With the concerns over concussions now front and center, the NFL is taking a harsh stance against "devastating hits". This season, just like other seasons, we see concussions week after week.
The truth is, this game is more than just a physical contact sport. It's become a violent collision sport and this is part of the reason why it's the country's most popular sport.
The athletes are bigger, stronger and faster. Naturally, two elite athletes that are running at full speed to the same point on the field will produce a "devastating hit". Most don't get hurt, some do and some get concussed.
I agree with the NFL's stance on overly aggressive and intentional, malicious hits but for the most part, players aren't out there trying to destroy each other. They're all competing, want to win and want to make their presence felt on the field. If they don't, they'll get blasted themselves.
If the NFL gets trigger happy with penalties, it will make the make less fun to watch. We'll see a lot of sloppy play and injuries will be more frequent. More points will be scored but some us like to watch a good defense play.
Most of the rules in place are to protect offensive players. Quarterbacks and receivers already can't be touched.
Defensive players can't change the way they play because they are reacting to what the offense is doing and that's why they are the most vocal about the NFL's hardened stance. Here are a few quotes from some of our Bears players:
"I think it's all (bull). They're all suits now. ... I think they're making bad decisions about the game....I think it's dumb." - ChicagoTribune.com
"If a bunch of growing men are running at each other at full speed, what do you expect? Plays aren't made in the NFL for being nice. Plays are made in the NFL for being violent. That's the way the game has been played. That's the way it's always going to be played. And to take that element out of the game, to me it's not football." - WashingtonPost.com
"It's freaking football. There are going to be big hits. I don't understand how they can do this after one weekend of hitting. And I can't understand how they can suspend us for it. I think it's a bunch of bull (crap). You know what we should do? We should just put flags on everybody. Let's make it the NFFL -- the National Flag Football League. It's unbelievable.'' - ChicagoTribune.com
Chris Harris has been the most vocal about the NFL's stance with the press and on Twitter.
On how Harris thinks the NFL can make the game just a little safer:
On Daunte Robinson's perfectly legal hit and for running backs who lower their helmet to
deliver a blow:
On how player's used to tackle:
There is no way to prevent or limit injuries. The NFL should be more stringent on how they identify and treat concussions. Technology in helmets are also improved but even that can't fully prevent concussions. Players back in the day didn't have the helmets the players have today and who really knows how many concussions were undiagnosed.
In the end, I think the NFL's reaction to "devastating hits" are merely warning shots to players of the rule in place and remind everyone that the NFL is trying to do everything to keep players safe.
Follow Chris Harris on Twitter, as he is a must follow for any Bears fan. He keeps it real and gives us a player's perspective on the NFL.