I remember this play like it was yesterday.
Trent Richardson’s collision with Philadelphia’s Kurt Coleman, knocking him to the ground with a violent hit causing his helmet to fly away, was the main source of evidence which helped the NFL come to the decision to ban running backs from using their helmet against defenders outside the tackle box.
“I feel like I made it bad for all the backs,” Richardson told the newspaper. “I feel like it’s my fault.”
“People keep telling me it’s the T-Rich rule,” he said. “I guess I made history today.”
“I know why they did it, but I won’t say that I fully agree with it,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s a dumb rule, but the backs are all talking about it and it’s kind of hard on us.”
A lot of speculation has been made regarding the new NFL helmet rule, which passed yesterday 31-1. Majority of the backlash seems to be surrounded around how can you judge intent. You would have to first ensure the play was done outside of the tackle box, while making certain the running back was using “forcible contact.” Not to mention anytime a flag costs a team 15 yards from the spot of the ball you better be certain of the call before proceeding to throw the flag. However many are unsure you can call this penalty within the course of a game with high accuracy.
The only owner who voted against the new rule was Bengals owner Mike Brown, due to the difficulty to officiate the rule during the course of a game.
“That hit made me a hero with Browns fans, but that was just me playing football,” Richardson said. “That hit made history right there and it was big.”
Although Richardson found it shocking that his organization voted for the rule, he claims to understand the position of the owners wanting to keep the players safe.
“I understand why they did it. They’re going to do whatever it takes to keep guys safe. I kind of understand all of that, but it’s tough for the runners on our end.”
“I don’t know how they’re going call it, but (laughing) most likely I’m going to be the one getting all the fines and all the penalties because I just know I just can’t change the way I play the game,” he said.
Even with a 15 yard penalty looming over this costly play, Richardson has no plans to change his style of running.
“I’ll still play me,” he said. “I’ll still play the way I play. … I’m going to try to be as safe as I can, but I’m going to protect myself first. I know there are a lot of runners that feel the way I feel.”
You may disagree or you may agree with the rule, but one thing is for certain if you want to use the crown of your head it will cost your offense. After a few times ending up on 3rd and long with Weeden as your QB, I’m sure Richardson will soon make the adjustment to his game as well as other players around the league.