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Ray Rice: New helmet rule won't change my game

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice says he won't change his game despite the new crown-of-helmet rule -- and he doesn't believe other running backs will make changes, either.

If that's the case, get ready for the fines.

"I don't like it," Rice told the Ravens' official website. "I'm just telling you right now, there's not going to be a guy that's going to be able to get a free lick on me and think it's all right. I will defend my case, and I will defend myself as a runner."

The new rule outlaws runners from using the crown of their helmet to contact defenders outside of the tackle box. Rice and others contend that it's impossible for a back to protect himself without dipping his head and making contact.

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"If I'm in the open field and you're coming at me and I'm coming at you, and I lower my shoulder and I get flagged, I'll appeal it," Rice said. "You're going to protect yourself as a runner. Not one running back, you ask anyone in the league, not one is going to change their game. People are just going to have to deal with the consequences the first couple years."

Rice is correct about that last part. The NFL isn't going to change the rule just because players complain. The league simply will hand out penalties and fines on a weekly basis until guys get the message and figure it out. The NFL has been adamant that worried players don't understand the details of the rule and that the adjustment will be simple.

Defensive players have been going through this process for years. Ask former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison how his complaints were received.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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