The NFL’s Competition Committee will propose making it against the rules for players to leap over the line of scrimmage to try to block field goals and kicks — as Seattle’s Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor have famously done the last few years — according to a report Monday from the Washington Post.
Wagner, recall, twice leapt over the line last season against Arizona, blocking one kick and possibly altering another in overtime as the two teams battled to a 6-6 tie.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians later called the plays “bad for football,” leading Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman to say Arians’ complaints “sound foolhardy” and that his “rhetoric is denied.”
Chancellor also leapt the line to try to block a field goal in a 2015 divisional playoff game against Carolina.
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Wagner chimed in on the issue this morning, Tweeting “they shouldn’t (ban it). It’s fun jumping, I think the fans like it too.”
What’s interesting, though, is that the issue of banning leaping over the line to block kicks was first brought up by the players themselves.
The NFLPA initially recommended the ban to the Competition Committee during meetings at the NFL Combine earlier this month.
According to the Washington Post, NFLPA president Eric Winston — who was briefly in camp with the Seahawks in 2014 — said the union was proposing the ban for the good of the health of the players.
“The jumping over on the field goal, I think, is just leading to a really dangerous play for everybody,” Winston said. “If you jump over the center, the jumper is in a really bad spot. He can land on his head. I think the guys that are getting jumped over are going to end up getting hurt, with those guys landing on them. So I’ll be very interested to see what they’ll do there. I think something probably needs to be done.”
Sherman, in fact, is Seattle’s player rep and on the NFLPA’s Executive Committee, so presumably he was able to add his own rhetoric to the issue before the union made the proposal to the Competition Committee.
The Competition Committee will meet at the NFL owners’ meetings next week in Phoenix to further consider the proposal.