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Pads Become Required for 2013


On Tuesday, the NFL's team owners continued their owners' meetings in Atlanta and passed a significant rule regarding potential player safety.

The owners passed a safety rule requiring every player to wear knee and hip pads starting in 2013. Rich McKay, the Falcons' president and CEO, and competition committee chairman, said the league plans to follow through with the rule and hopes it's influential throughout all levels of the sport.

"We have a vote of the membership and can implement," McKay said. "Some of us felt we were remiss that we took it out of the rule book — high school and college makes it mandatory — and in our mind that is how it should be and will be in 2013."

The rule was quickly met with opposition from many of the league's players, especially players who rely on their speed to excel in the game. Wide receivers and cornerbacks, two positions that place a premium on speed and quickness, were particularly outspoken. The players feel the added padding will inhibit their range of motion.

Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas appeared on 790 The Zone's "Mayhem in the AM" on Wednesday morning and shared his opinion of the proposal.

"I don't like that rule at all," Douglas said. "I'm the type of guy to just wear my pads. I just feel better without any (pads) in my pants. I don't think I really like it too much."

Douglas said he and other players would meet with their player rep, Tyson Clabo, and discuss what could be done about it.

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