Yeah, it feels like the NFL is heading in that direction. The sack is one of the most iconic plays in football. It can make or break a game…
Honestly, it’s hard to have empathy for a Steelers player, but that hit on quarterback Mason Rudolph was absolutely brutal. Some Rocky Balboa/Apollo Creed-type of power right there.
Rudolph was knocked out cold and certainly is concussed (at least). Watch:
It got me thinking…
And let me preface this by saying I am one of the football fans that doesn’t like the ticky-tack “protect the players” flags on hits that make me say, “What is this, *expletive* ball?”
However, the NFL wants to protect its quarterbacks. Everyone knows that…
They are the biggest “player” assets to the league and the most important men on the field. Losing a quarterback to injury may take a Super Bowl contender out of the race for the entire season. That’s a loss of interest, revenue and much more.
A couple of shots can also ruin a career…
Hypothetically, the biggest question would be how the game would change without being able to hit the quarterback? Well, it would be an ample amount…
The defensive line would be tasked with stopping the run and that’s it. The offensive line would need to push for the running back. Moreover, offenses wouldn’t lose yards to a sack and it would make moving the ball and scoring easier.
I would add a time clock for the quarterback to release the ball or tuck it and run. Just like the shot clock in the NBA. Around five seconds or so.
Then, make a first down 15 yards instead of 10 to make up for the lack of yards lost due to sacks.
If this were to happen, it would obviously be a huge adjustment for players, coaches and fans alike. Guys such as Julius Peppers and LT would be screaming their displeasures.
On the flip side, not only is it simply dangerous for quarterbacks to take these hits, but there’s no way to 100% protect them and keep football “tough” other than this elimination idea.
In the same game Rudolph got clocked, there was a roughing the passer call (a current way to protect the QB) that was such BS and it changed the end of the game.
The biggest pro of this change would be the best quarterbacks would never miss games due to sack injuries. A con is that an exciting play like the sack would be eliminated and that is hard to swallow, especially for traditional fans.
However, would that much really change? Most plays are either a run play (which would be the same as now) and a pass play where the rush doesn’t get to the quarterback.
What would change are the plays currently that have a bull-rush to the QB and make it difficult for him to throw, plus those that result in a sack and a loss of yardage.
Defensive backs would have to be better (maybe more defenders on the field, or something like that idea?)
It certainly is something that the NFL would have to work on to be successful. I just thought I’d share my idea and I am not even 100% for the idea myself.