Eagles Players Leave NFL Meeting With Refs ‘Frustrated’ And Confused Over New Helmet Rule
Philadelphia Eagles players and NFL referees met this week to discuss a new rule the league has implemented regarding the use of helmets for tackles, and reportedly left “frustrated” over the “confusion” about the regulation.
Eagles Players Confused Over NFL Helmet Rule
The rule dictates that players will receive 15-yard penalties and could also possibly be ejected or fined for bowing their heads and using helmets to tackle opponents.
“We were trying to ask questions to get a better understanding, and yet they couldn’t really give us an answer,” said linebacker Nigel Bradham. “They couldn’t give us what we were looking for.”
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Eagles players reportedly had a difficult time understanding how some of the tackles they had up until now considered allowed were now illegal. Officials were even reportedly divided in their opinions about the legality of some of the tackles.
The rule also applies to offensive players like running backs and wide receivers. Malcolm Jenkins’ hit on New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks during Super Bowl LII — which knocked Cooks out of the game — was one of several highly debated tackles that was replayed on video for the players to illustrate the new rule.
“It’s going to take a different approach to learn as individuals how to keep our head up and see what we’re doing,” said running back Matt Jones. “But it’s going to be kind of hard because we’re taught to run through guys and put our helmet where their number is at. It’s like if it’s a third-and-1 and you have to have it, and you meet in the hole, there’s no way possible you’re not going to meet head-on-head and helmet-on-helmet.”
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Coach Doug Pederson announced that his staff will highlight the main aspects of the new rule — which he claims to understand clearly — this summer.
Several other new rules were established at the NFL team owners’ Annual League Meeting in March.
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