March 20, 2013
Minnesota's Leslie Frazier is among the coaches who are skeptical of the NFL Competition Committee's proposal to penalize running backs for lowering their helmets into defenders.
Frazier said at the league meeting that he wants running backs — like his own Adrian Peterson — to be able to protect their legs by lowering their shoulders into tacklers, and that he worries running backs who are trying to lower their shoulders will be penalized for lowering their heads.
"I think it makes it tough for the running backs," Frazier said. "It's such an instinctive motion to duck that head to try to protect yourself. So I don't know what's going to happen, whether this will pass or not. But I think it puts those backs in a vulnerable state if they can't lower their pads. And the only way to lower your pads is to get your head down."
Frazier said he understands the idea behind the rule — to protect players' heads — but he doesn't know if it's worth the added exposure to players' legs.
"When those defenders are coming at your legs, if you don't protect yourself and you don't get your pads down, now you run the risk of lower body injuries," Frazier said.
Although Frazier hasn't specifically discussed the rule with Peterson, he said he's certain he knows how Peterson would vote if the players had a say.
"He would not be in favor," Frazier said.
That's probably an understatement.