The 2018 regular season won’t begin for another month, but the preseason is when everyone gets some practice in, including the NFL rulebook.
One of the biggest points of contention this upcoming season is how the NFL is going to handle its new helmet rule and all matters of contact. During the Hall of Fame game there were many people who vocalized concern.
After watching 3 1/2 quarters of this game, I have no idea how coaches are going to teach defensive players how to make a "legal" tackle in the @NFL. I'm looking at textbook wrap-up tackles drawing flags tonight. I just don't know how you can legislate contact out of the game— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) August 3, 2018
If this is a personal foul they need to erase the safety position pic.twitter.com/vBvak4AojK— Jac Collinsworth (@JacCollinsworth) August 3, 2018
This definitely makes playing safety in the NFL a difficult thing. We’re not even talking about those big, classic, explosive hits... the NFL is limiting what is almost just basic tackling at this point.
While not the safety making the play in question, Eric Weddle plays for the Baltimore Ravens and had some thoughts on the play as well. Spoiler, he doesn’t like the new rule.
This is a clinic teach tape play for a safety. No chance they make this call in regular season. Guess we have to let them catch it, take 2 steps then hit them. Hahaha. https://t.co/F88VtHzdYF— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) August 3, 2018
Weddle is a hard hitter, but he’s not the only safety like that in the game right now. Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier practiced for the first time on Thursday (thankfully, by the way), and all signs point to him returning to the “enforcer” persona he brought late last November. Even he took to Twitter to vocalize the idea that these rules are too limiting.
In theory it’s going to be extremely difficult for the NFL to police this on a game-by-game basis; however, we’ve seen drastic changes implemented before that were thought to be silly at first glance. For all we know, officials will have no issue calling this.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out, both in the preseason, and then we teams begin the real thing.