There has been much discussion lately about the serious concussions that some of the players have suffered in recent football games. Some even want the sport banned if a solution is not found. I believe there are some changes that can be made to the game to improve its safety.
Just my two cents here. For decades, the sportís rule makers have tilted the rules in favor of the offense. In their desire for more exciting contests, they have gone too far. It is time that adjustments are made to help the defense.
For example, defensive backs and linebackers are no longer allowed to aggressively play the pass. The slightest amount of contact draws a penalty flag.
Defenders are forced to let receivers touch the ball first, then attempt to hit them hard enough to jar the ball loose. This has made players the target, rather than the ball. The defense should be allowed to be fight for and intercept the pass, without being called for interference. This will put their focus away from violent hits that cause concussions.
Secondly, a new rule should be enacted that makes it illegal for quarterbacks to run with the ball past the line of scrimmage. In the instances of Alex Smith and Robert Griffin III, they were injured after running downfield, rather than dropping back to pass. Defenders were forced to chase them, building up a head of steam before the tackle was to take place.
In spite of trying to protect themselves, the quarterbacks were injured anyway. Forced to stay behind the line will eliminate some of the serious collisions that take place when the runner and defender have run some distance.
Obviously, these changes will reduce scoring and possibly make the sport less interesting than it is now, but that is much preferred, rather than having players seriously injured or a call for the sport to be banned.