Head Shot

We now have 3 players out with concussions from helmet to helmet hits,
and remarkably no calls have been made on any.
Last nights non call high hit on our QB was the most puzzling
Their are strict rules on Roughing the passer
The QB CANNOT be hit in the head or below the knees!!!!!

This Pic clearly shows helmet contact to Zach's head under the chin
The other pic shows the mark on Willis' helmet from Zach's chin strap

There is no doubt it was helmet to helmet. Collaros’ helmet was partially dislodged before he hit the ground.

That was a tough hit - it deserved a penalty. I am just as concerned about Collaros’ back and knee from impact with the ground and having Willis land on him. I hope he is ready to go in two weeks.

Collaros continues to expose himself to these devastating hits and, playing behind this current Ti-Cat O-line, it was a matter of time before somebody put him out of a game.
While you may admire his bravado, Collaros' willingness to absorb punishment and injury isn't very smart in the long term. He has a bit too much of the Buck Pierce mentality.

Totally see the Peirce comparison.

I liked the hit, thought it was a good football hit but it's in the books as a penalty and should have been called.

From that still photo you can’t tell if the shoulders hit each other first which I believe was the case. 95 percent clean hit with incidental helmet contact from Willis to Collaros’ facemask. Call a penalty if the books say any helmet to helmet contact is a penalty, I’m fine with that but no intent to injure and therefore no disrespect type of hit from Willis. A penalty should have been called perhaps but I’m not going to get upset in this case with no penalty because it was very borderline and only crossed the line a small tad with no intent. Football is a fast and hitting game and that also comes into play with a hit like this and Willis isn’t a dirty player from my understanding.

The title of this thread is not accurate at all IMHO. :thdn:

As the TSN panel indicated, Willis appeared to make an attempt to not just hit Collaros solely head on head, as he did turn a bit and attempt to go shoulder to shoulder. The helmet to head contact could not be avoided with this type of hit.

However, to me it was clear that his intentions were to hit Collaros high (shoulders and above) with his helmet and shoulder, as opposed to hit his body (ie. chest and waist) and try to wrap Collaras up with his arms and tackle him. When you consider some of the other calls that are made that are "protecting the Quarterback", this seems inconsistent. Too me hitting like that shows intent to injure. Some would say "that's football", others would say you need to protect the quarterback.

I remember a game in Hamilton 2 or 3 years ago at home against Winnipeg. Johnson came into the backfield on Pierce's blind side. He could have drilled him in his chin or ear-hole, but instead he hit him right in the chest and wrapped him up. Pierce left his feet and landed right on his back. It was still a violent hit, but Johnon's choice to make a tackle appeared to reduced the seriousness of the hit, and Pierce was able to continue to play.

By the way, I would agree that Collaros put himself in a vulnerable postion on that play. He was running forward when he got hit, and did little to protect himself. This certainly made the impact that much worse. Not a wise way to play. The O-Line played better last night, but were beat on a few plays. While our defense didn't get as many sacks, the difference was their QBs ability to get rid of the ball when he was in trouble, while ours tried to scramble. Lots of little things to be learned by this team, but I think it has a lot of upside, even though we are 0-2.


I tend to agree. If they’re going to start calling incidental helmet to helmet contact that occurs during clean tackles, they’ll be calling it a dozen or more times a game.
Even the esteemed TSN panel couldn’t agree - Climie and Stegall thought it was a clean football hit, Schultz thought a penalty should have been called.

Still a penalty.

He definitely could have drove through Zach waist high. But he went high and a penalty should have been called.

For clarity, this is the rule

Article 4 — Roughing The Passer
Because the act of passing puts the passer in a particularly vulnerable position to injury, special rules against roughing the passer apply. Once the ball is released, defensive players must avoid all unnecessary contact with the passer. A player shall be penalized for any act of Unnecessary Roughness to the passer, including but not limited to:

[b]1.Contacting the passer in an unnecessary manner, including stuffing him to the ground, violently throwing him to the ground, and landing on him with most of the defender's weight,

2.Any blow above the passer's shoulder

3.All rushing defenders must attempt to avoid forcibly hitting a passer in the pocket, at or below the knees, either if their path to the passer was unrestricted, or if they are coming off a blocker,

4.Attacking the passer who, after releasing the ball, is either standing still or fading backwards and is obviously out of the play and remains out of the play,

5.When the quarterback slides feet first, all unnecessary contact must be avoided. The slide must be done in a timely manner to allow the defence to avoid such contact.

