John Lynch was responsible for a lot of crushing hits in his time. At his Ring of Honor press conference, he talked about the current NFL with tackling under a microscope.
John Lynch was one of the fiercest hitters over the last 20 years. He laid out a great many players during his 11 years in Tampa Bay, and 15 years in the NFL. His talent has been recognized of late, as he is a finalist for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, and yesterday, the next member of the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor.
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Tackling in the NFL is a big topic, as we all know. Hitting too high, hitting too low, is under a microscope. The safety of the players is a major focus, as well it should be. With that, Lynch understands that some of his hits that earned him the nickname “The Closer”, may have drawn a flag in today’s NFL:
"“It’s a different game,” said Lynch. “It’s changed and it’s had to. There are a lot of things maybe we’re discovering that we didn’t know then, so the game is changing.”"
At his press conference, Lynch was asked if his career would have reached these same heights if he played in today’s NFL:
"“I do bristle a little bit at that notion because I say, ‘Look at a guy like Kam Chancellor up there in Seattle.’ He’s learned, and you adjust,” said the nine-time Pro Bowler. “I played the way I was taught to play and I did it to the best of my ability. That’s what we were taught. Some of those things we saw on that film wouldn’t fly in today’s football, I understand that, but I think I also would have changed and I would have adjusted to the way it’s being coached now.”"
The question is a good one, but Lynch’s answer is better. Excusing poor play out of safeties in the current NFL is just that, making excuses. Players that want to be good, will be good, no matter what the rules are. Lynch is absolutely right. If he came into the league as it is today, he would be fine. Lynch would learn the correct tackling technique, and his career would have been as good.
John Lynch was a great player, and he would have been, no matter what.