PHOENIX -- Before the discussion even began, Chicago Bears tailback Matt Forte used the word "absurd" to describe the NFL's plans to penalize running backs for hitting opponents with the crown of their helmets when running outside the tackle box. So I figured I would pass along Forte's sarcastic response to news that the rule passed, by near unanimous vote, Wednesday at the NFL owners meeting.
Via Forte's Twitter account: "Wow so they really passed that rule...last time I checked football was a contact sport. Calling bank now to set up my lowering the boom. Guess I'll get my fine money ready #loweringtheboomfund" Next year they'll probably be a no jumping over defenders rule... #loweringtheboomfund"
"Some of these rules are just ridiculous. Next rule proposal should be to change from NFL to NFFL #nationalflagfootballleague"
From Vikings safety Harrison Smith:
"Soon everyone will get a trophy for participation"
The NFL clearly hasn't been moved by player concerns, however. According to St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, the co-chairman of the NFL's competition committee, the NFL re-watched all games from Week 16 last season and found five plays that would have been a penalty under the new rule. Player concern could decrease when the limited scope of the rule is revealed. But fair or not, right or wrong, players can expect a continued movement in this direction.