Home » Blog » NFL Coaches Concerned New Ejection Rule Will Lead to “Goon” Mentality

NFL Coaches Concerned New Ejection Rule Will Lead to “Goon” Mentality

The handful of new rules instilled every NFL offseason can carry a number of unforeseen results that can’t truly be predicted until they enforced during a game.

But some coaches have already expressed fear that Roger Goodell’s new “two strikes and you’re out” policy – wherein a player that receives two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game is automatically ejected – could lead to the rise of the “goon” in the modern league.

Traditionally a hockey term, a goon is a veteran player who lacks some of the skill and finesse of his younger superstar teammates. He lives to enforce order on the ice, often through fear and intimidation. He initiates fights and even serves time in the penalty box if need be, all to protect his teammates, elicit a reaction and show that his team is not one to be messed with.

According to NFL insider Jay Glazer, “coaches are very frustrated” with the implications of the new rule, claiming that “if a star player gets one [unsportsmanlike conduct] flag, the other team will spend the rest of the game baiting that player.”

One unnamed head coach claimed that every NFL roster contains ten to fifteen players susceptible to short tempers. When teams identify those players, they will employ aggressors simply to bait them into penalties and ejections, thus spoiling the integrity of the game.

The retort to those complaints is simple: don’t get flagged in the first place. But such stoicism on the gridiron is easier said than done when judgement calls and retaliatory attacks form the basis of many a 15-yard penalty.

But one thing that coach failed to recognise: don’t teams try to draw personal fouls anyway? It’s not as though a 15-yard piggyback upfield is anything to sneeze at. How many times do players initiate confrontation, only to get a double-palmed shove in the sternum and then immediately raise their hands in innocence?

Frankly, it sounds like the coaches who are against the rule are simply worried the change won’t benefit them and their undisciplined players. It’s taken long enough, but the NFL is finally starting to show a bit of backbone with regards to eradicating dirty play from the game.

Goons won’t be goons for very long if it is their pushing and prodding that’s towing the officials’ line. In the meantime, the rule is a warning signal to players that like to cross said line: straighten up fast, because you can’t help your team from the locker room.

  • 100%