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Browns Legend Doesn’t Hold Back His Thoughts On New NFL Rule


Cleveland Browns helmets rest on the bench prior to a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

 

Cleveland Browns legend Eric Metcalf is an outspoken critic of the hip-drop tackle.

The 56-year-old NFL veteran recently said, via Bally Sports Cleveland on Twitter, that he is in favor of banning the controversial move.

“When we’re talking about this hip-drop (tackle), you’re injuring people,” Metcalf told Max Loeb in a recent interview.

Metcalf played for seven different teams over a career that spanned three different decades.

Primarily a returner over his 13-year career, Metcalf noted that defenders do not consider this move an issue because they lack experience on the opposite side of the ball.

Metcalf noted that defensive players are upset with the ban as some have called it a move toward flag football and away from tackle football.

Yet, Metcalf reiterated that his experience with the tackle led him to his beliefs that the NFL made the right decision.

During the NFL meetings in March, owners voted to ban the hip-drop tackle effective immediately.

The NFL cited safety concerns for players as the move – a tackle around the waist or hip involving the weight of the defensive tackler pulling down the offensive player – led to missed playing time for multiple athletes in 2023.

Kickoff changes were also implemented by the NFL, moving defenders closer to the returner to promote returns while avoiding collisions.

Both moves could lead to more offensive production, according to another recent analysis of the hip-drop check.

Metcalf played six years with the Browns from 1989-1994.

The utility athlete notched 541 career receptions for 5,572 yards and 31 touchdowns during his professional career.

Metcalf also rushed 630 times for 2,392 rushing yards and 12 scores over his professional career.


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