Dirty Birds Not Worried About NFL’s Stricter Helmet Rules

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel is not overly concerned about his defensive players being affected by the NFL’s decision to crack down on lowering the helmet for impact.

While at the league meetings in Atlanta, the NFL owners approved an expansion of replay review to include all ejections. That was the final piece of a rule approved in March that will penalize and possibly eject players on both sides of the ball for lowering their helmets to initiate contact against an opponent.

“One of the things you gotta understand is that fact that when you’ve always taught the fact that you want to keep the helmet out of the game and when you tackle, leverage tackling, shoulder tackling [and] understanding that now I cannot utilize my helmet as the first point of contact,” Manuel explained. “Knowing that now, everything that [defenders] do, we already had started implementing years ago. Now, we utilize our shoulder, understanding how we enter into contact. READ MORE>

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