New Helmet Rule And The Bucs

June 3rd, 2018

Discusses new helmet rule.

If Dirk Koetter is paranoid about the new helmet rule perhaps changing the game we know and love, he sure hasn’t let on about it publicly.

Last week the NFL sent a team of zebras to work with the Bucs all week both during underwear football practice and in meetings. Obviously, the new helmet rule was a big topic.

It appears to Joe that the new rule isn’t a whole lot different than the targeting rule in college. Yeah, some guys will be found guilty for friendly fire. But if players keep their heads up and more importantly, wrap up, it doesn’t appear they will be flagged.

So far, Koetter said, there is a feeling-out process of what is and what isn’t a penalty in relation to the new rule.

“Right now, [the NFL is] putting out a series of videos,” Koetter explained. “We’ve only seen the first series, and as you might expect, the first series are clips – a couple of those clips went back as far as five years ago and they’re the most violent ones that everybody with the naked eye could see. We don’t want those plays in football.

“I think that everybody kind of assumes that they’re going to call every single bump every time a guy’s helmet touches somebody, and it’s still football. Like the officials told us, they’re still working through it. So this series of videos that we’re getting, I’m sure that’s going to continue all the way up to the first game.”

This weeding out process, both for officials and teams, seems as though it will continue during preseason games. Joe is adamantly, fundamentally and morally opposed to preseason games. They are a friggin’ joke, a bad joke. They expose guys to injuries in games that should never be played. However, this summer, if there was ever a reason to hold preseason games, this new rule might be it. Koetter seems to be on board with this as well.

“That’s what’s great about having preseason games, that there’s a little bit of a feeling-out period,” Koetter said. “But nobody wants the violent helmet-to-helmet shots in football. Those are the ones we want out. When they showed us those at the owners’ meetings, there might have only been eight or 10 of them all year. Like I said, those are the ones that are easy. Everybody wants those out of the game.”

Koetter is saying pretty much what Bill O’Brien has said: Only a handful of plays a season will get flagged. We shall see. Joe senses two or three could get called a game.

The thing that spooks Joe is it appears coaches, players and yes, even referees aren’t 100 percent sure of the interpretation of the rule. That’s a bad thing.

How exactly can anyone expect a referee to enforce a rule he doesn’t fully understand?

23 Responses to “New Helmet Rule And The Bucs”

  1. James Walker Says:

    So no more QB sneaks or goal line run?

  2. stpetebucsfan Says:

    It’s just another judgement call. There are plenty in sports…boarding in hockey…charging/blocking in hoops…every call in baseball except perhaps for a cleanly caught ball for an out.

    These calls are not the end of the game IMHO. Everybody will figure it out and then we’ll simply be looking for consistency and context. Just as hockey refs need to swallow their whistles in the Stanley Cup playoffs NFL zebras will be hestitant to make this call in the playoffs. First quarter of the season they’ll call it freely. Hope the players think this through.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yeah, some guys will be found guilty for friendly fire.

    Friendly fire is against your own…..unless Joe is talking about practice here….not appropriate…..

    As far as the rule….I suspect there will be many miss-calls……very hard to determine some them in real time…..

  4. ruggyup Says:

    Some wags are saying the new rule is a day late and a dollar short as too many of these guys have been playing without helmets for too long.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    NFL will be gone in 5 years

  6. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Just seems like it is going to empower officials to have even more authority over the outcomes of games. League will leave it to the officials to interpret and most will interpret it in their own subjective way.

  7. BucNole Says:

    Im kinda thinkin the flags will only be used in obvious situations. . . . but, this is the NFL so WTFK. . . . .

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Exactly what the game of football does NOT need – more subjectivity of every down type occurances (helmet contact) with more power for the refs to influence outcomes of games.

    Just in time for full on gambling to open up… Hmmmm

    Hell – we’re all still trying to figure out what a legal catch looks like 20 years after the Bert Emanual travesty. Pretty soon we aren’t even going to know what a legal tackle looks like either.

  9. fritz50 Says:

    “Friendly fire is against your own…..unless Joe is talking about practice here….not appropriate….“

    Long been a term for when a defensive player , going for the big hit, misses and slams into a member of his own team. As far as I member, on Offense it’s usually when 2 receivers go up for the same catch. Just 2 examples that I can think of… wondering where you’ve been. John Lynch was well know for such hits, not very illegal, then, unless late.

  10. AlteredEgo Says:

    In a collision /contact sport with the common element taking down the running full speed opponent to the ground either advancing the football or preventing the advancement…just how do 2 heads not clash ?????

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “But if players keep their heads up and more importantly, wrap up, it doesn’t appear they will be flagged.”

    Except it does not only apply to defenses. It applies to everyone, including running backs.

    Apparently, the NFL is doing so well in limiting return injuries, now they want to stop RBs from running with their heads down. This is going to severely limit RB production.

  12. Roy T. Buford Says:

    What I don’t like about it is there is no way the refs can, or will be consistent. I think it will be at least two to three a game, and biases are going to come into it. I can’t help but go back to the Bert Emanual catch during the NFL Championship game in 2000. The Rams were the NFL’s darlings, and nothing was going to keep them out of the SB–nothing. So late in the season, when it is all on the line, I expect a ref to call something that is a great break for someone. Not overtly or with intent to cheat…but they are human. So I have a question. If this call reviewable? Do they need a consensus among refs? Anyone know?

  13. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I will also add it will harder for those brutal hitters like John Lynch to get into the HoF, as history writes these rules of old as bad…even though it’s not fair at all.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    stpetebucsfan Says
    “These calls are not the end of the game IMHO. Everybody will figure it out…”

    Much like they did the catch rule?

  15. unbelievable Says:

    This is just allowing the refs to put more of a finger on the game… unfortunately.

    Have we figured out what a catch is yet?

    Oh, well good luck figuring this rule out then.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    lol sorry bonzai, didn’t see your comment above mine

  17. Anonymous Says:


    Exactly……but the way Joe phrased it…..

    “some guys will be found guilty for friendly fire.”

    Found guilty…makes it sound like players will be penalized for hitting their own players….& I don’t think so….could be wrong but would be surprised.

  18. AlteredEgo Says:

    Well then….NO NEED for helmets….problem solved….actually take off all the pads…it would be a beautiful sport to watch….make 7 edible receivers….and expand the field dimensions to those of the CFL…

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    Too many rules in football. Game is watered down.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    The announcers in the booth don’t even understand the rules. They have a special guy they bring in to explain all the rules and he is only right about half the time. Nobody understands the rules, including the refs, like Joe said.

    Ever try to explain the game to somebody who doesn’t know? It’s barely worth trying.

    The NFL is watered down with flags replays and commerical.

  21. Trench War Says:

    The one play I will question the most is when linebackers or the safeties come up to fill gaps and to make tackles on the running back they are already in a tackling position ready to wrap up the RB only to have the RB lower his helmet and making contact with the defensive players helmet. It seems when a foul is called, it’s always the defense that gets the flag.

  22. FLyBoy Says:

    So the rule is in place for all players; Offense, Defence, Special teams. From my understanding of everything I have read, no matter who it is, if the head is lowered, its an ejection, correct? So Joe, will RBs be ejected for lowering their heads? What about goal line Defence? Will everyone on the lines be ejected since low man wins?

  23. Schlomie BarmitzvahCircumScissorStein Says:

    Goodbye NFL. It was fun. LOL.