Urlacher among players speaking out over hits

It’s no surprise that word from players around the league has started to filter out over the last 24 hours following the NFL’s crackdown on illegal helmet-to-helmet hits.

We heard from Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw yesterday, and here’s a look at some of the other reaction around the league:

Brian Urlacher, Bears: “It’s freaking football. There are going to be big hits. I don’t understand how they can do this after one weekend of hitting. And I can’t understand how they can suspend us for it. I think it’s a bunch of bull (crap). … You know what we should do? We should just put flags on everybody. Let’s make it the NFFL — the National Flag Football League. It’s unbelievable.” (Chicago Tribune)

Tom Brady: (locker room interview) “It’s a dangerous game, it really is. I think we all signed up for this game knowing that it’s dangerous. I know Rodney Harrison did too. I heard some of his comments about the style of play and you’re right, nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. That’s not why we play the game. But we also know the physical nature of this sport is that people do get hurt. We’ve all been hurt. Everybody in this locker room has been hurt. I’ve had four or five surgeries. It’s just part of what you’re signing up for.”

Chris Harris, Bears: (via Twitter) “This is so wrong on so many levels. What about the RBs who lead with their helmets why haven’t they got fined? Oh cuz no one got hurt. …  If ur gonna fine that much u might as well suspend without pay bc essentially they will b playing 4 free for a wk or 2 n putting ur body n harms way with no compensation for it.”

Nick Barnett, Packers: (via Twitter) “No big hits?? What sport are we playing now :-(”

Darnell Dockett, Cardinals: (via Twitter) “So many rules N the NFL, we get fine 4 EVERYTHING socks, jersey out, celebrations tweeting, personal fouls, now its gonna be big hits … And how could I forget they also want us to play 18games! “18games” I can almost guarantee injuries will increase & careers will be shorten! … But with all that said I love my job, But I love the game of football More and yes there is a difference!”

Josh Cribbs, Browns: (via Twitter) “I have no bad will towards LB James Harrison. That’s what he’s suppose to do knock people out, it’s what makes him one of the best. … I don’t believe he intentionally wants to injure anyone, but it is apart of the game. … He has been hitting people like that as my teammate at Kent State & now as my rival he still hits people like that… He is still my boy.”

Kawika Mitchell, free agent: (via Twitter) “Do you seriously think tackling is the only time players hit helmet to helmet? We know the risk. We have to play smart but IT IS FOOTBALL. … Seriously… We shouldn’t wear helmets in practice. It would mean less hits and allow us to learn how to avoid each other heads.”

Chad Ochocinco, Bengals: “Hits like this have been part of the NFL for years. There’s something going on with concussions so now the NFL is cracking down on keeping us safer. Everything is instinct. You play the game a certain way and to come and try to change that technique and program what you have learned from Day 1 is going to be tough. We’re going to be pulling flags.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Terrell Owens, Bengals: “It’s a matter of guys going out and playing football. I think there’s so much emphasis on the helmet-to-helmet, these things have been happening throughout the course of football. But now with the concussions now everyone is paying a lot more attention.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Antrel Rolle, Giants: “This is the game of football. It’s a game of speed, this is a game of power, this is a game of physical guys going to battle. Once you start saying to guys, ‘You’ll get suspended for a game,’ that’s when you’re going to get a very, very tentative football game.” (New York Post)

Channing Crowder, Dolphins: “If they’re going to keep making us go more and more and more like a feminine sport, we’re going to wear pink every game, not just on the breast cancer months.” (Palm Beach Post)

— Frank Tadych

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