While the NFL world was going nuts on Wednesday between the announcement of the penalties in the bounty case, the Tebow trade to the Jets (and cancellation and new trade) and the pro day for Robert Griffin III, there was a conference call about some rule changes being proposed by the NFL Competition Committee. And while all the goings on yesterday were interesting and important, they might not have the lasting impact on the game that the rule changes would.
Here are the proposed changes, courtesy of our friends at Pro Football Talk, and comments.
1. Replay reviews done in the booth, not by on-field official--This would prevent the need for the ref to go under the hood, something that creates delays without improving the accuracy of the call. Thumbs up
2. Make the horse collar tackle for quarterbacks in the pocket a penalty--If your response here was something like, “It’s not already?” I’m with you. While adding another layer of protection to the quarterback is generally to be opposed, this change would just make the same action a penalty in all instances, against any player. Thumbs up
3. Changing overtime so that the postseason rule will be used in the regular season as well, and no regular-season games will be ended on a field goal on the first possession of overtime--This is a great idea if you’d like to see more tie games. It was a bad idea for the postseason but at least we’re not going to have any ties then. With OT limited to 15 minutes in the regular season, the rule will result in more ties. Thumbs down
4. Adding a loss of down to the penalty for kicking a loose ball, as is the case in college football--No opinion here, sounds like a solution without a problem.
5. Blowing the play dead when there are too many men on the field--Some think that the Giants accidentally found some big loophole in the rules when they had too many men on the field late in the Super Bowl in that time ran off the clock while New England tried a play against 12 men. Another solution to no real problem. Thumbs down
6. Expanding the defenseless player rule to protect defensive players on crackback blocks, making it illegal to hit them in the head or neck area--All for protection for defenseless player. Thumbs up
7. Automatically reviewing turnovers via instant replay, just as scoring plays are automatically reviewed--If reviews are done in the booth, thumbs up. If the ref has to go under the hood every time we will have games pushing three and a half hours and that’s a thumbs down.
There were some proposed changes to the bylaws, we will cover those in a later post.
What do you think of any or all of these changes? Let us know in the comments!