Mixed feelings over NFL's new safety rule - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Mixed feelings over NFL's new safety rule

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Some may call it a game changer, others a penalty against players after the NFL passes a new safety rule barring players from using the crown of their helmet to make contact with a defender in the open field.

"They're trying to protect defenders, that's a first cause. Usually, it's the other way around," said Ted Johnson, a retired NFL player.

Johnson showed our cameras three super bowl championship rings, plenty of pictures and shared even more memories of his days out on of the field.

"I wanted to put the crown of my helmet right under a guy's chin and every time a guy would come at me .. .a guard... a tackle," says Johnson.

He says it was a technique called "stun and separate."

It's ultimately what he says led to numerous concussions and head injuries that eventually led to his decision to retire in 2005.

Now from the sidelines Johnson calls for more safety and agrees with Dr. Kenneth Podell , co-director at Methodist Concussion Center.

Podell says, "This type of rule change is more likely to reduce the number of sub-concussive hits. Those hits that are pretty hard but don't reach the level of a concussion so it's clearly in an attempt to reduce injuries."

Granted he says, it could change a players style when it comes to playing the game of football, but ultimately this is all about safety not penalizing fans from a good game.

"It's still going to be the best game, a physical game, a violent game, but I think they're trying to take the helmet out as a weapon and that's really... guys use it as that (a weapon) and it's got to stop."

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