Joe Flacco’s Injury Reminds Why Defenseless Players Get Special Protections

Remember back in week one when some—quite frankly I don’t remember how many—people were upset over the unnecessary roughness penalty that Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier drew when he hit Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer after having given himself up motioning into a sliding position?

Thursday night’s game in London between the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens showed us just why that type of rule is being enforced. And for the record, I entirely agree with the league in placing the onus on the defender to avoid the contact, even if it might be difficult to do so if the quarterback’s slide is late.

The dazed and wounded expression on quarterback Joe Flacco’s face should be enough for anybody to see why this type of rule matters, and why the league has within the past decade begun to take the positions of defenseless players more seriously.

Sure, it has drawn the ire of a number of traditionalists, many of whom claim that they no longer even watch the game because it has been ‘sissified’, and other iterations of the same idea that include language that would probably be better left out of this column.

But it’s a small price to pay for the long-term survival of the game, and, more importantly, for the health of those who actually bring you entertainment on a weekly basis for several months out of the year. A player who is giving themselves up is not in a proper position to protect themselves from injury as a result of a collision; that is why they are afforded special protections.

The shot that Flacco took to the head from Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso was a tough one to watch, to be sure. But the good news is that he has not had any prior documented concussions, which is beneficial to both his short-term recovery and his long-term cognitive health.

It’s also beneficial, provided that he is able to make a reasonably quick recovery, that the Ravens happened to play on a Thursday, so Flacco will have extra time to work through the concussion protocol in the event that he is ready to play for the next game.

Should he not be ready, then he will have even more time, because Baltimore will be on their bye after their next contest, meaning their quarterback will have had several weeks’ worth of recuperating time if he should miss next Sunday’s game.

Let me just end by saying that if you take any joy out of seeing a player in a jersey whose color is different from the team that you root for get injured, then you have no place in fandom. That is just unacceptable.

Fortunately, I must add, that is something that in my experience has very very rarely ever been an issue on our boards. That’s on you guys, and we’re thankful for it.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • pittsburghjoe

    You have to ensure player safety. Unfortunately, the rule changes make the game less watchable. Probably one of several reasonings for the decline.,

  • Hypo Cycloid

    I disagree about the onus being on the defensive player in this type of play. The onus is on the qb in this case. Flacco is playing chicken with this defender. Flacco was risking getting this type of hit. If a qb doesn’t want to be hit, he needs to slide in a timely fashion. By running full speed with the intent of picking up that first down, the defender trying to prevent the first down, Flacco is going to get hit unless he slides before the first down marker. Any fair minded person would realize Alonso was committed and had zero chance of letting up due to Flacco’s poor decision to attempt to pick up that first down and slide way too late. He was sliding as the hit was coming. I agree with Marci that these types of hits don’t belong in the game. But that only would matter if for example Flacco slid about 2 yards earlier in this play. If he did and Alonso still hit him like that, then Alonso should be ejected. In this case, Alonso shouldn’t even be fined, (although the league always fines) and Flacco’s punishment was the concussion itself.

  • Conserv_58

    I disagree with you, Matthew because its just too darn easy and convenient to blame the defensive player in that situation. Yeah, yeah, yeah they have to consider player safety, but as we’ve also seen, way too often, there is never any consideration given to the defensive player for already being fully committed to making the play thereby being unable to redirect their course. In that situation, Flacco was no longer a defenseless player because he then became a runner. The defender was trying to prevent Flacco from getting the first down. The onus in that situation fell on Flacco. There is no question that Flacco had to know and even see that there was a defender bearing down on him. That’s when he should have slid sooner than he did. There is a fine line in that scenario between being a legitimate play and a penalty and almost always the call goes against the defender.

  • Michael Putman

    Here are my thoughts… I agree that the QB needs some protections behind the line of scrimmage when they are purely a passer. Once you start running you lose all your protections and you become a running back. If you don’t want to get hit, you clearly throw the ball away before a defender can get to you. If you don’t want to get hit you clearly slide before a defender can get to you.

    None of this nonsense like Harrison’s hit on Colt McCoy a couple years ago when he was running, running running… then suddenly pulled up and threw the ball. Once you are a runner, you are able to be hit. I feel for Alonso a little bit in this case. Flacco is running for the first down, Alonso is paid to prevent the first down. Flacco literally waited for the absolute last possible second to initial his slide, then didn’t do much to protect himself (keep your head down!). Alonso has to worry about Flacco as a protected person, even though he has clearly passed the LOS and cannot be a passer, and he has to worry about making the tackle. A slight hesitation by Alonso and he can give up even more yards.

