If the NFL preseason has taught us anything thus far, it's officials have not quite gotten the league's new helmet rule down. If things continue the way they're going, players and fans are going to be seriously angered by a majority of the calls, which have the impact to seriously alter the game's outcome.
There have been way too many examples of bad penalties in just two weeks of preseason action, but the latest glaring example was on Vikings defender Antwione Williams, who was flagged for one of the softest helmet-to-helmet "roughing the passer" calls the NFL has ever seen.
Never one to shy away from giving his opinion, All-Pro corner Richard Sherman aired his grievances about what he thought regarding how the refs are calling these games.
There is no “make adjustment” to the way you tackle. Even in a perfect form tackle the body is led by the head. The rule is idiotic And should be dismissed immediately. When you watch rugby players tackle they are still lead by their head. Will be flag football soon.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 19, 2018
There was never a doubt this ruling would be controversial the minute it was announced, but the thought was only the most obvious of obvious helmet-to-helmet collisions where a defender seriously intended to knock someone's head clean off his shoulders using his helmet would be called.
But we have seen the most traditional, unavoidable and clean hits flagged more frequently.
To all those ppl including those who made the rule. I want a video of YOU running full speed and being lead by anything but your head while also attempting to bring down a moving target. You will soon realize it’s impossible. https://t.co/QFyENU6LKf— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 19, 2018
The above example that Sherman pointed out, which was called a foul, was obviously a great, legal tackle by the 49ers defender and a clear instance where NFL refs are being way too overcautious.
This is considered a good Rugby tackle. It would be a for sure penalty in our league. https://t.co/2EqxrKwgCC— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 19, 2018
Comparing NFL to Rugby, it's clear if the rules transitioned, Rugby players wouldn't even have a chance.
We'll see if the NFL decides to respond to this obvious problem of being way too quick to throw the flag or continue to ignore players and fans complaints. We hope they choose the former.