Monday, October 26, 2009

Helmet to Helmet

Watching the Hawks battle the Spartans this weekend, there were quite a few vicious hits taking place. Two of which took out two phenomenal players (whom I've had the displeasure of trying to defend in the MAC), Brett Greenwood (#30) and Colin Sandeman (#22).


sandeman @ Yahoo! Video

In the clip below, Sandeman gets blindsided with what would appear to be an other wise innocuous hit, but the neurological impact can be clearly seen. In light of the recent research of brain trauma and the long-term degenerative impact, this may amp up how these injuries are dealt with by training staffs.

But more importantly (for coaches), as Head Coach Mark Dantonio protests, defensive back, Jeremy Ware, was flagged for a 15 yard penalty of unnecessary roughness. From how we coach form tackling, Ware was in textbook position and presented his chest as the tackling surface.


shoots @ Yahoo! Video

eye opener @ Yahoo! Video
It just so happened that his helmet made contact with Sandeman's helmet. From a technique standpoint, I am unsure what Ware could have done to consciously prevent the injury (as his head naturally dips in anticipation of the hit as the chest makes contact).

See Malcolm Gladwell on Brain Injuries in Football , Brain Injuries and the NFL , Concussions Management in Sports

Further commentary here;

http://coachhuey.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=33694

7 comments:

Jon E said...

That was most definitely a penalty- Ware lowers his profile to lead with his helmet, then lowers his helmet at the end to spear Sandeman in a textbook earhole hit.

I watched the clip 4 or 5 times and I don't see where the chest made contact.

In light of the brain trauma research, this was a stupid choice by Ware, with the potential for life-altering effects for Sandeman. Thus an easy and good penalty call.

Anonymous said...

it was such an easy penalty to call that it only took the refs 40 seconds of the kid lying on the ground hurt before they decided to throw the flag

Andrew said...

The penalty is clearly the result of the injury, not the actual play, tackling technique, or actions of Ware. I am not aware that there is a penalty for hurting someone. Besides, I believe the flag was thrown by a ref no where near the play while the sideline ref stood idle. I think it is clear that the head to head contact was incidental, not intentional as Ware led with the shoulder and naturally the head will make contact. If this is a penatly, the NCAA should make shoulder to shoulder hits illegal as naturally heads will collide. Don't make things up on the spot. We see helmet to helmet hits and no calls constantly. The idea behind the rule is to protect an unaware player, this player took two full steps in a facing direction to the defender. The result is a good clean football play, not a cheap shot that should be penalized.

Anonymous said...

Bad call. The flag only came 42 seconds after the play ended, based on the emotion of seeing the kid down and potentially injured. Flag had nothing to do with what the ref actually saw during the play.

Further, if impact above the shoulders, or helmet to helmet is an automatic penalty, then it is a penalty under-whistled by about 99% of the time.

I see nothing that Ware could have done differently. Momentum and the physics involved in delivering a blow puts your upper body in front of your lower body.

Same with running with the ball. Upper body in front of lower body.

Unless one player is a good foot shorter than another, they are going to hit heads from time to time. In fact it was because of this, that some genius introduced "helmets" to the game some years ago.

Anonymous said...

Jon E, your intellect overwhelms me or maybe it's the fact that you dispise the Spartans. I'll take a pro's advise on this one. It was a textbook tackle position. If you think that's a spear, you certainly don't watch much football or haven't played. The hit was vicious and clean. Flag was thown subjectively based on thought of injury and not objectively on the rule book.

fightingchance4teens said...

i have to disagree with these types of penalties on defensive plays. from what i'm seeking i'm looking at poor route decisions by receivers and poor passing decisions by QB's. RULE ONE AND ONLY RULE! don't shallow cross a zone under defense! If a receiver cross a zone under defense the linebackers or corner its going to take his head off like you seen in the footage. Ob's don't throw to lead a receiver in zone, lead him in a man under defense but never in a zone.
force the receiver to sit in the zone and the receiver turn up field! GO NORTH! NEVER EAST AND WEST AFTER A CATCH VERSES A ZONE.

defense is being blamed for undisciplined play from the offense.

fightingchance4teens said...

i have to disagree with these types of penalties on defensive plays. from what i'm seeking i'm looking at poor route decisions by receivers and poor passing decisions by QB's. RULE ONE AND ONLY RULE! don't shallow cross a zone under defense! If a receiver cross a zone under defense the linebackers or corner its going to take his head off like you seen in the footage. Ob's don't throw to lead a receiver in zone, lead him in a man under defense but never in a zone.
force the receiver to sit in the zone and the receiver turn up field! GO NORTH! NEVER EAST AND WEST AFTER A CATCH VERSES A ZONE.

defense is being blamed for undisciplined play from the offense.

SIDEBAR