San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman is never afraid to speak his mind. While numerous fans are voicing their displeasure over the new leading-with-the-head tackling rule the NFL is employing this season, Sherman has joined the chorus of naysayers.
Here's what the rule states:
"It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent." The rule applies to all players on the field at all times, and contact does not have to be to an opponent's head or neck area; lowering the head and initiating contact to an opponent's torso, hips or lower body is also a penalty (loss of 15 yards).
Here's one example of how the controversial new rule has been enforced during the preseason:
15-yard penalty for playing football. pic.twitter.com/BOtbXmExtp— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 18, 2018
So here's a play that my 49ers client Raheem Mostert got an unnecessary roughness penalty on last night for leading with his head... Is this really the way we want to affect the outcome of games this season? pic.twitter.com/lotRzIxiue— Brett Tessler (@TesslerSports) August 19, 2018
Sherman retweeted the video of his teammate, Raheem Mostert, and challenged the creators of the rule to attempt to actually tackle someone without leading with their head.
To all those ppl including those who made the rule. I want a video of YOU running full speed and being lead by anything but your head while also attempting to bring down a moving target. You will soon realize it’s impossible. https://t.co/QFyENU6LKf— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 19, 2018
There is no “make adjustment” to the way you tackle. Even in a perfect form tackle the body is led by the head. The rule is idiotic And should be dismissed immediately. When you watch rugby players tackle they are still lead by their head. Will be flag football soon.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 19, 2018
This is considered a good Rugby tackle. It would be a for sure penalty in our league. https://t.co/2EqxrKwgCC— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 19, 2018
As one fan noted, Mostert appeared to have perfect tackling form.
Doesn’t get any more picture perfect of a tackle then this. Eyes on the ball, crown isn’t straight forward, and goes to the weight and wraps up. Disappointing that the @NFL is choosing to punish good tackles like this. pic.twitter.com/6SwrFPXLK3— Austin Weber (@aweber77UM) August 19, 2018
The NFL is looking to protect its players and combat its concussion crisis, but this new rule will likely come under fire all season.