Andrew Luck’s premature retirement shows the NFL needs to give quarterbacks even more protection.
Granted, the Indianapolis Colts bear a lot of responsibility for not putting enough emphasis on getting offensive linemen to protect Luck. That is the legacy of former GM Ryan Grigson.
But a simple rule change would give them more protection.
Make it a foul to touch the quarterback once the ball leaves his hands.
Defensive players would be irate, but the punters can’t be touched once they punt the ball so why shouldn’t quarterbacks get the same protection?
Defensive players are great athletes, and they would adjust and keep themselves under control so they can stop or avoid the quarterback once he throws the pass.
An alternate would be that they couldn’t hit the quarterback after the ball is thrown unless they have their arms raised, which would stop them from hitting the quarterback at full speed a second after they throw the ball.
I don’t expect this to happen, but defensive players still get too many shots at the quarterback a second after they throw the ball.
The teams also have to put more emphasis on protecting the quarterbacks — like having a good offensive line, drilling the quarterbacks to throw quickly, sending out fewer receivers and keeping more players into block for the quarterback.
The quarterbacks are the stars of the show, and there are not enough good ones. Losing a good one is not good for teams or the league.
The NFL can’t think they’ve done everything they can do to protect the quarterbacks
They need to do more.