Ask The Official: A Look At The Rule Changes
Excerpt: "Much has been said and written regarding two of the new rules for the 2013 season and I figured I might as well add my two cents to the discussion.
First the new helmet rule in which an offensive player who is outside of the tackle box may not deliberately lower his head and hit the defensive with the crown (i.e., the top area) of the helmet. This new rule adds consistency to the game (now neither the defensive nor offensive player can use his helmet as a weapon) and hopefully will reduce helmet-to-helmet hits and will actually be of greater benefit to the offensive player who often suffers the greatest injury to his neck and spine when he attempts to blast through the defensive player.
I would point out that as the rule is only applicable outside of the tackle box it should have no impact on short yardage plays. Also, it will not impact the situation where a runner lowers his shoulder makes contact with the front of his helmet against a defensive player.
Personally, I do not anticipate that this foul will be called more than 10-15 times in the season as the situations in which all of the requirements for this foul occur are few and far between.As long as the NFL is being sued by ex-players for head injuries resulting from their time in the NFL, you can expect that there will be other rules attempting to take the use of the helmet out of the game of football in the future.
One can talk all they want about how these changes are making the game less “manly” but the changes are dictated by the realities of the times. One forgets that the rules of football have been in constant flux through the years (i.e., moving the goal posts to the end line, allowing blockers to extend their arms and hands forward, not allowing runners to get up after they have been knocked to the ground) and the game has managed to survive. And it will continue to do so." Read more...