After making a new rule this week with hopes of taking the head out of the game, the NFL has to now convince players (and media and fans) that they’re not changing the fundamental way the game is played.
While their keep-it-secret/make-a-splash strategy might have been the best way to push through some legislation in Orlando, they created a wave among players who think the game is being made soft because the league doesn’t want them to use their helmet as a weapon.
“We’ve got to put the materials together. We’ve got to show the tape. We’ve got to make sure all of you see it, they see it, and it’s taught the same way at all 32 [teams],” said Rich McKay, the chairman of the competition committee. “If that happens, I think the players — they’re the best athletes in the world and they’ll conform. Hopefully this becomes a springboard, too: take it all the way down, at all levels [of football] because the head [blows] and the lowering of the head has become too commonplace. And it needs to get out of the game.”
Lewis’ explosiveness as a kick returner seemed like it would be tougher to replace than his rushing production … and then came the deal for Patterson, a perfect Swiss Army Knife of a player for the Patriots.
Browns general manager John Dorsey gets an assist for what Belichick has been able to do for his defense, which just lost ace coordinator Matt Patricia to the Lions. If Dorsey had not gone after T.J. Carrie and Darmarious Randall to flank Jamar Taylor, then Jason McCourty would not have been available.
McCourty last May was a steal for a more cost-conscious Cleveland regime on his two-year, $6 million deal. When healthy last season, he ended up shutting down opponents’ top receivers.