck. An illegal blindside block will bring a 15-yard penalty.
Initial contact to the head of a defenseless receiver also will draw a 15-yard penalty.
On kickoffs, no blocking wedge of more than two players will be allowed. Also, the kicking team can't have more than five players bunched together pursuing an onside kick."
then we got the "Tom Brady rule"
"In part because of the season-ending left knee injury that Brady suffered in the Patriots' 2008 season opener against the Chiefs, the league's Competition Committee adopted a clarification of the current rule on hits to a quarterback in the knee area or below. The clarification specifically prohibits a defender on the ground who hasn't been blocked or fouled directly into the quarterback from lunging or diving at the quarterback's lower legs.
Brady tore his left ACL and left MCL in the first quarter of the Patriots' 17-10 win over the Chiefs Sept. 7. As Brady stepped into a 28-yard completion to Randy Moss, Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard made a desperation dive into Brady's left knee after he had been blocked to the ground just short of Brady by running back Sammy Morris.
Pollard was not flagged or fined for the hit. Under the revised rule, a play like his would be penalized, according to Titans coach Jeff Fisher and Falcons president Rich McKay, co-chairmen of the committee.
"I think all the quarterbacks in this league are critical to what the game is about," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "It's like if Peyton Manning were gone for a season, I think the whole NFL suffers, the same way the NFL suffered with Tommy out. So whatever we can do to protect quarterbacks and to minimize the opportunity of them being taken out with a year-ending injury I would support.
"It's not good for the league. What makes it special is special players. It's like going to see a great movie and the star isn't in the movie. It's the same principle."
Although the Brady addendum was announced here at the owners' meetings yesterday, McKay said the point of emphasis on low hits on quarterbacks was actually passed a few weeks ago when the committee met in Naples, Fla.
The fifth provision of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12 (roughing the passer) says that: "A rushing defender is prohibited from forcibly hitting in the knee area or below a passer who has one or both feet on the ground, even if the initial contact is above the knee. It is not a foul if the defender is blocked (or fouled) into the passer and has no opportunity to avoid him."
Fisher said the feeling was that a play like the one Pollard made is one that can be avoided.
"It's a player that's down and then he does that second act where he's getting up and intentionally rolling into the quarterback, or where he's getting up and he lunges at his legs," Fisher said. "We've got a lot of shots where guys have gone down, crawled, and swiped. We don't feel like that's potentially as injurious to the quarterback than the hit where the shoulder comes down to the knee or the planted leg.""
An interesting player to bring up once again is Troy Polamalu.
Polamalu you could say saw this coming. He questioned even last year the motives of those who are running the league,
According to Polamalu watering down the game and removing physicality makes it so that, "It loses so much of its essence, and it really becomes like a pansy game,"
"I think regarding the evolution of football, it's becoming more and more flag football, two-hand touch. We've really lost the essence of what real American football is about. I think it's probably all about money. They're not really concerned about safety."
He pointed out that on one hand the player delivering hard hits was fined, but yet the league profited off "NFL's hardest hits" videos and other such merchandise.
He said even back then that it was hard to know when it was okay to hit the QB. He said that even before the Tom Brady rule became official. Polamalu even went so far as to say that players like Dick Dutkus and Ronnie Lott couldn't survive in this game because they were TOO physical.
And Polamalu is 100% correct.
This league has become an emasculated bureaucracy.
Some rules have be necessary, Deacon Jones head slap was a rule that just had to be banned period. But already these new rule changes are going to hurt the Bills badly on special teams. These players instead of being focused on playing to their best ability, have to be weighed down with all of these idiotic rules. They have traded the best part of the game: the toughness and physicality, to protect players from doing the job that they are supposed to do. All of these players have to retrain in a different way now, Special teams have to be coached in a different way now, S and DB now apparently have to just allow the WRs to catch balls rather than risk accidentally hitting them in the head give up a 15 yard penalty, and if they get away with the "penalty" you can bet that they will be fined later. If they speak out they are fined. Maybe some new offensive strategies will involve an oversized Mark Kelso helmet and players ducking their heads into LBs and DBs trying to draw penalties. Maybe coaches will start telling their players how to "gingerly tackle other players" Who knows how coaches react to these new rules.
The point is that this is our NFL now. This was formally the goose that laid the golden egg but its now on the ground struggling for breath, it's owner squeezing and ripping out as many golden eggs as it can from it. And we the fans have been sitting by and watching it happen and we can't do anything about it.
All the time we hear the league NEEDS Tom Brady.
The league NEEDS to grow a pair.
When owners voted last week to eliminate a wedge on kickoff returns that includes more than two players, citing safety concerns, some called it a minor alteration. But it's far from that to special teams coaches, who now are forced to rewrite significant portions of their playbooks because of how prominent the wedge had become.
The wedge is a human wall, often including 300-pound linemen who line up closest to the returner and whose job it is to take on coverage players who have built up great velocity from surging down the field. They usually absorb the most violent hits on each return, and this will limit those collisions.
Teams like the Redskins and Giants figure to be most affected, as they regularly run powerful four-man wedges. A couple of teams occasionally run a five-man wedge.
"Most everybody runs a three or a four, and has for years," said Bills special teams coach Bobby April, whose units annually rank near the top of the NFL. "I told my wife, with these rules I just added a lot more work hours because we run that and we've run that for a long time and been successful with it. It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of ingenuity to come up with a different offense, because basically a kickoff return is an offensive play.
So that should address my point that it might hurt the bills in the long run