News & Notes 8/6: Eric Weddle: NFL Doesn't Need to Keep Tweaking Rules

The NFL implemented a significant rule change this offseason by instituting a penalty for players who lowers their head to initiate contact and make contact.

Last week's Hall of Fame game was the first chance to see how that rule would be officiated, and the early indication was that the referees won't hesitate to throw the flag. The Ravens were penalized three times for such hits and the Bears drew one penalty.

Ravens safety Eric Weddle criticized the rule on Twitter after the game and was asked about it during his podium session Monday.

"Honestly, it's going to be a feeling out process," Weddle said. "The refs are going to try to do their best on calling it and what they see as the rule. ... For me, honestly, if you lead with your head and it's the first thing to hit a guy, it's probably going to get called. Don't lead with your head and be a sound tackler."

There is definitely uncertainty around the league about how the new rule will be called, and some believe that the officials are being extra diligent about it during the preseason to set a new standard.

"Honestly, I don't see it being much of a problem with me. I'm not the biggest hitter. I'm a sure tackler. I can lay the wood when I need to. But it's playing sound football. It's the same things you've been taught since you were six years old playing pop warner.

"Let's just remember that we're professionals, we'll learn the rule and know what we're doing, and the game will be fine."

Weddle was also asked about the hat that Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo wore recently, which read, "Make Football Violent Again."

"I don't know if I would say 'make [football] violent again,' but you just hope eventually that they don't keep making these rule changes every year where it's not fun anymore," Weddle said. "This is the greatest game in the world. It's the greatest team sport. It's been going on for a lot of years, and we don't need to keep tweaking and changing the game. It's a good game."

Joe Flacco Expects 'Good Things' Thursday Night

Joe Flacco didn't play in the preseason at all last year because of a back injury that sidelined him all of training camp, but he told reporters he expects to make his preseason debut for Thursday's game against the Rams.

Flacco and most of the veterans didn't play in the Hall of Fame game, but he'll likely see a dose of action this week. Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters the Ravens plan to treat this week's game like a typical first preseason matchup, and the starters have historically seen a few series of work in those games.

Baltimore's starting quarterback is confident about what the offense will show on Thursday.

"Good things man," Flacco said. "I think we've had a really good camp so far. I'm really confident in our group of guys and how we're going to go out there and perform. I think we have a bunch of gamers and we're ready to go."

Lamar Jackson 'Wants That Interception Back'

Lamar Jackson made his much-anticipated NFL debut last week, and it was an up-and-down performance for the first-round pick.

He threw a touchdown to tight end Hayden Hurst, but also had an interception where he telegraphed the throw. Jackson was still thinking about the interception a few days later.

"I played alright, but I want that interception back," Jackson said. "It was pretty bad for me. I don't like throwing interceptions."

After having a chance to look through the film, Jackson gave his take on what happened on the interception."

"[I was] just getting back, hesitating on the throw," Jackson said. "In the league, you can't do that. Everyone is a lot faster. This is not college."

John Harbaugh Offers Condolences to Tom Heckert's Family

Long-time NFL executive Tom Heckert passed away Sunday.

Heckert worked with the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles during his career, and several members of Baltimore's coaching staff knew him well. Harbaugh and Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg are among those who worked with Heckert for many years with the Eagles, and Harbaugh opened his press conference by offering his condolences to his family.

"Not a better guy, father who loved his kids, one of the best general managers and one of the best personnel men in football, and just a pleasure to be around every day," Harbaugh said. "We're very sorry for his loss and for his family."

Heckert stepped away from a role with the Broncos last year after a diagnosis of amyloidosis, which is a rare disease that occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in your organs. He was 51 years old.

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