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NFL is committed to safety — when it doesn't cost money to be

As momentum was building over the weekend for a ban on the hip-drop tackle, a current head coach made an important observation.

Basically, as the league wraps itself in the "player safety" flag, it continues to ignore the basic fact that playing on grass is better for the human body than playing on an artificial surface.

It's undeniable. The forces, on a grass field, go into the ground. On a turf field, they bounce back into the body. Anyone who has ever played on an artificial surface knows that. The NFL nevertheless tries to concoct a phony debate, and to bolster the pro-turf position with warped and misleading stats.

Frankly, the NFL supports safety only when it doesn't cost any money to do so. And, alternatively, when it doesn't get in the way of the ongoing obsession to maximize revenue.

Grass fields in all stadiums would create an expense that the league doesn't want to incur, especially at a time when it's pinching pennies with NFL Network programming and luring long-time employees to take buyouts and leave.

The NFL also will not hesitate to make the inevitable push for an 18-game regular season. That's coming. It's just a question of when. And when it does, it will result in more revenue. Regardless of whether it's good for the players to play 18 regular-season games.

That's a safety issue that doesn't matter, because making it matter would mean making less money. Thus, look for any and all ongoing safety advancements to be made only as to items that aren't hazardous to the health of Big Shield's bottom line.