Scenario 1: Defender has last chance at a tackle. Helmet gets knocked off. You tackle to prevent the touchdown and take the penalty.(if there is a penalty)
Scenario 2: Helmet gets ripped off via facemask penalty as ball carrier breaks free and runs into endzone... Touchdown negated as play whistled dead when helmet comes off. Defensive penalty results in positive result for defense.
I understand the rule and am all about player safety, but there are going to be real issues with this. Hopefully the intent is for players to snap on their helmets better. Seems like that would be the first place to start.
The rule specifically states it is only enforced when the helmet coming off is not the result of a penalty (Face mask, hands to the face, etc) so you don't have to worry about scenario 2.
1. It seems to me the kickoff rule will create MORE kickoff returns because teams aren't going to want to give up the extra 5 yards for a touchback.
2. I thought helmets coming off were a "good" thing because it's a dissipation of the force received by the head. Physics majors feel free to correct me on that one.
1. They're also moving the kick up 5 yards from the 30 to the 35. I think it will be harder for kickers to keep the ball out of the endzone, and when it goes in the returners will be smart enough to take the touchback. I can't say for sure, but it seems like a guy can take a kick out of the endzone and get back to the 20 - 22 often enough (maybe 50% of the time??) to chance it now. But they rarely get back to the 25, and in the long run coaches will tell them to take a knee. Maybe the response will be to kick the ball high and short (fielded between the 10 -15) and then give the guy no room for a return. It will be interesting to see. I think it will all depend on the ability of the kickers to place the ball.
2. Helmets coming off are a bad thing. The helmet coming off doesn't signify any reduction in impact, and only serves to expose the player to serious injury until the play is dead. The helmet needs to deform and deflect under the load to absorb the impact, but remain on the head. I think a lot of it has to do with ill-fitting equipment. Helmets are supposed to be pretty tight. If players at any level are allowed to fit themselves, they'll opt for a more comfortable, looser, and ultimatley less protective helmet. Frankly I don't understand how guys continue to play once the helmet pops off anyway. Football helmets were invented/implemented to prevent skull fractures in the early 1900's when football was just beginning. People were literally dying on the field (football was nearly outlawed because of it, and major rule changes allowed it to continue). The solution was eventually hard helmets which are good at preventing skull fractures, but as we're now learning are bad for concusion prevention.
You can spend a lot of time and money picking out the perfect floral bouquet for your date ... but you're probably better off checking if you have bad breath and taking the porn out of the glove compartment.
The moral: you gain more by not being stupid, than you do by being smart. Smart gets neutralized by other smart people. Stupid does not.
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