Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was one of the more efficient running backs on third and short. How will the helmet rule affect him? Not much.
As we've pointed out earlier the league passed a series of rules on Wednesday, concluding the league meetings this week in Arizona. Along with the tuck rule going away...
Adios, Tuck Rule.— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) March 20, 2013
...the NFL passed a measure that bans runners from using the top of their helmets outside of the tackle box; followed by a report that the NFL Commissioner "directed" coaches not to "bad-mouth" the rule. Good luck with that.
According to reports 31 teams passed the measure with the Cincinnati Bengals voting against it.
"It’s going to be a hard rule to coach," Jackson said (via Bengals.com). "Its how these guys have run since Pop Warner. Using their head and shoulders is all they know. Especially on the goal line and short-yardage."
Jackson further wondered about the rule in regards to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who is more of a power guy.
"He naturally drops his head and shoulders, drives, and comes out the other side," Jackson said. "That's where the power comes from. You see the way the best ones break tackles. They do it with their head and shoulders."
Green-Ellis led the NFL converting 14 of 15 third-and-one scenarios. Arian Foster ranked second with 13 conversions, but on 19 attempts.
How does the rule affect Cincinnati?
"We've talked at length about how we think it should be enforced but the important thing is this is a block that is out in space," said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. "It's clearly -- and we emphasize clearly -- outside the tackle box, which is tackle to tackle, and further than three yards down the field."
If the rule was implemented at the line of scrimmage, then the league would have a problem (and doubtful it would pass in the first place). Otherwise, all Jackson needs to worry about is when his running backs clear the tackle box, finding themselves in space, to use their shoulders.
On the other hand, we won't see many more of these.