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Competition committee to look at QB protection

The NFL competition committee will meet this week ahead of annual owners' meeting, which takes place later this month in Florida.

Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, noted Monday that among the issues the committee will discuss this week are rule adjustments to ensure player safety, including possible expansion of low-hit protection for quarterbacks in the pocket.

It has been more than a decade since Steelers defensive tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen went low, smashing into then-Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, tearing the signal-caller's ACL. The hit led to the rule change to protect quarterbacks in the pocket.

Low hits still happen throughout the course of the season. Former Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, for example, hurt Marcus Mariota on a similarly low hit.

The NFL has gone out of its way to protect the quarterback. The dearth of quality signal-callers justifies the league's efforts to protect the most vital position in sports. Others might argue that the rules discriminate against defensive players, who are paid to try and stop quarterbacks.

The competition committee will attempt to strike a balance between protecting quarterbacks and allowing defenders to do their job.

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