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Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?

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Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:51 am
  • I thought for sure Tedric Thompson would get called for a helmet-to-helmet targeting call on Brandin Cooks, but we dodged a bullet. And yet later in the game, the Rams did the same thing for us. No flag on either, and both were clearly, and obviously helmet-to-helmet. Is this now okay to do? Or are the refs choosing which games to apply the rule?
    Tusc2000
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:53 am
  • He lead with the shoulder, and the helmet to helmet was caused by Cooks lowering his head.
    CPHawk
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:31 pm
  • I was pleasantly surprised Thompson wasn't flagged on that play. It seems the league is treading more lightly on these sort of penalties after all the fan backlash. The WR arguably could have been flagged for lowering his helmet.

    It was an incredible play by Tedric Thompson. I can't recall a hit that jarring since Kam Chancellor retired. Thompson had several impressive plays and almost came away with a 2nd INT. For what it's worth, PFF awarded Thompson with an "elite" grade of over 90. He did miss some tackles by not wrapping up, but even so, he had a good game. It relieved some of my anxiety over losing Earl Thomas.
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    hawknation2018
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:09 pm
  • Thompson had a very good game considering, against possibly the best at worst 2nd best passing attack in the league.
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:34 pm
  • The call on the field was that Cooks was considered a runner, not a defenseless receiver.

    You could argue any way that Cooks was defensless. I've also seen the same type of contact be called a penalty before. The way I saw it, he caught the ball, turned his body and head upfield and gained forward progress then saw contact coming and lowered his head before getting tackled causing the helmet to helmet.
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    Recon_Hawk
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:35 pm
  • With the continuing expansion of the rule book inconsistency between officiating crews has never been greater.
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    OpHawk
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:26 pm
  • The announcers often make the rules seem more confusing than they are. In this case they did a good job of not confusing a perfectly legal play. There are a couple of ways that it could have been a penalty if events were slightly different. "Helmet to helmet" as quoted on broadcasts is widely misrepresented and really a combination of multiple other rules.

    In this case if Cooks was still making the catch then Tedric could have been flagged for "Illegally launching" at a defenseless receiver under rule 12.2.7. However, Cooks "had time to clearly become a runner" so this does not apply. Once a player is a runner it is completely fair game to leave your feet in an attempt at making a tackle or hit. Similarly, if Cooks was defenseless then Tedric could have been flagged for contacting him in the head under rule 12.2.7 regardless of whether he made contact with his shoulder or even foream.

    Once a player is a runner then the defender is allowed to go low or high in order to bring them down. However, the tackler is not allowed to use their own helmet as a weapon. 12.2.6 forbids using "any part of a player’s helmet or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent" it is a penalty under 12.8 if a player "lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent". The important part of 12.8 is the word "initiate" and given that Tedric made initial contact with his shoulder it does not apply. Also, in order for Cooks to be flagged under 12.8 the official would have had to feel that he lowered his head to "initiate" contact which in this case he clearly did not.
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    AgentDib
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:46 am
  • AgentDib wrote:The announcers often make the rules seem more confusing than they are. In this case they did a good job of not confusing a perfectly legal play. There are a couple of ways that it could have been a penalty if events were slightly different. "Helmet to helmet" as quoted on broadcasts is widely misrepresented and really a combination of multiple other rules.

    In this case if Cooks was still making the catch then Tedric could have been flagged for "Illegally launching" at a defenseless receiver under rule 12.2.7. However, Cooks "had time to clearly become a runner" so this does not apply. Once a player is a runner it is completely fair game to leave your feet in an attempt at making a tackle or hit. Similarly, if Cooks was defenseless then Tedric could have been flagged for contacting him in the head under rule 12.2.7 regardless of whether he made contact with his shoulder or even foream.

    Once a player is a runner then the defender is allowed to go low or high in order to bring them down. However, the tackler is not allowed to use their own helmet as a weapon. 12.2.6 forbids using "any part of a player’s helmet or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent" it is a penalty under 12.8 if a player "lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent". The important part of 12.8 is the word "initiate" and given that Tedric made initial contact with his shoulder it does not apply. Also, in order for Cooks to be flagged under 12.8 the official would have had to feel that he lowered his head to "initiate" contact which in this case he clearly did not.


    This all makes sense from a written rule perspective.

    However - my concern is how are these sometimes slight nuances concerning "which area makes contact with which area first" consistently called in the moment at full game speed?
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    HawkFreak
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:56 am
  • Barron on Vennett, Thompson on Cooks - neither was flagged and I'm cool with that. Both were incidental more than malicious.
    kobebryant
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Re: Is Helmet-to Helmet now legal?
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:22 pm
  • hawknation2018 wrote:I was pleasantly surprised Thompson wasn't flagged on that play. It seems the league is treading more lightly on these sort of penalties after all the fan backlash. The WR arguably could have been flagged for lowering his helmet.

    It was an incredible play by Tedric Thompson. I can't recall a hit that jarring since Kam Chancellor retired. Thompson had several impressive plays and almost came away with a 2nd INT. For what it's worth, PFF awarded Thompson with an "elite" grade of over 90. He did miss some tackles by not wrapping up, but even so, he had a good game. It relieved some of my anxiety over losing Earl Thomas.


    You should have seen "Seahawk" twitter during the game crying about what a bust Tedric is. I wasn't seeing it. In fact everyone on the defense seemed to make big mistakes on Sunday. A lot of costly mistakes by many on offense, defense and special teams. One or two of those back and the Hawks win. This was Tedric's first game. Flowers has 5 times the number of starts. Tedric did well and he's going to be a great fit in the new look backfield.
    Thomas Paine: To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead
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