So Far, No Issue With Flags

August 20th, 2018

Not clear, says Bucs coach.

It seems the fears of those who predicted this new tackling rule will radically change the NFL, and not in a good way, are getting plenty of ammunition.

The first two weeks of preseason games have demonstrated some really wacky calls on players allegedly leading with their helmets, even when they are not leading with their helmets.

In one case, the Vikings got flagged for roughing the passer on a sack that was as clean as can be.

So far, the Bucs have avoided any controversial calls like the one linked above. So Joe wondered if maybe some Bucs defenders have been a tad hesitant on hitting opposing players due to a fear in the back of their heads they could be a victim of an awful flag.

Koetter didn’t touch that angle but he did offer to Joe that he thinks the NFL has not been clear on what is an illegal hit, based on how officials have been called games in this summer’s preseason.

“I think there’s definitely truth to it – it’s not clear,” Koetter said. “The players in general – it’s not crystal clear. We’ve watched the videos. The league has sent videos the last two weeks dealing exclusively with the use of the helmet.

“But it’s still football and when they send videos out and they’re showing them in slow motion, that’s different than playing football. So I think there’s just going to be an adjustment period. We can all recognize that this is a rule that will eventually lead to players’ safety, but we’re in an adjustment period for sure.”

If the NFL has to have this crazy don’t-lead-with-the-helmet rule because owners are getting sued left and right, then at least it should be a reviewable play. That call against the Vikings was so gross, if Joe were Mike Zimmer, Joe would have been tempted to pull his team off the field.

Memo to Vince McMahon and Bill Polian: If you want your new spring leagues to survive if not flourish, do not try to pass off some flag football stunt like NFL strongman Roger Goodell has shoved upon the masses.

16 Responses to “So Far, No Issue With Flags”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Hopefully the NFL can have the NYC booth crew tapped into all the new rules flags an alerted as soon as one is throw… if there was something clearly they can see beep down to the field ref and tell him it was a clean play, the refs have a tougher and tougher job calling real time… get it right and keep the game moving !

  2. Rossta Says:


  3. Rossta Says:


  4. SJ-Bucsfan Says:

    As I mentioned in an earlier article. This is a (silly) rule that only puts more of the outcome of the game in the hands of the officials NOT the players…

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Hard to be called for leading with your head when the refs are busily throwing their flags for illegal procedures & offsides. Looked like they were about to run out of flags last game.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think there has been an overreaction to this rule change.

    The major problem I can see is typical for all rules changes that involve ANY interpretation from the officials…whether it’s holding…PI or whatever.

    When you change the rules you have to wait for the refs to catch up and the refs finally produce CONSISTENCY in their calls. They’ll hit their groove.

    I saw a play in the Rams-Raiders game that reassured me it’s still a very violent sport. A Rams’ RB broke to the left and thought he found a seam…unfortunately for him the Raider safety found that same seam and came through it at the other end with a full head of steam. Raider safety lowers his shoulder into the RB’s chest and totally destroyed him putting him on his backside and sending a message. No helmets were involved.

    If not getting our former pleasure at watching CTE patients created in front of our very eyes is too disappointing…there is always the UFC…plenty of violence there to enjoy…small gloves…no headgear…just let them beat the snot out of each other….mmmmm unmitigated violence..what’s not to love?

  7. DB55 Says:

    If the nfl wanted to solve this they’d get rid of the helmets.

    The Vikings call was made bc you’re no longer allowed to put all of your weight on the QBs when sacking them. I would imagine to avoid shoulder injuries.

    But yea we would have to want to hit someone or literally cause them pain like in the old days for the refs to throw a flag on us and with Conte constantly getting run over and Teflon Kwon whiffing every chance he gets I doubt we’ll see a unnecessary roughness penalty anytime soon.

    We may get an unnecessary niceness penalty before anything else.

  8. Miguel Grande Says:

    Why don’t they just adapt college football’s targeting rule to the pros.

    Lessen the full game suspension to 2 quarters.

    Rookies have already gotten accustomed to it.

    What they have now will not stand.

    Tell Jameis he can’t head butt opponents anymore.

  9. Lamarcus Says:

    No issues yet because they have trouble making the simple tackle

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    I agree with having the same college rule and reviewing for verification. Just having to look at each helmet hit call will lead to fewer flags and borderline calls.

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Actually you are spot on about the helmets. If you watch Rugby…remember it takes leather balls to play Rugby…lol…it’s not a game for sissies…but with naked heads they never lead with their noggins. Any head trauma is an accident…like when two soccer players go up for a header at the same time and head each other instead of the ball.

    Before the great helmet technology NFL players used to “tackle” not “hit” each other. A lot of the game then was about the game as in stopping somebody short of a first down or TD. Now players look to “send a message”…they literally want to knock somebody out.

    I get the appeal of “knockout” football…but it’s become a guilty pleasure for me because at 70 one of my greatest fears is outliving my body and getting dementia. For guys to get this at 50 and younger just freaks me out.

    I saw a feature a couple of years ago on Jim McMahon. He’s not a total veg yet but he’s getting there rapidly and sadly he’s very aware of it. I cheered as loudly as anybody when DL blew up McMahon..who I respected but never rooted for.

    There is research to back up your point btw.

  12. ManzielMadness Says:

    Yeah I’m hoping the officials back off when the season starts. They usually do, hate when the game is decided by the refs.

  13. Greg Says:

    At this point, I don’t think there is any doubt that players are at serious risk of health complications due to concussions. That has to be solved or we are no better than the ancient Romans watching gladiators killing each other.

  14. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Don’t worry, Joe. The refs wants to wait and call a controversial penalty on the Bucs when the game is on the line during the regular season. The NFL loves to make an example out of the Bucs. The bad call will make the entire team go into a tailspin for the rest of the game. Don’t let the bad calls get you down, guys! Just keep playing hard!

  15. BucNole Says:

    I think they are calling more in the PS just to get the awareness out there.
    Prolly wont impact the game as much as some have predicted.
    There has always been interpretation and judgement for penalties.
    Fortunately replay has taken some of that guesswork away.

  16. GreG Says:

    Only a matter of time before the Bucs lose a game because of this