Diagonals Guru: The NFL is headed in a dangerous direction

MIAMI – I still remember the tutorials that the NFL showed in Latin America as if it were yesterday.

In a snippet of one of them, one of my favorite players from my childhood, Denver Broncos safety Steve Atwater, would suddenly appear on the screen flying horizontally to deliver a tremendous blow to an opposing receiver.

The league relied on that aggressiveness to sell the sport and we all bought. Nowadays, it is difficult to find those images, because the league was in charge of removing them from any official platform.

Although I have always been a fan of a comfort zone, because I consider that it is always advisable to enjoy the moment, everything in life changes and evolves and on many occasions, modifications are for the better.

Now we have more information, we know in many cases the permanent damage that the lack of regulations had on many players and the change was the only viable conclusion.

The most protected position with the various rule changes in recent years is quarterback and every week there is a penalty for a late hit to the quarterback that makes us cling to our heads. On Thursday there was an almost ridiculous one against Lamar Jackson.

Tom Brady has been one of the most important reasons why today you cannot hit the quarterback neither below nor above and although I understand the logic, I do not know if I agree so much that they do not let players tackle down, because the correct fundamentals indicate that the ideal tackle is to the ankles and any tackle in that area is penalized today.

A few weeks ago, in a panel held on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers official website, Brady had this to say about the rule changes: “A lot of the rule changes are not in the best interest of the sport at all. future. I feel like they penalize defensive players for offensive mistakes. The quarterback is responsible for protecting himself and his teammates. That shouldn’t be the defensive player’s responsibility. “

I imagine that you visualize Brady complaining about a hit or thinking that he was one of the most benefited by the rule changes. In fact, they have had a lot to do, added to his great physical care, in the fact that he continues to shine at 44 years old.

Brady became the first quarterback in history to throw for 600 touchdowns, but the fact that he has benefited, like all other quarterbacks, from rule changes shouldn’t take us away from the point I want to make.

Many times I am told that I am old school because I enjoy a defensive duel or a game in the snow, but the reality is that most of the fans like offensive shootings and the NFL is trying to appeal to their fans, however. , they have to be careful what they wish for, because, for example, in Week 7, the margin of victory in the afternoon games was 29.8 points and 14 points in the first round matches and although I understand that it was not every day is like this, it is a dangerous trend, because we see a lot of beatings in too many weeks for my liking (the margin of victory in Week 10 was 15 points) and this season is on the way to being the one with the highest margin of victory in the last 25 years.

In other words, you have to be careful that the sport does not become a competition of skills.

Like everything in life, variables are always welcome and the importance of the quarterback currently at the highest point in history. If you have an elite one, you can disguise deficiencies. If you have one of the level just below the highest, you can win if you are in good company. If you are one of the other teams, you have no chances and that is not good for the product, which has always been the best, in part, due to parity and because anything can happen on any given Sunday. Before you could win in various ways. Today that proposition seems more complex.

Don’t get me wrong, the game in the trenches is still vital and defines the bulk of the encounters. That will not change. When the playoffs come, a little more contact is allowed and the weather and physical defenses tip the balance one way or the other, but with the freedoms quarterbacks enjoy today, those factors matter less than before. Evolution is always for the better and while the first necessary step was to protect the physical integrity of the players, there is a middle ground where you can protect them without taking away almost all the physical aspect that was once the spearhead of the NFL.

The NFL is superior to the CFL and the NCAA because it is more talented, but the two leagues are now becoming more and more alike in styles.

In Brady’s opinion, that is not good for the future of the sport and I agree.

The occasional cynic will think that Brady doesn’t want them to break their records when he retires, but if they remove Brady from the equation for a moment, they will find that he has a very valid point.

The work of the defensive players was already difficult and now it is almost impossible to avoid the yellow bandanas. I advance the clock and think of the young people who will start practicing this beautiful sport in the future. Do you think you want to play on the defensive side?

And if they do lean towards the other side of the ball, the differences in talent between the two units could increase and if that happens, the disparate results will increase.

“Before you could beat skill by being physical,” concluded Brady. “Today, you just can’t.”

Just out of nostalgia, I leave you with some of THE BEST HITS IN HISTORY.

* Home teams are second


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Diagonals Guru: The NFL is headed in a dangerous direction