Reporting Bob Pompeani
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The NFL is taking further steps to prevent concussions.
The Steelers, along with every other team in the league except one, voted to adopt a new helmet rule. But the Steelers were also the only team to reject changes to another rule.
It came to be known as the “Tom Brady” rule. But today, if you checked Twitter, you saw a tweet from the Oakland Raiders that simply said: “Adios Tuck Rule.”
The NFL voted it down 31-1. The only team voting against the change was the Steelers.
Dan Rooney said: “We were happy with the way it’s been called.”
But the Oakland Raiders weren’t happy with it back in a 2002 playoff game.
Oakland was on the losing end of that play when a Tom Brady fumble was instead ruled an incompletion. The officials determined he was in the process of tucking the ball away.
That rule is now gone, which means even if a quarterback is starting to tuck that ball away and its knocked loose, it will be ruled a fumble.
So, the quarterback must clearly maintain possession until the end of the play.
The Steelers were victimized by that call in a New York Giants game when Ben Roethlisberger thought he tucked the ball away, but the officials ruled that it was knocked loose, and the fumble return for a New York touchdown stood.
Now, nobody has to worry about the rule anymore.
“It modifies the tuck rule, so that when a passer begins to bring a ball back to his body and attempting to begin the tuck and he loses that ball, whether on his way back to his body or after he’s completed the tuck, it will now be ruled a fumble,” said Jeff Fisher, the head coach of the St. Louis Rams.
The competition committee also passed another player safety rule.
This one will stop ball carriers from using the crown of their helmets to make contact with a defender.
For years, it’s been the offensive players being protected from defensive players lowering their helmets. Now, offensive players will be penalized just the same.
A 15-yard penalty will be enforced from the spot of the foul.
Many running backs around the league have been very critical of the new rule.
They say leading with your shoulder leaves no choice but to include the head.
Faced with those responses, Dan Rooney told the Associated Press: “Jim Brown never lowered his head. It can be done.”