The targeting rule has been fodder for venom in the college football world since its inception. On its face, the move to punish players for going after the opposition in a reckless and dangerous way makes all the sense in the world but, when it comes to actual translation and implementation on the officiating side, execution has not always been spot-on since 2013 when the targeting rule arrived.
However, the Rob Gronkowski fallout and discussion surrounding on-field violence have reportedly pushed the league to potentially mirror the decisions made by the college version of the sport. In short, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent shed light on the potential implementation of a targeting rule.
It remains to be seen as to whether the NFL’s version would be identical, especially with regard to automatic ejection of a player if it is upheld after the review. Still, the mere thought of the professional ranks going in this direction will be polarizing and the discussion is likely just getting started.
The NFL may have a problem with regard to how it is perceived in this particular avenue, but going in a direction of targeting may not be the answer. Let the debate rage and the machinations begin.