Urlacher says it could become National Flag Football League
Defensive players from around the league continue to react negatively to the NFL’s grand announcement that first-time offenders will be subject to suspensions for hits to the head and neck area under stricter enforcement of current rules.
“It's freaking football. There are going to be big hits,” Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “I don't understand how they can do this after one weekend of hitting. And I can't understand how they can suspend us for it. I think it's a bunch of bull (crap).
“You know what we should do? We should just put flags on everybody. Let's make it the NFFL — the National Flag Football League. It's unbelievable.'”
The NFL handed out fines for Pittsburgh’s Jerome Harrison, New England’s Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta’s Dunta Robinson that total $175,000 on Tuesday.
"There was one bad hit this past weekend: the Meriweather hit,'' Urlacher said. "The other two hits were legal hits. Robinson had a great hit. They were both running full-speed.
"If they enforce things like this, they need to reinforce the high-low cut block with the offensive linemen. Those can be worse than hits to the head. With some concussions, you miss one game. A knee injury could end your career.''
Bears safety Chris Harris spent half the day venting on his Twitter account.
"I'm all for player safety,'' Harris tweeted. "This is a violent, barbaric sport. You have a split second to make decisions when making a hit. As a DB my job is to make the play or cause a fumble.
"U can't half-ass a tackle n this league bc players like Adrian Peterson, josh cribbs, anquan boldin will break those tackle. It's fine line. … I guarantee u Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, Doug Plank, Otis Wilson didn't think twice when hittin someone, but NFL wants us to now.''
We’ll see how this situation unfolds the next time there is a violent hit.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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