After watching Darryl Jackson of the Seattle Seahawks get blasted versus the Dallas Cowboys, and listening to the NFL commissioner and a lot of the media’s view on the issue, I think that we need to spread the blame a little bit here. There was a reason that receiver Darryl Jackson jumped in the air– because the ball was thrown there. Too many times we see a receiver being led by passes into potentially dangerous situations by quarterbacks.
We say great pass or we question the receiver’s courage for not catching the ball. Well whose fault is it?
The NFL is making a statement through the penalties and fines levied that it is the responsibility of the defender. When you look at the situation, it seems like the defender has the least amount of responsibility for the recent hard collisions. The NFL commissioner expects a defender not to hit a receiver with any part of his helmet, only with his shoulder pads, which are on his shoulders, which is connected to his neck and head where his helmet is. When a receiver catches a ball in a Defenders zone, that defender is taught to separate the receiver from the ball. Defenders are taught to see what they hit, and to get their head in front of the receiver’s body to prevent serious injury to their own body.
There are unwritten rules that receivers and quarterbacks live by to protect the receiver, because of the possible situations that can occur from receiving a hard blow while attempting to make a reception. Quarterbacks agree not to throw a pass that may lead a receiver into a hard lick, and receivers agree not to run a bad route into the path of that blow. With the pressure’s of the game, coaches and media, are these rules sometimes being stretched or sometimes broken? The fact is receivers run over the middle, and when that ball is thrown high, they go up and attempt to make the catch. Because of new innovative defensive coverages quarterbacks are required to put the ball in smaller gaps in the defense. So the blame falls on all the players involved in a potential hard hit.
We all agree that most players want to win at any cost. Sometimes you make the big catch and other times the defender gets the big hit. So should we put the responsibility on the defenders to change? Or should we put the responsibility on the receivers and quarterbacks to protect themselves? Or maybe we should leave the game alone and try to provide more protection for the players with better equipment.

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