The NFL held a meeting with the league's owners and stakeholders in Dallas on Wednesday to discuss some of the plays and rules that are impacting the league this year. The infamous 'Tush Push' (or 'Brotherly Shove') play was one of the top items to discuss on their agenda, as they contemplated removing the Eagles' patented QB sneak from the game. Fortunately, it looks like this play will remain (at least for the rest of the season).
While there is an argument to be made on both sides for the Tush Push play, nearly every fan can join together in agreeance that banning the hip-drop tackle would be a load of garbage. This was a high-priority topic on the agenda at the NFL owner's meeting ahead of Week 15, according to Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network.
Sadly, it looks like the NFL is taking steps toward banning this tackle. Here's what NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent had to say regarding the future of the hip-drop tackle, according to NFL reporter Mark Maske of the Washington Post.
For those who aren't aware of how to define a hip-drop tackle, this is when a defender encircles a ball carrier and swings their weight to fall down on their side or their leg. Here's an example from a hip-drop tackle on Seahawks' QB Geno Smith from October:
Probably the most egregious example of this is Logan Wilson's tackle on Mark Andrews this year. The Bengals' linebacker dropped his hip while tackling Andrews this year. Unfortunately, this resulted in a season-ending injury for the former All-Pro tight end.
Why the NFL should not ban the 'hip-drop' tackle
While most fans are all for player safety, banning the hip-drop tackle will quickly prove to be a mistake. The biggest reason why is that it is such a subjective judgment call.
The hip-drop tackle is so loosely defined with different severities that there will likely be no consistency when officials elect to throw the flag. How flagrantly does a defender need to fall on their leg or hip for this to qualify as a hip-drop tackle? After all, isn't that what tacklers are supposed to do: take the offensive player to the ground as quickly as possible?
This will make life miserable for every defender in the league. It's hard enough trying to avoid the facemask or the back of the shoulder pads when a ball carrier lowers his head in an effort to gain more yards. Now these defenders will have to worry about the manner in which they take the offensive player to the ground.
I understand why the NFL would want to remove this type of tackle from the game, but I think we are opening up Pandora's box by letting perhaps the most subjective judgment call work its way into the game permanently.
For the sake of the business, football fans want to see fewer flags called and better officiating. It's only going to get worse if the hip-drop tackle is banned from the game. The injury to Mark Andrews was unfortunate and we can all join together in wishing him a speedy recovery, but the NFL should not ban the hip-drop tackle.