So the NFL finally wised up and decided to do away with the 1-Shell Rule which limited teams to utilize only one set of helmet shells per season. Teams were permitted to alter the logos and stripes while retaining the same helmet shell to enable a design that would work with a team's alternate or throwback uniform.
The obvious question is...which teams will be taking advantage of the rule change? Here are my thoughts...
* - One-Star (almost a certainty not to happen)
** - Two-Star (possibility exists, but still not likely)
*** - Three-Star (better than 50/50 chance)
**** - Four-Star (should be carved in stone for 2022 or 2023)
** Arizona - Except for a short period a lifetime ago when the Cardinals used a red helmet, they have very little history in anything other than a white helmet. Could we see a cardinal red (or even a black) helmet? Sure, but probably not until they update their uniform template, whenever that is.
**** Atlanta - Almost a foregone conclusion the Falcons will utilize some form of red helmet going forward.
** Baltimore - The Ravens have never worn anything other than black helmets. As with Arizona, could we see a white or purple helmet? Possibly, but not likely.
**** Buffalo - The Mafia would love to see the Bills slide back into the Kelly-Era red helmets a few times each year. They'll get their wish.
*** Carolina - Despite only ever using silver helmets, the Panthers have long teased a black helmet. It is now more likely to happen at some point.
* Chicago - Won't happen. Their navy helmets work well with their 1930s throwback.
**** Cincinnati - On the heels of a Super Bowl appearance, the Bengals will likely create a white shell version of their helmet to wear with their white jersey uniforms a few times. (Am I the only one who would also like to see the Bengals go old-school to the 70s with "BENGALS" on the sides?)
**** Cleveland - With their 1946 throwback they unveiled last season, the only missing piece to truly authenticate the uniform would be a plain white helmet. It will happen this year.
**** Dallas - Do you honestly think the Cowboys would pass up an opportunity to pair a white throwback helmet with a throwback jersey? The tail wags the dog here to boost jersey sales for Jerry.
*** Denver - The big "D" logo just doesn't look as good on a navy shell as it did on a lighter blue shell. Better than fair chance Broncos' fans get it.
** Detroit - As bad as the all-grey uniforms are, I just can't see Detroit compounding the mistake and adding a helmet that isn't silver. But what if the Lions did a Portsmouth Spartans throwback? Could a purple helmet happen?
* Green Bay - We're not seeing Green Bay in something other than yellow helmet shells. Period.
** Houston - The only chance is if the Texans break out a white helmet. Their original prototype was white, not navy.
** Indianapolis - Their throwbacks looked really nice last year. Eventually the blue helmet will return with a throwback as it did in 2010. Eventually. But not now.
** Jacksonville - A teal helmet, perhaps? Ick. But this is the same franchise that gave us those 2-tone monstrosities...
* Kansas City - Not gonna happen.
* Las Vegas - Ditto. However, I was truly disappointed the Raiders missed the 'golden' opportunity when they moved to Vegas. They could have gone to a silver chrome helmet and not skipped a beat.
**** LA Chargers - A Junior Seau-Era navy helmet? Yes, please. A Dan Fouts-Era version? Options 1A and 1B.
* LA Rams - Just won a Super Bowl. Just changed uniform templates after a run with a handful of different horn colors and shapes. A hard pass for at least the next few years.
* Miami - Their throwbacks, which should be made their everyday uniforms, look too good with the white throwback helmets. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
*** Minnesota - The casual observer might not have noticed but, prior to the 1-Shell Rule, the Vikings occasionally wore a dark purple throwback helmet with the vintage style horn logos. Likely they make a return.
**** New England - Foregone conclusion as Pat Patriot returns on white helmets.
**** New Orleans - 'Old gold' helmets can now return to be paired with the Saints' Color Rush uniform. Now if only they would add appropriate socks to complete that look instead of the ultra-bland plain white socks.
** NY Giants - The Giants' blue helmets work well with their 'throwback/Color Rush' uniforms even though, technically, the throwback/CR helmets should be navy. Also, 'slim' to 'no chance' we see red or white helmets from the 1920s or 1930s.
*** NY Jets - The Jets just adopted a new template. Is it too soon for a white-helmet throwback? Better than 50/50 the white helmets return on a part-time basis.
**** Philadelphia - Consider this a done deal. Kelly green helmets will return. Ownership will cave to fan pressure. But will it be in 2022 or 2023?
** Pittsburgh - Since the 'bumblebees' were retired, Pittsburgh has needed a new throwback uniform. Are the 'Batman' uniforms from the 1960s making a comeback? If so, there wouldn't be a need for a yellow helmet. Could a new throwback be something else that does require a yellow helmet?
**** San Francisco - The 1955 throwbacks with the drop-numbers that the Niners wore last year were actually worn with red logo-less helmets with a wide silver stripe back in the day. Highly likely that red helmets get added or even the more stylish silver helmets worn from 1948-52 and again from 1959-63. Either would be a nifty, new addition.
**** Seattle - The silver-helmet uniforms from the last century will return...but not until 2023. Sorry Seahawks fans, but it will be worth the wait.
**** Tampa Bay - As with the Seahawks, Bucco Bruce will return, but not until 2023.
** Tennessee - The Titans will not wear a white Oilers helmet. Could they come up with a Columbia blue version of the current model?
** Washington - They will not use a Redskins throwback helmet of any color. Could they compound the mistake that is their new Commanders look by throwing in a black or...gulp...camo helmet? Of course they could. It's what they do. Both would be a mistake.
What are your thoughts? What would you like to see? Does anyone have any inside information they'd like to share?
Bill Schaefer - GUD