The great Packers coach Vince Lombardi is often used as the embodiment of a time when men were men, football players were tough, and no one complained about too much helmet-to-helmet contact. But one of Lombardi’s players says that in reality, Lombardi was concerned about players’ well-being and coached players to avoid hits to the head.
Dave Robinson, a linebacker who was voted into the Hall of Fame this year, played 12 years in the NFL, including five seasons on Lombardi’s Packers in the 1960s. And Robinson told USA Today that Lombardi would stand behind NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in his efforts to make the game safer.
“He was very strict about dirty play,” Robinson said. “He would never have stood for helmet-to-helmet contact, he just wouldn’t have.”
Robinson said he thinks that old-school coaches, who grew up playing football in the days of leather helmets and no facemasks, came up at a time when players hit with their shoulders and therefore coached that way.
Interesting observation and a good point - one could argue the equipment changes made the game different than intended (in a more dangerous way), resulted in the loss of form tackling, etc. I think the thing which cannot be argued is the QBs are protected more. Of course people who complain about that need to consider this - what would JJ Watt do if he could head slap like Deacon Jones?