NFL News: Papa, Can You Speak Louder?

I don’t think the following article I found on is an April Fool’s joke–I hope it isn’t.

NFL defenders to wear ‘wired’ helmets

Coaches will be able to speak with players on the field

Published on: 04/01/08
Palm Beach, Fla. — Taking another technological step forward, NFL owners approved a communication device for defenses Tuesday.

One defensive player will wear a helmet similar to what the quarterback is allowed on offense. Should that player leave the game, a teammate can be designated to also have the device. But only one defender with the device can be on the field at a time.

“We want to safeguard against a situation with two players on the field at the same time with the helmet communication,” said Atlanta Falcons president and competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay.

“We are talking about a three-down player, perhaps a linebacker who doesn’t come off the field,” added Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, the other co-chairman of the committee that recommended instituting the device. Fisher has just such a player in Keith Bullock.

“In the event he goes down because of an injury, we’d identify our backup player as another three-down player.”

Fisher noted this change won’t eliminate entirely the need for signals from the sideline, something that pretty much has disappeared for offenses.

“The defense will still have need to signal in a hurry-up situation, where the ball is snapped very early,” he said.

The vote was 25-7 in favor — 24 yes votes were required — and all seven negatives came from head coaches with offensive backgrounds.

Voting against the measure were Seattle (Mike Holmgren), Tampa Bay (Jon Gruden), Oakland (Lane Kiffin), Philadelphia (Andy Reid), St. Louis (Scott Linehan), Washington (Jim Zorn) and Green Bay (Mike McCarthy).

Read what Bill Belichick had to say about this matter here.

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