Goodell, DeMaurice Smith squarely to blame for devastating ACL injuries
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com senior editor
~Head injuries. Concussion lawsuits. Money.
These are the reasons that Roger Goodell has overreacted over the past few years and made the league focus on the concussion protocol and more importantly to the game, the penalties for hits to the head.
That’s right, I said it.
The knee injuries are more important, devastating, than the concussions.
And they are a lot more gruesome for both the player who’s leg got demolished, and all the fans who had to stomach seeing it. I turn away now every time I see a safety come up and duck his head down and go low into a tight end or wide receiver who’s gotten up the seam past the linebacker or cornerback.
It’s happened before. It happened to Jordan Shipley about four years ago and to Falcons FB Ovie Mughelli also about four years ago.
But last year, you had young safeties intentionally targeting defenseless receivers (like Randall Cobb) in their knee, planting or not planting. And they openly, publicly admitted they were doing so.
And their reason was simple: They didn’t want to get fined ($). Or penalized.
This is clearly Goodell, and NFLPA President Smith’s fault. It’s fine that they are trying to protect the players brains now. That’s obvious. As someone who had three concussions back before they were taken so seriously, I know that they can impact the memories, or worse.
But to, once again, be slow to react, instead of pro-active, the NFL deserves some more class-action lawsuits. The agents for Cobb, Gronkowski, Dustin Keller should bring one right now. and protect all their clients who catch passes.
I get tired of the fans and certain media types and ex-players who pretend that the defense has nowhere to hit anymore, that’s it’s a powder-puff game.
Put any fan out there and let him run a route, and throw him the ball over the middle. They won’t last til a second play.
As far as their being no target left to hit, that’s also bogus. The waist area, chest are more than enough target that even at a high speed, a safety should be able to hit the defenseless receiver in.
Yes I know that sometimes now the trigger-happy zebra’s throw their yellow hankies when they see a hit to the chest area, or that the receiver might tuck his head a bit upon expected impact, and actually lead to his head, facemask, or shoulder getting hit. And then the poor safety gets penalized for what was intended to be a clean and safe hit. Again, this is on Goodell, Smith, and the NFL Safety committee.
These guys are all motivated by the bottom line in business. What’s the bottom line in business? Here’s a clue. It’s green.
It took lawsuits, and a PBS investigation into the falsifying records from within the NFL about concussions and their dangers. Lawsuits. Money. Bottom line.
The NFL is the most powerful business in America, outside of the alcohol, tobacco, and firearm businesses.
They don’t react to public pressure, articles, protests, polls, petitions.
They react only to one thing, and that’s the bottom line.
If not a lawsuit, it takes an injury to a golden boy at the QB position, like what happened to Tom Brady in the 2008 opening game. In that game, you’ll recall, the Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard blitzed in and dove into Brady’s planted knee after releasing a pass, and tore his ACL, ending his season in the first game of it. This, 2008, coming off the all-time record setting season of 50 touchdowns and the 16-0 regular season record.
After that, the NFL put in the “Brady Rule”. As much as I hate the Patriots and don’t really like Brady, I think the rule is a good one and am glad for it. I think penalties should be even more severe for it. But why didn’t the NFL put the rule in sooner, like two seasons earlier when the Bengals Carson Palmer had his ACL blown up on his first pass of the playoff game against the Steelers? Those Bengals were on the rise, were going to beat Pittsburgh in that playoff game, and were headed upwards. After that hit, everything changed for the Bengals.
Or when a Viking defensive lineman did it to Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck years before that?
The NFL was slow to react to the growing danger of the horse-collar tackle. Dallas safety Roy Williams kept doing that more as he got even slower and more guys got behind him. He eventually snapped Terrell Owens’ (of the Eagles) foot, breaking it and ending his season. Owens did, bravely, make it back for the Super Bowl, weeks earlier than expected.
I’ll tell you this: I don’t like seeing anyone get hurt like I saw Cobb, Gronk, Keller get hurt last year. I don’t like seeing Adrian Peterson get his ACL blown up like in 2011. I don’t even want to see it happen to Vernon Davis.
But if it happens to a Packer receiver or tight end, again, this season, I might lead that class action lawsuit.