“Where does it stop?”: Todd Bowles speaks out against banning hip drop tackles in the NFL

PHOENIX — Count Todd Bowles in the camp of those who are vehemently opposed to introducing a rule in the NFL that would ban it the dangerous hip drop tackling technique.

“We’re playing the game at 100 miles an hour,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach told USA TODAY Sports during the NFL’s annual league meet. “It’s a physical game. You have to tackle how you have to tackle.”

Bowles, who played eight seasons in the NFL as a defensive back, acknowledges the safety concerns that have prompted the league’s competition committee to consider measures to get the controversial technique out of play. The technique, similar to horse collar tackle banned in 2005, was conspicuous last season as defenders smashed ball carriers onto the turf — and in many cases landing their entire body weight on their opponents’ hind legs. According to Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, the technique resulted in an injury rate that was “20 times higher” than other tackles, although the NFL is yet to provide exact data.

But Bowles still doesn’t support adopting a rule that would limit defenders, who are already penalized for punches to the helmets, punches around or below the quarterback’s knees, collisions with defenseless players and other violations.

“There will be collateral damage,” Bowles said. “They want to limit it as much as possible. You don’t want anyone to get hurt, but it’s hard to tell someone how to act. The angles are different. The speed is different. I don’t know how you stop it “Don’t tackle high. Don’t attack low. Don’t hip drop.’ What do you want to say to a man? Some guys are more athletic than others. where does it stop

“I mean, dammit. Just play 7v7 and it’s game over.”

After extensive discussions since Super Bowl 57, the Competitions Committee decided not to propose a rule for owners to consider at the meetings concluding that week. The committee promised to continue investigating the issue and discussed the technique with coaches last week.

Tony Pollard #20 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts on field after suffering an injury against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of their NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi’s Stadium January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California.

In lieu of a rule, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel said it’s possible technique could be “coached” from the game. Risks of injury escalate when tacklers land their body weight on the back of the ball carrier’s legs, as was the case back then Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard was KO’d of the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers with a broken leg and high ankle sprain.

“Most of the time these tackles are in space,” said Vrabel, who played 14 seasons in the NFL as a linebacker. “If you’ve ever been out there in space with one of those chicks, sometimes they’re hard to get to. Sometimes when you have an idea that you want to take the helmet out of the game, sometimes that ends up in the back. They either land with a gator reel to bring them down or players pull them down.

“We need to be able to identify those and say, ‘Hey, watch your fellow players. Can you get him down without falling on his back?’ I don’t know if we can put that into a rule now. We just have to keep identifying it. I know the injury rate is significant.”

Which also means that the debate about the controversial duel technique will not end anytime soon.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Todd Bowles opposes proposed ban on hip drop tackles

Source : sports.yahoo.com

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