The NFL's newly minted crown-of-the-helmet rule has been met with criticism by players past and present.
"Truth be told, I'm not trying to run nobody over," Bryant told The Dallas Morning News. "I'm really just trying to make them miss, trying to score every time I touch the ball. But they keep making these rules, people aren't going to want to watch football anymore. I don't think that rule is going to last long. There's going to be so many penalties in this league. Too many guys getting fined. It's hard for somebody to pay attention to trying to not to use their helmet."
One of Bryant's teammates, cornerback Brandon Carr, warned that the NFL is "trying too hard on that topic."
Said Carr: "It's one thing to improve safety, but it can't just challenge the integrity of the game. I don't see too many running backs out there running with their heads down intentionally trying to spear you or anything with their helmet. Most running backs lower their shoulder anyway. You're taught to lower the shoulder and bring the boom."
Players don't like the rule and neither do fans, largely because of concerns that hyper-attention to player safety is getting in the way of letting "football be football," as Mike Mayock put it. We'll know in September if that's the case.