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Mike Tomlin: A Voice Of Reason In Helmet-to-Helmet Controversy

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin recently spoke about the recent helmet-to-helmet controversy, giving a measured, albeit obligatory vote of approval for the NFL's expected intervention:

"I'm all for player safety. I think it is the proper initiative that the NFL has. I think we need to safeguard the men that play this game to the best of our abilities and make it as safe as we can. I'm a proponent of player safety and whatever rule or rule adjustments we need to make to make it safer."

Well, okay. I don't know of any coaches, players, fans, or journalists who are against player safety, do you? To say otherwise would be just as absurd as when politicians accuse their opponents of being "anti jobs" or "anti economic growth." Advocating for player safety (nominally) is kind of meaningless.

More to the point - although I guarantee you it will get talked about less - Tomlin also said that outside linebacker James Harrison's collisions with Browns receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi were "legal hits, not fineable hits. [Harrison] played good football."  

Tomlin also expressed precisely the same sentiments I wrote earlier in this stream, with regard to the unavoidability of helmet-to-helmet strikes:

"Helmet-to-helmet contact is going to occur from time to time in football. Things happen fast, these are big, moving people. I think the issue is here that we coach a lowering of the target, to reduced the number of those opportunities and to talk about flagrant or egregious approaches."

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.