New York Jets coach Robert Saleh isn’t a big fan of NFL hard hat shells.
While he recognizes the benefits the Guardian Cap offers his players and everyone else in the league – there’s no doubt about it – Saleh believes they could actually hurt later in the pre-season.
“I think because of the soft kick it allows the players to use their head a bit more. I think the first time they take it off – anyone who’s played football knows the first time you take your helmet or you hit the helmet or you have a collision, there is a shock. I think if you wait for the first game for this shock to happen… I don’t know, time will tell. It’s is just interesting with these Guardian Caps and what exactly are we trying to accomplish.”
Guardian Caps are something that’s been popping up in-game across the board for years now. Teams will ask players to wear them during practices to add extra protection against head injuries.
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The NFL requires offensive and defensive linemen, as well as tight ends and linebackers to wear the cap during the week of their second preseason game. According to the league, the cap results in at least a 10% reduction in impact severity.
While there haven’t been many notable or legitimate complaints about NFL caps, Saleh worries there’s too much of an adjustment period when they come off.
This, he thinks, could have the opposite effect.