NFL' New Helmet Rule Should Be Reviewable Play, Bruce Arians Says

Bruce Arians believes NFL officials will have difficulty distinguishing between helmet hits and shoulder hits in real time

After Hours with Amy Lawrence
October 30, 2018 - 8:15 am

USA Today Images

The NFL’s new helmet rule has caused quite a stir this offseason – and preseason – as many players, analysts, and even officials seem unclear on what is and isn’t a legal tackle.

Former NFL head coach Bruce Arians dropped by CBS Sports Radio to offer his perspective. 

“I’m all for making the game safer,” Arians said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “And I think our game is in a great place. The more we can make it better with all the injury data that we get, we should. We’ve had a spearing rule for years and years and years, and I think what we’re looking for is guys who are getting linear, leading with the crown of their helmet, and we want to take it out. I think it’s very hard for the officials in full speed to see if it’s a helmet or a shoulder when those collisions are taking place.”

Which is why Arians would make one change to the rule.

“The only thing I would like to see is it become a reviewable play,” he said. “We saw a lot of them last week were great hits that got penalized and they were perfectly legal – but they were good collisions. I don’t want to see that happen. I would like to see the good plays stay in the game. But let’s make it safer, and it can still be physical.”

If Arians were still in an NFL locker room, he would tell his players to lead with their shoulders, not their helmets.

“That’s the thing. I’ve always (preached) shoulder tackling,” he said. “When I was taught as a youngster, we were taught to tackle with our shoulders and wrap. Put your shoulder on the ball; don’t put your face on the ball. There really isn’t any place for your face to be in the game, especially not the top of your head. If your eyes are on the ground, it’s a bad play no matter what.”