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Is the 3-point stance on the way out in the NFL?

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and former NFL

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and former NFL coach John Madden, right, laugh while riding in his bus from the Baltimore Ravens football camp to the Washington Redskins camp, Wednesday. (Aug. 4, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Very interesting comments from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during a stop at the Browns' training camp in Berea, Ohio, where he addressed the issue of player safety and discussed the eventual phasing out of the three-point stance as a way to reduce concussions.

Goodell even suggested that the three-point stance might one day be prohibited for offensive and defensive linemen because it promotes helmet-to-helmet collisions. Goodell has discussed the idea at length with former Hall of Fame head coach and broadcaster John Madden; the two are traveling around the country visiting teams this summer.

"Coach Madden and I were talking about that a lot on the tour, and we've talked about it a lot in the past," Goodell said, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal. "And it's one of the areas that we'll continue to look at. But it's also interesting [because] we were talking about it in the context of the current game. You're seeing a lot of that right now. There's a lot less three-point stance because of the offensive formations and systems that teams are employing. I think we'll continue to evaluate that, but I think it is a trend that's changing already in our game."

Not everyone is in favor of the idea, Ulrich writes. Browns defensive lineman Robaire Smith said the game would undergo a major change without players being allowed to use the three-point stance.

"I think that would change everybody's job," Smith said. "For one, it would take leverage and explosion out of the game. It would almost be like really saying don't go out there, don't be physical, don't hit. I think it would be taking away like 70 percent of what really goes on in football."

Browns offensive lineman Eric Steinbach isn't convinced the elimination of the three-point stance would reduce concussions.

"It wouldn't change nothing because you're still gonna hit," Steinbach said. "Linebackers are in a two-point stance, and they got to come up [and hit]. This is a game of forward motion. You can't be passive and kind of sit back. Whether you're in a two-point or a three-point [stance], when the ball is snapped, you have to come off."

New York Sports