Pittsburgh Steelers  

 

Steelers' Rooney hopes NFL outlaws horse-collar tackles on QBs

  • By NFL.com
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Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II is hoping that the league eventually comes around on his view that defenders should not be allowed to use horse-collar tackles to bring down quarterbacks.

The Steelers proposed a rule that would have given quarterbacks the same protection as other players currently enjoy against such tackles, but owners declined to approve it during a Wednesday vote at the NFL Annual Meeting.

According to comments published in a Thursday report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rooney is not giving up on the proposal.

"I still think there's hope we'll get it passed at some point," Rooney said. "I think this one kind of snuck up on them. If we can get the competition committee -- at least some members of the competition committee -- to take it seriously, then there's a chance."

Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger takes a lot of hits. He was sacked 40 times last season, tied for third-most in the league, and was forced to miss a game with a high ankle sprain.

Owners voted to make the regular-season overtime format match that which is used in the postseason, among other rules changes. But they did not approve the horse-collar proposal.

Competition committee chairman Rich McKay explained after the Wednesday vote that owners "didn't think this can impact ... player safety."

Rooney acknowledged that viewpoint in his comments to the Post-Gazette.

"The committee doesn't think (quarterbacks) have the same risk as the runner because of this torque issue," Rooney said. "When they're running and you pull them down from behind it's a more violent kind of tackle than if the guy's just standing there."

Rooney disagreed with owners on one proposal that did pass: a change that will allow all turnovers to be reviewed. Rooney told the Post-Gazette that he gave the sole "no" vote on that proposal because he fears it will slow the game down. Rooney would prefer for coaches to have to risk losing a timeout by challenging such calls rather than giving that power to officials.

"As far as we're concerned, that's why you have the coaches challenges," Rooney said, explaining his no vote. "Now you're going to have coaches challenging (a spot) -- a gain of 5 yards instead of 4 yards, stuff like that."

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