Los Angeles Rams defensive back Aqib Talib is running counter to the conventional wisdom regarding the NFL’s new helmet rule.
The National Football League rolled out their new helmet rule in the Thursday Night Hall of Fame Game to mostly mixed reviews. One who seems to be running counter to the player dislike of said rule, is Los Angeles Rams defensive back Aqib Talib.
Talib went on the record to voice support for the new rule, despite other players who seem to not be in favor of the change.
“They’re just trying to keep the game safe,” Talib said. “Trying to keep guys healthy.”
No one will argue the logic behind that.
That said, it will also be another mechanism that is sure to muddy the waters on Sunday afternoon, as consistency among referees will most certainly be an issue. Adding this to the on field debate as to what is, and is not a catch, targeting will be another nightmare that could cost defensive players money, and continue to bog down the flow of games.
Talib sees it differently, and is at least open to another wrinkle for defenders to overcome.
"”They put an emphasis on something every year, so we’ve just go to adjust,” Talib said. “That’s why we’re pros. We adjust on the fly, we adapt to all kinds of situations.”"
Targeting, which has been a weekly challenge for college football, may soon be a challenge on Sunday too. While the preseason will certainly be used to try and get the officials and defensive players up to speed on how the rule may be enforced, it’s hard to believe it will be settled science by the time the league goes live in September.
No one doubts that the NFL is looking to preserve player health, and perhaps the helmet rule, targeting, whatever you choose to label it, will help achieve a degree of that.
But bear in mind that this is the same league who has taken the simple skill of catching a football and turned it into an absolute riddle.
It’s hard to believe this won’t have the same effect on a game, already more complicated than it needs to be.