    I really think the rule should be changed and the QB has an obligation to slide LONG before the defender could get there to lay the wood. That way, the typical late hit rules would apply. If Flacco had been a running back, he would have had zero protection on that play. I think the current rule protects Flacco, as such Alonso is at fault. I think that needs to change though… especially if the NFL is being real about their desire to protect against injuries. Flacco should have the majority of the blame…

  • melblount

    “Thursday night’s game in London between the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens…”

    London?

    Dolphins vs Ravens
    NFL regular season
    Final – Thursday, October 26, 5:25 PM
    M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

  • francesco

    I agree totally or else change the rule where if the QB starts running just give him an automatic first down.

  • CountryClub

    I understand the flag, because he ultimately did hit Flacco in the head. But he shouldn’t be fined (he will be) and he definitely shouldn’t be suspended.

  • falconsaftey43

    See a lot of people suggesting this hit is on Flacco and that Alonso could do nothing to prevent the hit because he was “already committed”. This is absolutely 100% false if you watch the play closely. Stop trying to see how long it was between the slide and hit and trying to judge if that was enough time or not, and just look at the hit. Alonso continues to lower his aiming point as Flacco slides so that his shoulder hits him in the head, and with a downward trajectory at that. If a defender was actually coming in for a clean hit and the QB slid late, significant contact would be avoided if the defender did not adjust his trajectory to hit the moving Target.

  • Jaybird

    I politely disagree Falcon. Flacco is a a decent runner and he’s a big guy as well . Flacco was real close to that 1st down marker and Kiko was was just trying to prevent the 1st down . Flacco should have slid sooner if he wanted to prevent a hit.
    Let me just throw this out there: what if a big QB like Cam Newton goes and dives head first for an important 1st down late in the game or even dives head first into the end zone, and the defender let up at the last second becuase he was trying not to make contact with the QB? We would all blast the defender for a horrible attempt at a tackle.
    It’s not like when a punt returner waives his arm in the air when he calls for a fair catch. Defenders have no way of knowing when or even if a QB is going to slide. I think Kiko was just trying to prevent a first down.

  • falconsaftey43

    Let me put it this way. A 6’6″ QB running fully upright slides and a forceful hit to his head is made a foot above the ground (see above picture), and that’s because the defender couldn’t adjust his aiming point? It is an avoidable hit. It is on the LB. End of story.

  • Jaybird

    I absolutely agree with everything you said. Well said Hypo.

  • falconsaftey43

    Then why was contact made so low? You suggesting Kiko guessed that Flacco would dive head first and that is why he took such a low target? You are not giving these athlete’s enough credit for how fast they can adjust. Just look at it man, you are not coming in for a hit like that on a runner, you would barely hit his ankles. He adjusted to hit him as he slid.

  • Jaybird

    Flacco has to slide sooner and has to learn how to slide in the first place- he literally has problems trying to slide . Kiko has to tackle better – he does not wrap up and uses his shoulder to try and ” knock down” runners WAY TOO much. I saw him do that a few times in the Ravens game alone .
    But here’s my take – if you are going to make a rule which helps protect QBs like ” sliding” then they have to do it in a timely fashion. They can’t try and take advantage of the rule and get that extra yard for a first down and expect not to get hit.

  • falconsaftey43

    So what is timely, he is like 4 yards away when he starts. Does it have to account for the speed of the incoming tackler? Bottom line is Kiko can avoid that hit. He intentionally adjust to ensure he hits the sliding player. That is the problem.

  • NinjaMountie

    I have no problem with the rules to protect players or the concussion protocol.
    My problem with the concussion subject is people and players that act like they never knew there could be long term damage from multiple concussions. They may have just put a fancy name to it but we’ve always known.

  • francesco

    QB should wave their hand before sliding.

  • capehouse

    There was a full yard+ between them when Flacco’s knee hit the ground. Kiko had time to pull up, and the intelligence to know the rules as it pertains to QBs. I think Flacco is a little late in his slide, and I know Kiko was committed, but he was committed for the kill shot. And he took it.

  • capehouse

    just looked too, and there’s 3 yards between them when Flacco commits to the slide. More than enough time for Kiko to pull up.

