With a high number of players tearing their ACL or sufering another season-ending injury during the 2015 pre-season, there have been many calls to either get rid of pre-season or for coaches to sit their star players throughout the remainder of the pre-season games.
In just one week, we saw three players within days tear their ACL - Kelvin Benjamin, Louis Delmas and Jordy Nelson. Add that with other players who have lost their season in what some call a meaningless pre-season game and you can start understanding concerns others may have.
This debate raged even further when Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs took a legal, but controversial, shot at Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford's knees. Ryan Tannehill was asked about this and he believes that the NFL needs to do a better job of clearing up the grey area when it comes time to going low on a player.
“As a quarterback, you hate to see that. Obviously in the rules there, there is something we have to figure out league-wide, but as a quarterback you hate to see another guy get a shot taken at his knees like that literally just after he
handed the ball off. You can see a guy like Peyton Manning doing the exact same handoff and no one is taking a shot at his knees. There is some grey area there that I think needs to be cleared up.”
Tannehill knows there is a lot going on throughout the course of a play so it might be easy for referees to miss a few things here and there. That's why he makes sure that his awareness is high and that he makes a clear signal to the referee that he no longer has the ball.
“My eyes are always up and if I ever feel like someone is taking a shot at me, then I’ll show my hands to make it clear I don’t have the ball and then you can no longer be hit. It’s something that we’ve covered here and talk about because we do run the zone-read and do some run fakes, but we’re also taught that if a guy is coming at you and you don’t have the ball, show your hands so you clearly don’t have the ball and then they can’t take a shot at you.”
The quarterback is the most protected position in the NFL and for good reason. They are often the face of the franchise and a season-ending injury to a quarterback can derail an entire season before it begins. Expect more rules to protect quaterbacks to come forward in the future as the game gets more popular and the contracts become higher and higher.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @FinsInsider
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