Why the uproar about faking injuries? Is this the first time anyone has noticed a defense trying to regain control over the rhythm of a game? I’m curious why attention is being brought to this now? (A great article that points out past examples)
Jim Rome burned on the Giants fake injuries for a while on his radio show Wednesday. Rome implied that it’s pathetic for a coach to ask his players to feign an injury. He said that only a “0-7 high school football coach” would do something like that. Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com came up with a plan to punish teams suspected of faking an injury. His suggestion:
“The league should expand the rule book to strip a time out from any team with a defensive player who is injured while the opposing offense is using a no-huddle attack. No questions asked, no fingers pointed. If a guy is injured on defense while defending against a no-huddle offense, his team loses a time out.”
Mr. Florio, there’s no way the NFL could do that. In a game that is so violent are you really going to punish a guy when he tells you he’s hurt? Are you really going to accuse a man who has been throwing his body full speed into other men that he’s “faking that cramp?’ Sure, there’s a chance he could be faking, but is it really a big deal? If a quarterback gets huffy over the fact that the defense is trying to slow down their no huddle trickery then so be it. That’s part of the game.
To imply that a coach has urged a player to fake an injury is a bit presumptuous. A player has free will on the field. A coach can only do so much. Do you blame a coach for a helmet-to-helmet hit? A coach can encourage a player to do something but he can’t make him do anything. That goes for the good and the bad.
The NFL sent out a memo Wednesday morning threatening repercussions to players/teams faking injuries. NFL, please. You don’t have to respond to everything that the media decides to turn into a controversy. I’m curious if a memo was sent out in 2003 when Patriot’s Willie McGinest had his famous flop against Peyton Manning’s no huddle effort?
Exploiting loopholes to gain an advantage is not a new strategy in professional football. Whether that’s:
-reading a play as it’s being called
-conferring with coaches or players who used to be with the opposing team for inside tips
-rattling the opposing team on the line
-drawing an offsides penalty to get the first down
-taking a knee or spiking the ball to avoid calling a play
-quick offensive substitutions in the no huddle offense that don’t allow a defense to also substitute
There are several “tactics” used in this game that could walk the line of cheating. Are we going to pick every one of them apart? There is actual cheating (i.e. stealing another team’s playbook, videotaping another team’s practice); and then there is the strategy of the game. If you want to say that a defensive player going down during a no huddle offensive drive is cheating then you need to look closely at all the other “tactics” teams use to regain control of the game.
Obviously if players started dropping like flies on every play something would need to be done. I don’t think that will ever happen; I don’t think anyone wants to drastically slow down the game.