On March 21st, the NFL made a controversial rule change which will prohibit any player - offensive or defensive - from initiating contact in the open field with the crown of his helmet. Runners can protect themselves by dropping their pads - it's only illegal, says the NFL, if you use the helmet to ram your opponent.
Many ex NFL players find the rule change to be a bad rule change. Hall of Famer Earl Campbell made the following statement:
"I know there's going to be some things changed, but I never thought I agreed with Jack Lambert Twenty years or 10 years ago, he said the quarterback is going to end up wearing a dress. I did not think that I would live long enough to see that happen, but he's right. I think what they ought to do, if they really want to change it all up, give guys like we started football in elementary, flag football, and everybody will know not to bump into nobody.”
Another Hall of Famer, Eric Dickerson, made this statement regarding the rule change:
"I think it's a bad rule, mostly because its a natural reaction. You'll never be able to police it. Running backs have to be able to protect themselves and doing that is protecting yourself. That will never happen. What's next, take the stiff arm away?"
Hopefully the players can remain safe and the game won't change dramatically with the rule change. However, certainly the incredible run by Campbell set forth below would be illegal in today's NFL.