Merton Hanks was an NFL defensive back before he became the guy in charge of issuing fines to NFL defensive backs. And he says theres no doubt in his mind that those fines have changed the way defensive backs do their jobs.
Hanks, whose title in the league office is Vice President for Football Operations, told the New York Times that there was a player in this seasons Jaguars-Titans game who had a clear shot at a tackle but let the receiver go by and get to the end zone for a touchdown - which was presumably a result of feeling uncertain about whether he had a proper angle to hit the receiver without drawing a flag.
As a former defensive player, I cant tell you Im happy about this, Hanks said. The fact of the matter is guys, when they are unsure, they are turning down hits. Thats a paradigm shift in our league. Usually, you make the hit and well figure it out later.
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