CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Has the NFL become the new Arena League?
But now, it’s a game played in the air.
The ground and pound days are officially over.
The new NFL is a pass happy league.
Oddly, it has become a game of 7-on-7, where screen passes are equivalent to running back sweeps.
As a result, the game is performed from the shotgun with five wide receivers.
Quarterbacks, in fact, have become so comfortable from this formation that many of the rookies entering the league can’t even handle snaps under the center.
Yes, the NFL has sadly started to look like Arena football.
In other words, there are “a lot of points and very little defense.”
New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott confirmed this blasphemous comparison during a recent interview on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.
“Football is getting more like a basketball game.” said Scott. “It’s about who can be the most athletic. It’s not about down-hill power anymore. It’s like the Arena League.
Now, that’s a damn shame.
But, it is so true.
The NFL is a quarterback’s league.
Just check the stats, in only three games rookie QB Cam Newton has already thrown for over a 1,000 yards.
Yes, this new aerial assault on the game has almost completely eliminated the fullback position.
And in this new system, running backs have been minimized and devalued.
Consider the fact that, last week against the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson only rushed the ball five times in the second half.
Plus, look at the way the Tennessee Titans treated Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson during the offseason.
While Johnson had to holdout to get a new contract, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was rewarded a contract worthy of a quarterback without any complaints.
Unfortunately, this is the new direction of the league.
Wide receivers are now valued more than running backs.
Check the recent NFL draft in order to see how running backs are viewed by the league.
It has become the norm.
And now, it’s an acceptable part of the game.
This new fast pace football has not only infected the NFL, it has “spread its wings” in college as well as in high school.
And before long, offensive coordinators will simply stop handing the ball off to running backs until they become obsolete.
There, however, is always an exception to the rule.
South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier still has an old-school philosophy.
Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t have any other option.
He must put the football in the hands of Heisman hopeful RB Marcus Lattimore at least 32 times a game in order to win, because he is too afraid QB Stephen Garcia is going to throw another interception if he passes the ball.
Despite Spurrier’s effort to keep the running game alive, it’s still depressing to see a team panic on third and one, especially a professional football team.
Its mind boggling to see a quarterback get sacked on fourth down and inches because coaches are afraid to run the football.
This Sunday sit back and watch how many teams call time-out on third and two.
And after they break out of the huddle, watch them throw an incomplete pass or interception in the REDZONE.
Will somebody please give the ball to the running back and let the 245 pound fullback clear-out a path for him to run?
This is football isn’t?