Ed Reed did everything he could to avoid hitting Tom Brady when Brady slid in the AFC Championship Game two Sundays ago. A player hitting a qb when the qb is sliding a penalty for the defensive team. (Photo : Reuters)
The ongoing discussion about how the NFL's style of play and the mental health of its athletes rages on in New Orleans this week leading up to Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday. Even President Obama has weighed in on the matter. Members of the same team's secondary have differing beliefs, ESPN reports.
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed sides with Obama in the need for football to become a safer game for its players, especially at the NFL level where progressively larger bodies are colliding and increasing speeds.
Reed said he would be interested to, "help work it out," as well.
Reed is among the apparent minority on the players' side, as many others believe changing the rules could sap the game of some of its appeal for fans and players alike.
Ravens cornerback Tarell Brown thinks the NFL is already taking the mandatory precautions to make the game safe, and that no intervention is needed as a result.
Fellow Ravens safety Bernard Pollard claimed yesterday that the league would not be around 30 years from now if players keep getting stronger and faster, because the injuries could become more severe.
If anything is changed within the league, helmet-to-helmet hits could be one of the first things to receive harsher punishment. Any contact at all between two players' helmets already leads to a fine from the NFL for the defensive player.
In recent years, rules have changed to help keep offensive players safe (such as quarterbacks with a more stringent roughing the passer rule and changes in the implementation of pass interference for receivers).
There has not been as much progress in protecting the safety of defensive players. Junior Seau, a linebacker, committed suicide last year and was found to have a degenerative brain issue called CTE at the time of his death
Pollard calls it a coincidence that other players get hurt when he plays against them. He says he plays old school football, and that his aggressive approach doesn't include any intent to injure other players. A Deadspin report compiles some of the most interesting things he said.
Pollard has a different opinion on what a defenseless receiver truly is, reasoning that any defenders should have the chance to hit the receiver once he makes contact with the ball. The league rules that a defenseless receiver is one whom has not made a "football move" since touching the ball.