NFL vows lowering helmet rule will be “a substantial change” to the sport


How big a deal is the new NFL rule outlawing lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet? A very big deal.

McKay made clear that this is not just a rule that applies in certain situations, such as hits on defenseless receivers or quarterbacks. This rule applies to everyone: Offense and defense, receivers and safeties, blockers and pass rushers, ball carriers and tacklers. If you’re on the football field, you’re not allowed to lower your head to initiate contact with your helmet. If you do, you won’t be on the football field anymore.

In Los Angeles, Smith joins a quarterback room where Rivers is the unquestioned starter and Cardale Jones is also on the roster as a backup.

While 37-year-old Eli Manning now gets the services of Solder in New York, Brady will turn 41 with an unknown quantity trying to keep the QB upright. The rest of the line, plus Brady continuing to get the ball out of his hands quickly, should help limit the damage.

If Fleming isn’t re-signed, at least the Patriots know they will have stud right tackle Marcus Cannon returning from his ankle injury. While Fleming and Waddle filled in well for Cannon, guards Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason and center David Andrews performed at a level rivaled by few interior line combinations.

No team had more passing attempts than the Patriots with Brady last season (584), but the 84 QB hits and 35 sacks they allowed were better than more than half the league. The unit’s success came as a whole; it wasn’t tied to an individual.

Tight end Eric Ebron never quite lived up to the expectations that came with being the 10th overall pick of the 2014 draft during his four years with the Lions, but he’ll get a fresh start with the Colts after signing with them earlier this month.
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