LATEST NEWS : Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh issued a strong comment on the NFL’s hip-drop tackle prohibition.

John Harbaugh has spoken out in support of the NFL’s decision to outlaw the hip-drop tackle, which sparked outrage among a number of past and present defensive players.
Despite criticism from players, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has supported the NFL’s recent ban on the swivel hip-drop tackle.

Last month, at their annual meeting, NFL owners decided overwhelmingly to prohibit the hip-drop tackle from the game. Any player spotted performing this now-illegal move during a game will receive a 15-yard penalty. However, Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, warned that it may result in warning letters and fines after the game, rather than being flagged during it.

Harbaugh has pushed for the ban since his star tight end, Mark Andrews, was wounded by the tackle during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Logan Wilson, a Bengals linebacker, wrapped his arms around Andrews before sliding to the ground and twisting to face him, causing him to fall heavily on his knees.
Andrews, 28, suffered a shattered fibula and an ankle ligament injury, forcing him to miss the remainder of the regular season. This left Baltimore without a crucial offensive player in the final stretch. As a result, Harbaugh is relieved to see this dangerous play, which also injured Tyreek Hill late in the season, condemned to history.

“When you drop down on the back of his legs, it’s a mass … and it’s 25 times more likely to have a serious injury,” Harbaugh told reporters on Tuesday. “So, it’s really a bad play, and it needed to be out.

“And guys are going to tackle just fine without the quote-unquote hip-drop tackle, because they tackled just fine without it for 100 years of football before that, when you never saw it, really.”

The NFL defended its decision to ban the controversial hip-drop tackle by highlighting the significant risks and injuries it poses, despite pushback from players and the NFL Players Association. NFL executive Jeff Miller pointed out last month that the hip-drop tackle was executed 230 times in the previous season, resulting in 15 players being sidelined due to injuries. “When did you ever hear about the hip-drop tackle until like two years ago, three years ago, right? ” Harbaugh questioned. “That’s because it was discovered, probably, in rugby and started being used as a specific technique. It’s a three-part movement, [and] you’ve got to execute that play.

“You have to get close enough to that ball carrier to wrap him around his hips, pull him close to you, swing your hips through, and descend on the back of his legs. If you’re that close, wrap him up, tackle him, and take him down, as Ray Lewis and everyone else did for the previous century.”

The NFL traditionally defined a hip-drop tackle as one in which a defender approaches from the side or behind, wraps their arms around the ball carrier, drops to the ground, and lands on the opponent’s knees. This phrase precisely describes Wilson’s tackle on Andrews, even if the Bengals linebacker did not want to inflict harm.

Following the decision to restrict the hip-drop, NFL analyst Brian Baldinger expressed concern about the difficulties officials may encounter when judging similar tackles, especially if this particular play proved difficult to call. However, making it an offence punishable after the game rather than during play may solve this problem.

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