Blog Entry

Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

Posted on: October 19, 2010 10:16 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 10:39 am
Posted by Will Brinson

Anyone paying attention to professional football this weekend noticed a plethora of big (or, if you prefer, "devastating," which Ray Anderson may or may not, depending on which ESPN personality he's talking to) hits that resulted in the league announcing that it would begin to suspend players for these big hits.

This news, which Andy and I predicted recently, was met with relatively widespread acceptance, although if NFL VP of Football Operations Ray Anderson is to be understood, it's not actually a change from what the league's been doing thus far.

"We are not changing any rules, just enforcing the existing rules to protect our players," Ray Anderson said on ESPN's Radio "Mike & Mike."

Technically, that's correct -- the NFL and its officials have the power to suspend players and eject them from games for "egregious" hits, respectively. But neither party has done a spectacular job of enforcement thus far. According to Anderson, that will change now.

"I don't know where the word 'devastating' came from -- that's not my word," Anderson said. "What I would say is that  if there are flagrant and egregious [violations] of the rules, we will be enforcing immediately discipline at a higher level. 

We need to get our players firmly in line with the current rules and that's what our intentions are effective immediately."

(Quickly: Anderson supposedly used "devastating" in talking to Chris Mortenson on Monday night, then he denied using it -- see above, then Mort said on SportsCenter that Anderson DID use it. Just to catch you up.)

And that's the key: the NFL wants the players to get in line, and that doesn't just apply to intentions. In fact, Anderson said that intent wouldn't be considered the primary concern, while instead stressing the importance of "liability" on the part of the tackling player.

In other words, James Harrison is responsible for adjusting his pad level to Mohamed Massaquoi, when Massaquoi, as the ballcarrier, drops the ball. Brandon Meriweather's "hit" (read: headbutt) on Todd Heap was considered "egregious" by Anderson, and that's good news -- even without the NFL's policy shift, the Patriots safety escaping sans fine would be shocking.

Perhaps the most interesting case is with Dunta Robinson and DeSean Jackson. Robinson's intention, at least interpreted by 90 percent of the people watching and involved with the game, weren't malicious, even if the result was "illegal." But Anderson said that doesn't matter.

"Yes, it was a bang-bang play ... but at the end of the day it was still illegal under the rules," Anderson said of Robinson's hit.

In other words, the NFL is far more concerned with taking the letter of the law (which is currently established under the league's rules) and making sure to enforce it.

" "We're not going to be apologetic, we're not going to be defensive about it," Anderson said.

That's not a surprising attitude from the NFL -- and in this situation, it's appropriate -- but the challenge won't come with the backlash towards the NFL's attitude. The problem will come with the backlash to the NFL's enforcement on and off the field for these hits.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

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Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

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Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

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Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

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Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

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Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

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Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: October 20, 2010 11:34 am

Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'


The word is "dissertation", fool.


Another moron underscores my point. Too bad you didn't pay any attention to those "stay in school" ads. LOL And a dissertation is something fairly lengthy. What I did is point out what an idiot you and other guys look like when you call someone else names and can't even spell your post correctly at the same time.


Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2010 5:11 am

Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

You forgot Wes Hopkins.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2010 4:52 am

Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

Jesus Christ has nothing to do with it.Last night, I listened to Ray Anderson say on the NFL network, that the rule states, 'No player can lead with their head, shoulder or Forearm.'
Just tell me what they are supposed to lead with. The crown of the helmet is understandable, The forearm, a little less so, but the shoulder?The forearm should only be illegal when there is a cast on it, or being used in a striking fashion, such as a clothesline or blow. But why is the shoulder in there at all. The NFL controls the protective equipment that the players wear. Design sholder pads that spread the blow out, In fact, they should do the same for the helmets. A sort of mini HANS (sic?) device. Even the surface of the helmets can be better designed to absorb the blow and reduce the brain movement even further. Of the three fines , there was only one warranted. That was to Brandon Meriweather. It was a flagrant and intentional foul.
To punish Dunta Robinson was absurd and the NFL was taking the easy way out. It was a hard play that he payed for. What the NFL has done is punish the teams that focused on strengthening their defense. Injuries are a part of the game and improvements can be made but to make a solid hit an example is a joke.
James Harrison's hits were a little more in question. Truth be told, Massaquoi tried lowering himself to avoid the hit and that is what resulted in him being hit in the face/head.
Players are rotated so often, if I were an offensive coach, I would instruct my players to fake injury more often. This will result in the NFL looking like Spain in the world cup. Everyone flailing around, attempting to draw penalties. At the very least, this will result in defenses playing softer.
Oh, how wonderful the NFL's product will be then. The NFL will imitate the AFL.

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