  • Jaybird

    You say it’s too much for a QB to “account” for the speed of the incoming tackler. Why not? There is a big difference after all in the speed of a 330 NT and Ryan Shazier. If Flacco wants to NOT get hit and he sees Ryan Shazier coming straight at him , he better start sliding 5 yards before Shazier clobbers him.
    I think it should be a penalty simple becuase a Kiko hit his head.No suspension though. But I still think Flacco slid late , way late. If you want to try and get that extra yard instead of getting down , then contact will happen. You can’t put a defensive player in a position where he is hesitant to tackle a QB , and then the QB dives forward for a 1st down or a TD . That’s too much to expect of a defender – deciding if a QB is or isn’t going slide.

  • falconsaftey43

    But that isn’t what happened here. Incidental contact is allowed with a sliding player. This was a kill shot to the head that Kiko can easily avoid. It was intentional hard hit to a sliding player. Zero effort to pull up and he actually made effort to ensure he hit him.

    Yes QB has to slide early enough if he wants to avoid all contact, and a hard hit. Flacco did it plenty early enough to not take a kill shot. That’s true anytime you see the hit take place a foot off the ground. It means the defender hit the guy when he was on or very close to the ground. Not half way through his slide.

  • Mister Wirez

    The QB slide is the most unsafe & unprotected move in pro football. They’re counting on big fast men to pull up at the last millisecond while running 30mph, leaving only the head exposed.

    Dive Flacco, Dive!

  • Absolutely agree! Flacco definitely waited till the defender was too committed to start his slide. Alonso had no chance to pull up.

  • Charles Haines

    What would this play look like if Flacco had no intention of sliding? How does Alonso know that Flacco was going to get down at the last second? He’s going full speed towards the first down marker, I feel like it’s asking a lot of a defender to process angles, momentum and target areas is such a short amount of time. I’m sure he’ll get a fine and so should the Ravens lineman who definitely came in late and hit Alonso .

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I’m in favor of protecting players from injury, but on this play I see Flacco as being responsible for the outcome. With defenders in hot pursuit, his first mistake was to become a RB and run at FULL SPEED toward the first down instead of maintaining his QB status and protection by running out-of-bounds or sliding early. When defenders see that, they have to play like he is a RB. Flacco’s second mistake was using a QB slide after he chose to become a RB. You never see true RBs slide like that just before impact because they know it will not end well for them. Flacco’s only option for protecting himself as a RB fighting for extra yardage is to lower his helmet and drive into the defender. Not realizing that is what got him hurt.

  • nutty32

    100% agree. Slide rule is one that needs some tweaking. Puts defenders in too much of a bind to make instant decisions in a flash for fear the QB doesn’t actually slide. Perhaps the league should just say all QBs are downed with one hand touch or require the slide or some other ‘fair catch” signal to be made well before a defender gets close. The way the current rules are, Flacco hits will continue to happen.

  • Conserv_58

    It is an undeniable and verifiable fact that by the NFL’s instituting new rules in their desire to make the game safer the inverse of that decision has happened. It has manifested itself in the exponential increase of the number of knee and leg injuries. The rule changes have had a direct impact on how, where and when defensive players make a tackle.

  • melblount

    “None of this nonsense like Harrison’s hit on Colt McCoy a couple years ago when he was running, running running… then suddenly pulled up and threw the ball.”

    We were at that game and it remains one of my favorite QB hits of all-time. James being James. I can still her the sounds of that hit ringing in my ears.

    Perhaps my favorite QB hit though was in the 2005 post-season, Steelers at Bungles.

    After Kimo took out Palmer (Kimo would many years later say about that hit: “Honestly, why I was shocked, and it was tough for me, was because I heard it pop. It sounded like a gunshot”), the Bungles inserted Little Johnny Kitna.

    Late in the game, after all Bungles hope was lost, Johnny was evading the Steelers rush, came all the way up to the line of scrimmage, but then, much to his dismay, circled back towards the backfield to try to keep the play alive.

    This is where I, and I trust Johnny, get a little fuzzy on the details. Either James, Joey or Troy (I think) were right there at the moment Johnny turned away from the line of scrimmage, and with a ferocious hit that Jack Splat would have been proud of, sent Johnny to Neverneverland.

    I would greatly appreciate if someone who remembers this play could post which Steelers defender flattened Johnny on that play. I’m thinking it was Troy but could easily be wrong.

  • Conserv_58

    I would think that you could go to youtube and watch a replay of that game to find your answer.

  • melblount

    Why would someone write an article about this play, draw conclusions, pass judgement, and NOT take the time to quote Alonso, who provided a GREAT explanation of what happened, and why?

