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Give the NFL’s new helmet rule time

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch lowers his head during a run against the New York Jets in 2012. (AP)

By staff

A lot of controversy and upheaval has surrounded the NFL’s new rule barring ball carriers from using the crown of their helmets to make forcible contact with a defender in the open field, but ESPN 710 Seattle’s Brock Huard says to give the rule time.

“I understand a lot of the frustration, because the essence of football is that gladiator mentality, that physicality that we love about our Seahawks, but I would just say slow down just a little bit,” Huard said. “Let’s see how this is called, let’s see how this is played out. To me this is going to have to be a very egregious move (to be a penalty).”

The NFL owners passed the rule Wednesday (along with repealing the similarly controversial tuck rule), deeming that ball carriers who use the crown of their helmets to make forcible contact with a defender in the open field will be penalized 15 yards from the spot of the foul. And even with the uproar from fans, players and coaches alike about the rule over the last week, the owners vote wasn’t even close — 31-1, with the lone holdout being the Cincinnati Bengals.

A video that showed the differences between what would be legal and illegal for ball carriers under the rule seemed to sway the owners.

“It’ll certainly make our runners aware of what we expect relative to use of the helmet,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “One of the questions I ask a lot is who gains from this, offense or defense? And it’s a toss-up as to which side of the ball has the advantage on this rule, if any. The main thing is it’s pro-health and safety, and that’s the big thing.”

In the video below, Huard explains the rule further and expounds on what it could mean for the Seahawks and their top running back, Marshawn Lynch.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.