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Giants news, 8/3: Officials offer insight into helmet rule

Let’s see what’s going on with Big Blue

NFL: New York Giants at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, New York Giants fans! It’s BBV meet-up day, so hopefully we will see you at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. First, some headlines.

Helmet rule discussed

Referee Jerome Boger led a four-man league officiating crew who worked practice to start a three-day visit. In separate presentations, the officials showed the players and coaches and media representatives a video highlighting NFL rules changes for 2018

The change that has received the most scrutiny is the rule that makes it illegal for a player to lower his head to initiate and make contact with the helmet on an opponent. The contact is not limited to an opponent’s head or neck area, and the lowering of the head and initiating contact to a player’s torso, hips and lower body is also considered an infraction.

The new rule, implemented in March, is designed to improve player safety. The penalties for a violation include a loss of 15 yards or ejection. The rule was devised to make the game safer for the players.

“I am all for player safety and I’m all for us playing and coaching a game that is still very fun for the fans to watch but safe for the players,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “We have talked about the use of the head, how we don’t want it, and how it can’t be a part of our game.”

Linebacker Alec Ogletree didn’t sound thrilled by the rule.

“It will be interesting to see defensively. It’s kind of tough for us to take our heads out of it as much as possible,” Ogletree said. “I understand why they are trying to do it, but at the same time it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of impact it has.”

“There are attributes that will jump out to us as officials that we’ll look for,” said Boger, who is entering his 13th season as an NFL referee. “One was the lowering of the head, that linear position. I get back to, they want you to see what you tackle. If you can see what you tackle, it kind of eliminates the problem. But when we as officials see that head go down, our tentacles are going to go up, and let’s see where we’re going with this.”

“Sloppy” practice?

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard said after Thursday’s practice that he thought the workout was “sloppy.”

“I just think we had too many balls on the ground. Could’ve cleaned up the – just from the huddle, everything. Some of the little things. I mean doesn’t always have to be big things. Just as simple as breaking the huddle with a clap,” Shepard said. “Guys are tired, tend to forget to do that type of thing, but I think it’s a big deal. It’s going to be a big deal later on down the road.”