The NFL's increased enforcement of helmet-to-helmet hits is making waves across the NFL.
Steelers linebacker James Harrison said that he is considering retirement because he isn't sure if he "can actually play by NFL rules and still be effective".
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher joked that the league should put flags on all the players and change the name to the NFFL - the National Flag Football League.
In a sense, Terrell Suggs agrees with his linebacker brethren. The Ravens linebacker understands the need to keep players safe, but Suggs says he feels the increased fines and talk of suspensions for helmet-to-helmet shots is getting a little excessive.
"It's definitely getting a little soft concerning certain areas of the game," Suggs said. "But you've got to continue to play. You've got to adapt and overcome. But I'm not going to worry about it. They can do whatever they want. I'm going to play football."
Suggs said that some of the fines that were handed down yesterday were a little over the top. The league issued Harrison a $75,000 fine for a concussion-causing hit on Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson was fined $50,000 for crushing Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and concussing the wideout, and Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather was fined $50,000 for his shot on Suggs' teammate, Ravens tight end Todd Heap.
"As far as the rule, it's kind of a double-edged sword," Suggs said. "I'm kind of 50-50 with it. I have no problem with them enforcing it, but I think the amount the guys were fined, I think that's a bit excessive, especially because I think a couple of them were first-time offenders.
"It happens. You've got to understand that this is a physical sport. We're the gladiators of our time. You don't want to see hits like that, but it's part of the game. Now, a defenseless receiver stretching out for a ball, a DB comes and lays into him with his helmet, I'm totally against that. I wouldn't want to do that to anybody, I wouldn't want anybody to do that to one of my guys. But if a guy, a running back or receiver running the ball, ducks their head down and that's the only way I can get him down is to hit them with mine, that's football."
The top question asked this afternoon in the Ravens locker room was "Will the increased fines and talk of suspensions change the way you play?" Suggs' response mirrored those of his teammates.
"Nothing changes the way I play," Suggs said. "I'm going to play football at 100 miles per hour, and that goes for how they hit me, too. If I happen to be on the short end of the stick, I don't think you should adjust the way you play for anybody."