"We've seen it work".
In responding to questions about helmet-to-helmet hits and players launching to make tackles, Vincent says Wednesday that the National Football League has seen targeting reviews "work to a degree" in the college game.
In the wake of a week of play marred by several risky head-to-head hits, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent announced on Wednesday that the league is considering taking further action to protect its players.
"I think it's something that we have to consider", Vincent said. "It's clean. It is a deterrent".
The latter idea is related to the incident during the New England Patriots' Week 13 game against the Buffalo Bills when Rob Gronkowski threw an elbow at Tre'Davious White after the play was dead following a White interception.
As calls for player safety continue to mount with no sign of slowing at every level of the game, the National Football League is mulling implementing a "targeting" rule, similar to the collegiate one that routinely leaves players, coaches and fans alike aghast every Saturday. The rule would eject players who land head-on, whiplash-inducing hits to opponents' upper-body and head areas.
Vincent said the enforcement of such penalties and concurrent suspensions have started to limit the number of risky hits.
"We don't want to be in the business of ejecting players", Vincent said (via Barry Wilner of the Associated Press).
Competition committee members have said in the past that they were hesitant to move to a college-like targeting rule because they have been reluctant to subject judgment calls by the game officials to replay review.