Film study should help bypass rules

The new rules will adversely affect cornerbacks this season, but film study and offseason workouts should help them overcome the rules, according to Eric Allen.

Updated: August 31, 2004, 12:54 PM ET
By Eric Allen | ESPN Insider
The NFL has employed new rules this season that inhibit cornerbacks' ability to bump receivers off the line of scrimmage. Ostensibly this new rule is set to even the playing field between receivers and cornerbacks, but all it really does is just help the offense. This rule hits defenses and the techniques that CBs employ for success very hard.

Champ Bailey
Cornerbacks need to work on their technique and get in the film room to beat the new rules.
I feel that if the offenses are so worried about what the cornerbacks are doing in bump-and-run coverage they should get their receivers to work on their technique, instead of complaining about it. Pacifying offenses with this rule is only a temporary fix because referees will call illegal contact, which is a five-yard infraction and not a spot-of-the-foul penalty. The increasing number of penalties that will result will only serve to prolong games, and I don't know anyone who wants longer games.

Despite my complaints about the new emphasis on illegal contact and how it could adversely affect my defensive brethren, there are two ways to limit the effect the rule will have.

Eric Allen

NFL studio analyst
Eric Allen, a 14-year NFL veteran and was one of the NFL's premier defensive backs, joined ESPN in August 2002 as an NFL studio analyst. His primary role is providing analysis for ESPNEWS' Monday Quarterback.