    Maybe because that same person also stated in the article, “Thursday night’s game in (sic) London between the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens…”

  • Jaybird

    I hear you man. It’s a rule that puts the defender in an impossible spot , especially with big mobile QBS of today’s game. I’m all for protecting the QB but the QB has to slide early and not try to pick up an extra yard or two. Why does the defender have to somehow fly over the QB , do a summersault while running st full speed and risk injuring himself ? I still believe Flacco should have slid two yard short earlier , but it should have drawn a penalty because contact was made to the head-its just the way the game is now and I get that. Again I think it should have been a Penalty according to the rules , but I don’t think Kiko was dirty at all.
    I’ll say this though Falcon, if that was Ben , I would have been more upset that he slid late and let there be a higher chance of serious contact , than I would of him getting hit in the head.

  • Conserv_58

    That hit and why it happened is precisely why the QB slide rule needs to be revisited. What’s not being taken into consideration, by those outraged by the hit, is that in that scenario, Flacco was no longer afforded the protections by the rule because, by definition, he became a runner. Flacco’s mistake was waiting until the last second to slide all the while the defender was already fully committed to preventing Flacco from getting the first down.

  • Conserv_58

    Your first sentence is spot on. The real travesty was the immeidiate, knee-jerk over reaction to what was transpiring as Alonzo was committed to making the play.

  • melblount

    Thanks. Yeah, I did few searches (articles and videos) for just the one play, but couldn’t get a hit, so to speak! Was hoping someone could help out short scanning through the whole game myself.

  • melblount

    The article was not devoid of value, for me at least. It did bring back memories of some of the great QB hits of all-time and what Kevin Greene used to say about hitting/sacking QBs. If you recall, one of his gauges for the quality of the hit was the SOUNDS that QBs vocalized. He would routinely recreate for us the wimpy, girlish sounds that Steve Young used to make and point to Young as one of his favorite QBs to hit. Mine, too.

  • I.P. Freeley

    Unless the injured player is Burfict, no condolences or sensitivity coming from, me. Can I still be a fan Matt?

  • Dshoff

    falcon, I agree completely. I HATE Flacco but that was a horribly terrible hit. That guy did NOTHING to lessen his hit and I think he went at him harder even when he knew he was sliding. If he tried to avoid him, he would have easily flew over him. That guy was intent on hitting him even though he knew he was sliding.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Just to echo that sentiment, when the hit happened, I immediately jumped up and was mouth agaped, thinking not about how this could be the type of blow that could potentially help the Steelers indirectly, but instead was concerned that Flacco was just in a car crash, and how fast were people going to be able to rush out to help him. Then the mini-melee started and I was watching it all unfold with a wide-eyed fascination and interest, I kept thinking how angry and upset I’d be if that were Big Ben, and how people were ever gonna be able to pull Pouncey and Foster, off of the Dolphin players. You surely get a rush of confused emotions when a play like that happens. But none of them ever border on true glee. Unless, you are a truly demented soul.

  • Steelking406

    B.s. Kiko just doing what he’s paid to do..
    Flaccid was going for a first down and kiko tried to stop it from happening

  • ubjeepin2

    I have no love loss for any Baltimore player. however, Alonso knows its a quarterback running 5 seconds ahead of time. He knows there going to be NO runner lowering their shoulder on him but he clearly rolls his shoulder to maximize his impact. If he was concerned about stopping a first down(not), his shoulder would have stay parallel to the ground and he would have wrapped up. But he didn’t.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I mean the onus is literally on the defensive player. That’s how it’s written in the rules.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It’s in the rules. Players know it’s in the rules. They have to play accordingly, and most of them do. So really there’s nothing to disagree over.

  • Matthew Marczi

    You do not lose all your protections. There are rules and the rules are incongruous with your thoughts. The rules protect quarterbacks in these instances. That is just the fact of the matter.

  • Matthew Marczi

    How in the world is this an “undeniable and verifiable fact”? Please verify this fact for me, if you would.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Why are you talking about rules when you don’t know them? A quarterback in the process of a slide is protected as a defenseless player. You keep saying things like verifiable fact and by the rules, yet what you’re saying is not even true. Please go read the rules. He is protected.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Maybe “we” collective have always known, but quite frankly there are still people playing in the game right now that still don’t get it.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If Flacco didn’t slide, Alonso’s trajectory would be a hell of a lot higher, for one thing. So he knew the quarterback was sliding.

