Collie case creates more confusion on hits

November, 8, 2010
11/08/10
10:28
AM ET
Soon, we hope, the league will clarify how the hit on Austin Collie was sorted out and tell us whether it was correct. Maybe it’ll fine Kurt Coleman and/or Quintin Mikell for the hit that left Collie motionless, and eventually diagnosed with a concussion.


But as it happened and still right now, the play is symbolic of how the league has confused everyone with a crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits on defenseless receivers. (Tweets I’ve received show that a good share of people still think any helmet-to-helmet hit is illegal, which is not the case.)

My initial reaction is here, and here is a post based on how Jacob Lacey and Aaron Francisco saw it.

A pool report where one reporter talks to officials about a controversial play on behalf of all is intended to clarify things, but Cal Cheffers and Todd Prukop only muddled things further.

I think virtually everyone who saw the play and has re-watched it still doesn’t understand exactly what the officials saw and called, or how they saw and called what they did. That's not a catch? Really?

Ashley Fox gives a quality, straight-forward take on the complicated situation.

“I get that everyone is freaking out over protecting players from hits to the head,” Fox wrote. “The potential consequences of concussions are terrifying, and doctors and researchers have only scratched the surface in explaining what repeated blows to the brain will mean to the men who play this game.

“But there is protection and there is overreaction, and in the Eagles' locker room there is now much confusion.”

It’s hardly limited to the Eagles’ locker room.

The rules and the interpretation are either too convoluted or have not been spelled out clearly enough.

And it’s something the league needs to make a lot clearer or there is potential for controversy on every hit near the head.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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