EUGENE, Ore. – The NFL is pushing to make football safer, by implementing a rule that would keep players from lowering their heads, and making contact with opponents.
KEZI spoke with Josh Line, the Head Football Coach at Sheldon High School. Line said this new rule has been in the works for several years.
The NFL said under the rule, players will be penalized 15 yards, and potentially kicked off the field any time they lower their head to initiate contact with another player.
Line said similar to the NFL rule, high school players can also receive a penalty or be potentially ejected if they initiate contact with their helmet.
Line understands why parents are reluctant to have their children playing football, but hopes this new rule change will encourage more parents to let their children participate in a sport he loves.
"We want kids to play. We know how important it is for kids to play and we want them to feel safe and comfortable playing the game,” said Line. “I mean there's no way it can be 100% safe, it's just not realistic for any sport you would play, much less football. I think a lot of the changes that have occurred both on the field and off the field as you prepare to play a game, have made the game safer."
Line said he has been teaching his players for years not to use their heads when they are tackling or about to contact another player.
He hopes with this rule, other coaches will do the same and teach their players to use their hands, chest and shoulders more than their helmets during a football play.
Line said he has talked to other coaches in the area, who are also in favor of the new NFL changes to make the sport safer.
The NFL plans on meeting again in May, to continue to develop new rule change.