Here's an article about a new, smaller set of shoulder pads that are supposed to give the same protection as regular ones. If they provide greater range of motion like they say, that would be great for receivers, linemen, heck, about everyone. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/05/sports/football/05pads.html Smaller Pads Are Starting to Shoulder the Burden By DAMON HACK Do not adjust your television set. If some players appear smaller this season, it could be a result of the shrinking of their shoulder pads. By the end of last season, nearly 150 of the league's 1,700 players had switched to smaller shoulder pads designed by Impact from the larger pads by Riddell that had long covered players' collarbones on Sundays.Even more players are expected to use Impact this season, said Erik Kennedy, the head equipment manager of the Seattle Seahawks. "They've come on the scene real quick," Kennedy said in a telephone interview last month. "The thing is, they're light, they still protect the shoulder, and they absorb more of a blow. It's a no-brainer. The guys are real receptive to them." Kennedy, who has been with the Seahawks since 1988, estimated that 27 Seahawks will use the Impact pads in 2004, including most of the defensive linemen, "the guys that need that range of motion," he said. About 18 Seahawks wore Impact pads last season, he said. "Chad Brown and Steve Hutchinson told me they're the best pads they've ever worn," Kennedy said. Brown is a linebacker and Hutchinson a guard. Some Seahawks, however, have not been eager to switch. Last season, defensive end John Randle, who has since retired, briefly tried the Impact pads before changing back to Riddell, Kennedy said. "It was like a superstition," he said. "He had 100 sacks in the Riddell." The Seahawks' quarterbacks, Matt Hasselbeck and Trent Dilfer, differ on the Impact pads. "Hasselbeck won't wear it because he doesn't feel protected enough," Kennedy said. "But Dilfer loves it." The Jets had 12 players wearing Impact pads in 2003, according to an Impact survey. The Giants did not have any. Dr. Elliot Pellman, the Jets' team physician and the chairman of the N.F.L. committee on mild traumatic brain injury, said players choose shoulder pads based more on consumer-oriented criteria than science. "In a game like football, where shoulders are used in blocking and tackling, shoulder pads are important," he said. "Shoulder pads, as we've known them, have done a good job." Pellman said he observed the Impact pads at an N.F.L. equipment meeting during the spring. "What will push these shoulder pads forward or not will ultimately be the players liking them and feeling they get the same level of protection, even if they are lighter," Pellman said of the Impact pads. "If players begin to dislike them, or begin to see more injuries, they will stop wearing them."