Titans CB Cortland Finnegan recently spoke his mind to The Tennessean about the NFL adjusting rules the last few years to further protect players with the ball, included was this gem:
"“It has sort of taken the edge of the players who really like the physical play. But I’m not surprised. It’s crazy.”"
Finnegan has been one of the more consistent players on the team since the Titans drafted him in 2006. Finnegan started the whole season in 2007 and followed that with a Pro Bowl season in 2008. I say all of this to say that when a guy that has started 63 games in the NFL at a critical position who also made the roster for the all star game and then commented on how the game is being changed for the worse. Rest assured it is worse. Football is first and foremost a physical game. If nothing else, we should listen, even if the NFL doesn’t. Finnegan had more to say:
"“You have milliseconds — not even seconds — and it’s not like you try to do it. It just so happens in that split-second you have a chance to tackle a guy and sometimes it happens to be that way,” he said. “Last year having to dive at guys’ knees because you’re not sure … If they duck, and you’re still helmet-to-helmet with them, then it is your fine, it is a penalty on you.”"
I couldn’t be more excited that someone is pointing this out besides Steelers LB James Harrison. Harrison is correct but due to his situation, the NFL is not going to pay as much attention to him. If he didn’t lead the league in fines due to the manner in which he hit in 2010, Harrison got close to the top of the list. That is why it is important for players such as Finnegan to speak out and let the league know how they stand. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for player safety, however, I agree with players such as Finnegan that it’s crazy to change this game that we all love. I know you agree, you are reading a Titans blog during June while the players are locked out of their facilities due to impending litigation. Face it, you’re an extreme fan and for that I’m glad to have you here. That’s why I want to know how you feel.