  • Matthew Marczi

    “Note 2: A player who initiates contact against a defenseless opponent is responsible for avoiding an illegal act. This includes illegal contact that may occur during the process of attempting to dislodge the ball from an opponent. A standard of strict liability applies for any contact against a defenseless opponent, even if the opponent is an airborne player who is returning to the ground or whose body position is otherwise in motion, and irrespective of any acts by the defenseless opponent, such as ducking his head or curling up his body in anticipation of contact.”

  • Matthew Marczi

    “Note 2: A player who initiates contact against a defenseless opponent is responsible for avoiding an illegal act. This includes illegal contact that may occur during the process of attempting to dislodge the ball from an opponent. A standard of strict liability applies for any contact against a defenseless opponent, even if the opponent is an airborne player who is returning to the ground or whose body position is otherwise in motion, and irrespective of any acts by the defenseless opponent, such as ducking his head or curling up his body in anticipation of contact.”

    Please read the rule book. Alonso is full of it anyway.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He’s not responsible for the outcome. The defensive player is. That is out it’s written in the rulebook.

    “Note 2: A player who initiates contact against a defenseless opponent is responsible for avoiding an illegal act. This includes illegal contact that may occur during the process of attempting to dislodge the ball from an opponent. A standard of strict liability applies for any contact against a defenseless opponent, even if the opponent is an airborne player who is returning to the ground or whose body position is otherwise in motion, and irrespective of any acts by the defenseless opponent, such as ducking his head or curling up his body in anticipation of contact.”

  • Charles Haines

    He “knew” the QB was sliding when he saw him slide, up ’til that point he was trying to stop a runner from getting the 1st down.

  • Matthew Marczi

    So he was going at Flacco’s knee before he knew he was sliding?

  • Charles Haines

    How is a guy running full speed forward, towards the sticks, considered a “defenseless” opponent? He can see exactly what’s ahead of him.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Flacco was sliding.

  • Charles Haines

    The point is that Flacco went down first, everything else that follows is merely a supposition on your part.

  • Dan

    I think it’s all about the timing. A slide when still a couple seconds away from impact is a logical thing. Starting a slide so late that you are in a partial slide position at the moment of impact. Flacco either took a risk to get the first down or he didn’t see Alonzo until too late. Either way it’s a dangerous game out there. Them’s the breaks.

  • Dan

    I have some sympathy for defenders in this case. We break this stuff down frame by frame in super slow mo, but they litterally have fractions of a second to react. I don’t think there was anyway Alonzo could have avoided contact, and if Alonzo left his feet aiming to wrap around Flacco’s waist, it isn’t his fault that Flacco’s head sank to where his waist was. However, he did appear to be looking at Flacco when he lowered his shoulder, so you really can’t complain about the penalty or potential fine too much (I think a suspension is unwarranted though). As you cited the rule that it is the initiator of contact that is responsible for avoiding illegal hits, and players are responsible for knowing the rules. It’s easy to argue that this isn’t always fair to the defenses, but they have to go above and beyond to protect opponents brains.

    I do think they should consider a penalty for players to start to trot out of bounds, then cut in at the last moment. That’s really unfair to defenders who are being called for out of bounds hits when they hit right on the line and sometimes even leave there feet while still in bounds.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It’s not a supposition that Alonso hit him in the head at a trajectory that would be odd if he were attempting to tackle an upright target who’s 6’6″ without the knowledge that he was sliding. Players who slide and give themselves up are afforded the same protections as players who are ruled as down by contact.

  • NinjaMountie

    I’m sure there are. You can’t help stupid people no matter how many rules you make or names you give things that have always existed.
    You and I have had this go around before. I definitely respect your opinion, you know that.

  • PA2AK_

    I agree. Learn how and when to slide, or don’t run for the first down.

  • PA2AK_

    Can they fine him for putting himself in harms way? Flacco had 100% intention to go for that first down. He had a very poor judgement and attempt at the slide. No problem if they fine Kiko, but if a QB is going to take the risk, every once in a while he’s going to wake up on another planet. Too bad they can’t fine Flacco for making that play unsafe.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Nope, he played chicken and lost just like hypo said. Not enough distance.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Has nothing to do with being a “traditionalist”. Flacco was going for the first down, LB was trying to prevent it, and when Flacco realized he wasn’t gonna get there and slid, it was too late to avoid contact. His awkward slide and timing of it are the root causes for the punishing hit he endured…period.

  • Ryan Alderman

    IMO it was unavoidable…and no flag should have been called…much like they neglect pass interference calls when their feet get “tangled up”. Say what you want about player safety, but the end of the day this IS a contact sport, and Flacco 100 percent set himself up for that inevitable conclusion.