6.Contacting the passer if either the initial source of contact, or primary source of contact, is the defender's helmet.[/b]

Grover, that's great insight, but for me it doesn't completely make things clear, as item number 2 and number 6 kinda contradict each other. Item 2 says no blow above the shoulders, item 6 says the primary source of contact is not the helmet. If the initial or primary source cannot be the helmet then one would think it is OK for the secondary source of contact to be the helmet, which would be a blow above the shoulder. In this particular case, I would say it is a penalty based on item 2, but not based on item 6, as I believe the shoulder was hit first (although not by much).

Last time I checked the helmet is always above the shoulders, so why even add item number 6.

All specifics aside, IMO there should have been a penalty because the hit was high and Willis' helmet clearly hit Collaros' face mask and chin with significant force (enough to leave a mark on his helmet), while Collaros was vulnerable as he was passing the ball.

I suspect that the referees thought the majority of the hit was shoulder to shoulder, and therefore did not throw a flag.


There's no penalty for tackling a quarterback at shoulder level to my knowledge. And judgement still needs to enter into these calls. For example, if a defender hits a quarterback at shoulder level causing a whiplash-like movement of the quarterback's head and helmet which, in turn, contact the tackler's helmet, that is incidental, secondary helmet to helmet contact and should not be called. It would be contrary to the spirit and intention of the rules IMO.

Especially not after he leaves the pocket and is attempting to run to move the chains. Once a QB takes off with the ball, he's just another player.

Two things:

  1. 2 says "a blow above the passers shoulders" key work being blow. #6 says no hitting with the helmet. The subject of #6 is the DEFENDER'S helmet.

And 2) Zack was well out of the pocket and as such was considered/a threat to become a runner. I think the rules differ for a QB on the move.

PJones - #2 and # 6 do not contradict each other.

2 refers to where the quarterback is hit. So the quarterback can not be contacted above his shoulder. So if the tackler's head, shoulder arm or hand make contact with the quarterback's head - penalty.

6 refers to the tacker - the tackler can't lead with his helmet. If he leads with the helmet and hits the quarterback's chest with his helmet - it is a penalty.

@pjones - you read #6 incorrectly, and I believe #2 states "a blow above the shoulders", meaning a punch, forearm, clothesline, etc. #6 states that "... either the initial source of contact, or primary source of contact, is the defender's helmet." - NOT what you stated. The two items are exclusive to each other.

@seymore - In your scenario, I agree; however there was no whiplash motion in the hit in question. As Schultz mentioned, Willis' helmet went up, and Zack's helmet did NOT motion downwards.

Was it a "dirty" hit? No. Was it an illegal hit? Yes.

Ah, my mistake. Correct no contradiction. Must be a little sleepy ... was up late last night.


It's a pretty simple call and I've said it before for many posts and many years the Refs in the CFL STINK, I don't give a crap what anyone including the Caretaker thinks about these idiots being only human they are paid to do a job and they are not doing it period.

You are right fans, we now have three players out from head shots with No calls, No penalties or repercussions from the CFL officiating and head office what good are rules if they don't apply to Hamilton players who are supposed to be like others in the league (PROTECTED) but they don't and they protect the rest of the league? Maybe our defenders should start pile driving a few QB's into the turf to see how it feels!!

Don't worry, it took me a couple of reads to understand it too... lol

I think that would correct had he kept the ball but he had passed the ball. Helmet to helmet at that point should be a penalty.

I like the hit but I've seen it called enough times that the refs should be consistent.

No the hit to the helmet causes his head to snap back. That picture isn't at point of contact its just after imo, remembering the replays OW's helmet was higher at initial contact.