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Daily Madden: Changing The NFL ‘Hit’ Culture

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John Madden
JohnMadden01-228 John Madden
John Madden began his pro football coaching career in 1967 as t...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Tampa Bay defensive back and former 49er Dashon Goldson was suspended for a game by the NFL for repeated violations of rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck of defenseless players. “If you do a helmet-to-helmet, you probably aren’t going to get suspended,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.

“But if you do numerous helmet-to-helmets over a period of years, I think that’s probably the next step — when they say, ‘Okay, that’s enough. We’ve had enough of you, we’re going to suspend you.'” Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather will reportedly be fined but not suspended for his helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy out of Sunday’s game with a concussion.

“Goldson was probably first in line,” John said, “And I would think with Meriweather I think they’re telling him ‘you’re next.'” Madden said the issue will continue to be sorted out through the season. “It’s a culture thing. The culture was to go for the head, to lead with the head, to use your hands and your helmet, not your shoulder pads… We have to get that out of there, and we have to get them playing more with the shoulder, we have to get them to lower the target. And I think they’re doing that… Coaches are coaching that now.”

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, back from a serious injury that ended his season last year, has struggled in Washington’s first two games, both losses. “He didn’t play any in preseason,” Madden said. “That just shows that you need preseason. This game is a hard game and if you’re a quarterback, it’s even harder. And then to think that you can not practice off season, not play any in the preseason, you know put a shirt on with an ‘S’ on your front and them come out and play, that doesn’t happen. He’s learning that. But having said that, man, his defense is killing him.” (8:10)

(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 am Mondays and Fridays on KCBS during the NFL season.)

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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