  • Ryan Alderman

    I could not agree more.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Disagree.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Running full speed and gonna stop on a dime on a last second slide? Nope, not possible.

  • Ryan Alderman

    it’s not realistic in every scenario by the laws of physics to follow this rule as written…

  • Ryan Alderman

    And should not the defensive player’s safety be taken into account? If they play slow waiting on an offensive player to dictate they will get trucked. That’s okay, though, as evidenced by non-calls to stiff arms from powerful RBs to the facemask…one example. Defender does that and it’s an easy 15. Makes zero sense.

  • Ryan Alderman

    You play football? It doesn’t make sense to expect a human being running full speed who’s job is to defend to stop on a dime because the offensive player last minute realizes he ain’t gonna her there…it just doesn’t. If you disagree, that’s fine, but IMO you can’t play football that way…you’re asking for injury to defenders if they play with that mindset. It’s up to the offensive player, if their intention is to not take a hit, to get down in enough time that it can be avoided.

  • Ryan Alderman

    It’s like a car turning out into oncoming traffic on the interstate and expecting not to be hit…onus lies on the driver pulling out more so the man for cars going 65 to stop first…no??

  • Ryan Alderman

    I mean, I can’t ageee more. You fine Flacco and other QBs and I guarantee you’ll stop seeing these type hits…bet my house on it.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Again, 100 percent agree.

  • Ryan Alderman

    If this makes sense to you and you think football can be played in this manner, then you’ve never played the game yourself. I don’t disagree with player safety, but contact in a CONTACT SPORT is inevitable. Why is ALL the onus out on the defensive player ALL THE TIME when oftentimes offensive players not only are responsible for these “egrogerios” actions but also facilitate the contact themselves? Makes NO sense!!!!

  • paltel

    Rules are subject to interpretation. Blathering “its in the rules” does not prove your point.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Defensive players know it’s their responsibility to avoid illegal contact, even if it’s extremely difficult to do so. Or at least they should know. If they don’t, it’s their own fault for not understanding the rulebook. Period.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I have played before, thank you for wondering though.

  • capehouse

    Disagree.

  • capehouse

    A dime? No. Kiko should have seen him starting to slide while he was 3+ yards away. A dime is about 3/4 of an inch. You could fit 144 dimes in that space.

  • capehouse

    Yup. Obviously I disagree with that.

  • Ryan Alderman

    it’s not extremely difficult to do so but not possible in many scenarios, hence the offensive player also being culpable. If tiles put it 100 percent on defenders then they were written by someone who clearly never played the game of football. Makes no sense.

  • Ryan Alderman

    No disrespect meant. Just feel pretty strongly on this one.

  • Chad Sanborn

    It was bad timing. Kiko trying to hit low an Joe slides into the hit with his head. Both players are 4 yards apart when each gets into their respective hit/slide positions. 4 yards seems like a lot but each player is roughly 2yards tall. So that distance closes really fast at game speed just by leaning into each other. I hate the QB slide. Once he is beyond the LOS, he should be considered a runner and no longer afforded the protections of the QB position. Sliding should be eliminated from the game.

  • Ryan Alderman

    My last sentiment on this one. Call me an “old-timer” or proponent of the “old” ways if you will, fine, but to me there’s only one real way to keep QBs protected under THIS SET OF RULES, and mind you I’m all for protecting them as football is simply a sloppy game without your guy in there. If you want to stop these type hits from ever happening again, change the rules yet again and make it to where QBs are two-hand touch to make them “down” and disallow them to run the ball past the line of scrimmage….ever. They can scramble, do whatever they want to keep from being two-hand touched while attempting to pass or hand off, but they cannot advance the ball past the LOS; and if they do, they get a ten yard penalty as a result. I promise you you’ll never, ever, ever see them get smashed again like Flacco did Thursday night and Ben a thousand times before that. Notice, also, that I refrained from bringing up Jack Lambert’s name in this post (tongue in cheek).

  • Matthew Marczi

    The competition committee presides over the wording of the rules, and they’re head coaches, mostly, probably all of whom have played at least at some level of competition.

  • paltel

    I doubt that 5% of the players would pass a test on the 244 pages in the NFL rule book. Typing out “Period” does not lend any strength to your comment. Rules are regularly interpreted in different ways by the officials, whether you like it or not.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Of course it does. If the players don’t know the rules, that’s still their fault, and they are still bound by them.