Players alone can’t be responsible for using helmets as weapons

Consistently lost in the ongoing efforts of the NFL to discipline players who engage in unsafe actions is the role of their coaches and teams on such behavior. Now, with the NFL implementing out of the blue a rule that prohibits players from using their helmets to initiate contact, fixing the situation can’t be something that falls only on players.
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So Winston is right. Making the game safer requires a much more comprehensive approach than issuing a list of thou shalt nots to players. Teams, coaches, and ultimately owners need to be given a real incentive to comply 鈥?and/or a real disincentive for not complying. Without that, players who know where and how their bread gets buttered could end up getting mixed signals from their coaches and from the league, and ultimately choosing to do what will win the approval of their coaches.

That could happen, Browns coach Hue Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Knowing John [Dorsey] that could happen. John’s outstanding that way. He plays it real close to the vest. I’ve been trying to pry his hands down all the time, but his hands are up here and I can’t get them down. We’re going to exhaust all [possibilities] because I think it’s important, too.
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This is a real important time in Cleveland football, let’s just be honest. We have to make the right decisions. I don’t think we need to make any knee-jerk J.R. Richard Youth jersey reactions to anything. Let’s really dig into all of this and talk through it and make the right decision for us.

The Jets’ move from No. 6 to No. 3 virtually guaranteed the Browns would select a quarterback with the No. 1 overall choice instead of running back Saquon Barkley. Jackson appeared to confirm that a quarterback was at the top of the team’s wish list with the first pick.
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