The NFL Has Made QB’s Too Soft

The Alliance of American Football (AAF), a new spring football league, kicked off its inaugural season this past weekend.  Attempting to improve on where the NFL falls short, there are some important rule differences between the two leagues.  One of those differences is the more relaxed standards on what constitutes unnecessary roughness.  It didn’t take long on Saturday for highlights of quarterback hits to make their way through Twitter.

This first highlight is from the San Diego Fleet and San Antonio Commanders game.  Watch below as San Antonio linebacker Shaan Washington obliterates San Diego quarterback Mike Bercovici.

The thing that stuck out to me when I first saw this hit was not that there wasn’t a flag thrown on this play, but rather just how quickly Bercovici jumps right back up from this hit.  He doesn’t roll around on the ground, trying to sell the hit to get a penalty, but just gets up, puts his helmet on and goes back to the huddle.

Later on Saturday night we saw something similar in the Orlando Apollos and Atlanta Legends game.  Orlando defensive end Earl Okine lights up Atlanta (and past Bills) quarterback Matt Simms.

Again, Matt Simms hops right back up and gets back under center.  The comments to the two hits were predictable: “If that was Tom Brady that player would be kicked out of the league.”  Hard to disagree.

So when thinking about these hits it got me wondering…have NFL quarterbacks gotten too soft?  Is it a byproduct of their environment?  Have they been conditioned to “over sell” big hits in the hope of getting a penalty so much so that they aren’t as tough as they should be?  Mike Bercovici and Matt Simms are not talented enough to be on a 53 man NFL roster, but yet they are the ones displaying more toughness than we see from the best quarterbacks in the world.   We all have seen countless times NFL quarterbacks stay on the ground and roll around in the hope of seeing a flag thrown after a big hit.

I think the weak NFL rules (some of which have been created for player safety) have conditioned quarterbacks to overreact to big hits.  If quarterbacks knew the league would not be calling penalties, I bet we would see them pop right back up too.  The National Football League needs to do better with how soft the game has become.  In just one week a “minor league” football league has already made the NFL look silly.  The AAF can be a good thing for the NFL if they respond to it in the right way.  I want to see the best quarterbacks in the world bounce back up after hits like this, not try to win an Oscar rolling around on the turf.

Never forget, this was called roughing the passer in the biggest game of the year.

Do better NFL.

Follow me on Twitter @m_lafave and follow the blog at @BuffAuthority.

One thought on “The NFL Has Made QB’s Too Soft

  1. Look, you have a high record of players with criminal records who have the mentality and attitude wanting to hurt other players. You allow that kind of hit in the NFL on the quarterback you will be losing the quality play of the NFL. We lost Jim Kelly early in the game in the super bowls with the skins and cowboys. The skins and cowboys were successful in creating lame duck super bowls when they used the strategy of hurt Kelly and knock him out of the game early and they win. How can anyone say the skins and cowboys were better than the Bills when they assassinated Kelly early in the games. The best player was taken out. Kelly was driving down the field to the Dallas 23 yard line to tie the game 14-14 when lo and behold as Kelly drops back to pass Kenny Norton Jr., the dirty player he was gave a cheap shot on Kelly’s knee and tore Kelly’s knee. Kelly was capable of a shoot out with any team as he proved with Steve Young in San Fran. In the last Dallas super bowl the Bills kicked the Cowboys ass and dominated the first half leading 13-6. The big part of why they lost the second half was the go-to guy for Kelly, tight end Pete Metzelaar who led the team that season in receptions with 68 and 750 some yards with 5 touchdowns hurt his elbow and did not play the second half. It would be like Brady losing Gronkowski. They were always going after Jim Kelly and his knees and lower legs. It was so bad that Kelly finally decided to wear goalie hockey pads on his lower legs to protect his legs. Look, I played football for ten years, high school, college and semipro and was all-star at all levels. I had 120 tackles in my senior year with 17 quarterback sacks with two safeties , 2 blocked punts and 2 safeties and never once did I ever have in my head that I wanted to hurt my opponent. I understood that he was in shape, like me from training and practice and we wore pads to protect our bodies. That we could over power each other without hurting each other. Never once did I ever want to hurt anyone. We would get arrested on the public street if we assaulted someone so why would we want that in a game on the field. That is the problem with the NFL. They hire players who have bad attitudes, criminal records, law breaking history to many of these so called players and to add the steroids this makes the game even more dangerous as it affects out of control moods, behavior and their bodies run faster and hit harder increasing the chance of injury. The NFL is shooting themselves in the foot by allowing this kind of atmosphere. They already have protocol concussion standards. They would not have this problem if they would curve this atmosphere where we can at last watch real football players and not a bunch of law breaking, rule breaking careless and out of control players on the field. As a matter of fact as soon as a player has the attitude (or coach) that assaulting other players is okay they then are no longer football players or coaches and do not belong on a football field.

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