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Ravens News 6/29: Problems with the helmet rule, QBs when pressured and more

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

More confusion regarding the new helmet rule - Mike Florio

This effort to clarify the rule actually creates more confusion, apart from the fact that the league office has now identified two different rules to two different media outlets as the codification of the new helmet rule. Although Rule 12-2-8 surely represents the official rule (since it tracks the precise language of the 11th-of-10 proposals made by the Competition Committee in March), the modification to the Unnecessary Roughness rule can’t be ignored.

For example Rule 12-2-8 expressly applies only when a player lowers his helmet and initiates contact. The new Unnecessary Roughness rule contains no such limitations, encompassing generally any an and all spearing, ramming, or butting with any part of the helmet, with no requirement that the action be unnecessary or violent.

The combination arguably creates far broader prohibitions than the new helmet rule alone, pulling players who spear, ram, or butt in a non-violent and necessary way without lowering the helmet and without initiating contact within the range of a potential foul.

So, yes, it’s got the potential to be a mess. In large part because it already is a mess. And depending on how the rule is applied, it could be the biggest single change to the game of football since the legalization of the forward pass.

The implementation of the new helmet rule could have a disastrous effect on the NFL product.

Rookie Tackle Greg Senat Is Using His Basketball Background to Switch Positions - Ryan Mink

Senat got a late start to football. The 6-foot-6, 308-pounder initially played two years of basketball at Wagner before picking up football and devoting most of his focus there. Senat first wanted to play tight end, but the coaches put him at right tackle after they saw his potential there.

“I have athleticism to move, so I guess that transitions to the left side and faster guys coming off the edge. I like it; it’s a new challenge,” Senat said.

“I feel like since Day 1, I’ve definitely made strides in picking up the playbook and learning how to play left tackle. I’m getting better every day and working on one specific thing to do to get better than the day before.”

Greg Senat is expected to compete against Jermaine Eluemunor, Nico Siragusa, Andrew Donnal and Bradley Bozeman for the final roster spot on the offensive line.

Quarterbacks and Pressure 2017 - Scott Kacsmar

Pressure is like any other stat in that it is not always created equally. Just as a 45-yard reception on third-and-18 is treated differently than a 3-yard grab on second-and-15, we can use DVOA as a tool to see how pressure affected a quarterback and his passing game. Where pressure differs from most stats is that its presence is subjective to charters, and there will be disagreements from time to time.

The average pressure rate in 2017 was 31.6 percent, which was the highest since 2010.

Sure enough, last season saw seven quarterbacks dip below 30.0% DVOA without pressure, and only two of those players (Eli Manning and Joe Flacco) are expected to be Week 1 starters for their teams in 2018. They also happen to be the two with Super Bowl MVP awards, but at least the Ravens drafted Lamar Jackson in the first round in April.

According to this analysis, Joe Flacco was under duress on 155 of his 584 drop backs last season. This 26.5-percent pressure rate was the sixth least in the league.