Any Runner “Giving Himself Up” is now considered “Defenseless” (Rule 2-27-14)
If you are fed up with how soft the game is getting. You might want to skip over this rule altogether. Rule makers continue to expand the scope of targeting.
Now they will protect any ball carrier who slides feet first, giving sliding players the kind of protection they’ve given only quarterbacks in the past.
If a defender makes “forcible contact” with any runner who has “given himself up”, the defender will incur a 15 yard penalty for his team, and will be disqualified for the remainder of the game.
This rules may change the landscape of how the game is played. Will coaches begin to teach their running backs and wide receivers to slide when they think they may get tackled?
It also adds another huge grey area for referees, who must determine, in a split second, if the guy was hit before he attempted to slide. Poor, poor rule adoption in my opinion. Games will be decided by this rule this year. Bank on it.
Also, when keeping this rule in consideration, the “targeting” rule (9-1-4) must be refered to as well. The targeting rule states that “When a targeting rule is in question, IT IS A FOUL” Remember that when you’re screaming at the TV this fall. When in question, it’s a foul..
Terrible, just terrible…
Next: Clarification on low hits on the passer