Shutdown Corner - NFL

The NFL sent out a short, four-minute video to all 32 teams on Thursday clarifying the new emphasis on fines and suspensions for illegal hits. 

Narrated by Ray Anderson, executive vice president of football operations, the clip highlights nine big hits and explains why each are dirty or clean. (Six dirty hits were shown compared to three clean ones. As PFT points out, all three clean hits drew penalty flags on the field.)  

-- I'm more confused than I was before. What's the difference between the Dunta Robinson(notes) hit on DeSean Jackson(notes) and the Ray Lewis(notes) hit on Dustin Keller(notes)? Other than the fact that Jackson was closer to the defender than Keller, I don't see much difference. They both hit with helmet and shoulder in the open field. So it's legal to pop someone, as long as they don't have a running start?

[Photos: Hard hit by Dunta Robinson]

-- At one point, Anderson says, "if a player launching into his opponent misses his launches point, he will nevertheless be responsible for what he hits." So, to clarify: It's all right for a quarterback out of the pocket to miss his target and throw the ball into the 15th row of the stands, but it's not acceptable for a defender to miss his target by an inch. 

-- If safety is "the biggest priority," why is this message geared only at defenders? The Robinson hit on Jackson was caused by quarterback Kevin Kolb's(notes) foolish throw over the middle. He led Jackson directly into the helmet of a defender. But somehow this is all Robinson's fault? Anderson should have said, "protecting offensive players" is our highest priority.

[Read more: NFL players speak out against new rule]

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