Richard Sherman explains why 'idiotic' helmet rule goes against tackling fundamentals

For the most part, the common refrain from NFL players on the handling of on-field discipline for violations of the new helmet rule has been total and utter confusion. No one knows why or when the refs will throw a flag, and there has only been, for the most part, outcry against the general concern. 

Thankfully, Richard Sherman, 49ers cornerback and quite often voice of reason in these matters, has expressed his opinion. And his opinion meshes nicely with that of the general public, the media and most players: the rule stinks and it doesn't make sense. 

Sherman took to Twitter on Sunday and called the new rule "idiotic" while noting that it creates a bad situation for players attempting to tackle. 

Sherman is 100 percent correct here. The NFL wants to mitigate the damage that can be done by players going head first. That makes sense and injuring themselves by utilizing their helmet as a weapon/compressing their neck when they make contact incorrectly. This is what happened to Ryan Shazier late in the 2017 season. (Shazier himself has said, by the way, that adjusting to the new rule will be difficult.)

But the officials are throwing flags at guys who are simply adjusting their bodies and MOVING their heads in order to tackle with their shoulder. See: here.

There are plenty of people in the mentions on that tweet arguing it SHOULD be an illegal hit. But it's very obvious no one is fully aware of what should and what should not be a penalty these days. 

There are plenty of people -- including current players -- who think that the new helmet rule will eventually be a good thing or at least something the NFL ratchets down once the actual season starts. Maybe that's the case.

We talked about that on the latest Pick Six Podcast -- it's daily NFL talk, subscribe right here! -- and it would be fantastic if the league tells the refs to relax on slinging these flags.

But just the fact that we don't know what's going to happen in the regular season, nor do we know what's going to happen on any given hit during any given game on any given Sunday (or Thursday or Friday or Saturday) goes to show how confusing this current rule is. 

And when a guy like Sherman, who played as part of a dynastic defensive group notorious for pushing boundaries on hits but also ensuring they used proper tackling techniques (it was a big part of how Pete Carroll approached the game with this group), is out here pointing out the flaws in the way the rule is enforced, it's time to sit up and listen.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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