Is the NFL game changing to the point where it will look completely different in our lifetime? Well, rule changes recently made may just do that.
The NFL is implementing new kickoff rules this season in order to make it safer, but one part of the game isn’t changing. Or is it?
The three-point stance has been a staple of NFL football. However, that may be changing as a result of the new helmet rule. The new rule is similar to college, where if contact is initiated with his head, the player is ejected.
Al Riveron, NFL Director of Officiating, explained it in a piece written by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk:
What if a defensive lineman coming out of his stance initiates contact with his head?
“Can’t do it. He’s got to get his head up,” Riveron answered.
That essentially means no more three-point stances at some point. Coaches and players will have to learn a new way to block and get into the backfield. We will see more two-point stances than ever.
It might actually make for a better game, though. It might mean more athletic linemen across the board to match up with the defensive linemen who will get to their moves quicker because they don’t have to rely on outmuscling the opposing linemen first.
Offensive linemen will still need to be strong. However, gone might be the days of 300-plus pound linemen — on both sides of the ball — which even though it is necessary for the game, is still unhealthy. It will require much more athletic players than the ones in the trenches now, and it could bring a much different element to the game. It could bring a much more artful form to the NFL than already exists.
All in all, in won’t be the end of the world for the three-point stance to be eliminated from the game. It might even make the game better in the long run.