The NFLtook the unusual step of publicly releasing an ‘in-house’ rules video, sent to all the teams around the league, this week. The video, linked below, was created to clarify, and to underline, the league’s new stance on contact in the open field.
The video opens with Ray Anderson, the Vice President of Football Operations addressing players, " The following video provides examples of flagrant violations that will result in higher levels of discipline. To repeat: Players will be subjected to elevated levels of discipline, including suspension without pay. Even first-time offenders may face suspension, if circumstances dictate."
The video goes on to detail examples of ‘flagrant violations’, using clips showing the hits from last Sunday’s games that resulted in fines being levied against Pittsburgh’s James Harrison, Atlanta’s Dunta Robinsonand New England’s Brandon Meriweather.
Anderson’s narration also includes, “hard, effective hits, delivered within the rules” featuring video of Chicago BearsWR and Special Teamer Earl Bennet, laying out Seahawks punter Jon Ryan on a return in last week’s loss to Seattle.
Watch video here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/09000d5d81b80962/Player-safety
You might expect defensive players would feel an extra measure of insult, by using a wide receiver as an example of what they consider ideal tackling technique.
By releasing this video on NFL.com, the league has made a very public statement to teams around the league. We should probably expect to see a rash of fines and suspensions in the coming weeks, and lots more passes up the middle, in the following seasons.
Bears LB and Player's Representative Hunter Hillenmeyer, calls the new measures 'PR'. Are they just 'public relations? Some would say the league releasing the video publicly bears that opinion out. What are your views