Proposed NFL Rule Changes

The “football news frenzy” of the day is focused on what free agent signed with which team and who got traded where.  That sort of stuff will sort itself out over the next 3 months as teams prepare to begin training camp in July, but there are more imminent NFL happenings that should be considered.  Teams have made proposals to the NFL’s Competition Committee regarding rule changes they would like the Committee to consider for 2019; those findings by the Competition Committee will be presented to the NFL owners at one of their convocations which will happen two weeks from now.

Each of the teams fills out a questionnaire at the end of the season related to things like rules and player safety and technology that may or may not be used during a game.  Those questionnaires are part of the agenda building process for the Competition Committee for consideration.  The protocol then is that the Committee recommends rule changes and the owners either approve or disapprove.

According to reports, here are some of the things that teams wanted the Competition Committee to chew upon:

  • KC Chiefs:

The Chiefs want both teams to get a possession in OT even if the first offensive team scores a TD.  [After the outcome of this year’s AFC Championship Game, I am not remotely surprised at this suggestion.]

The Chiefs want the OT coin toss eliminated and the coin toss at the beginning of the game to prevail.  Not sure why this is a step forward, but it does not seem like a step backward either.

The Chiefs want all overtimes eliminated in Exhibition Games.  So obviously a good idea, I wonder why it has not already been written in stone,

  • Denver Broncos:

The Broncos want to eliminate onside kicks.  Similar to the AAF rule, the Broncos want a team that wants to try an onside kick to have the ball at its own 35 in a 4th adn15 situation.  Convert and the ball is theirs; miss the conversion and the ball goes over.  Should it be 4th and 10 or 4th and 12 or 4th and 15?  That is something for the data crunchers to deal with.  I have no problem with the concept here.

The Broncos want all fourth down or goal line plays that are spotted short of the line to gain would be subject to automatic review. Similarly, the Broncos are also proposing that all extra point and two-point conversion attempts be subject to review.  That sounds like a lot of mandatory reviewing.  Is this a solution in search of a problem?

  • Washington Redskins:

The Skins want anything and everything to be reviewable by the officials.  Under the Skins’ proposal, all plays that occur during a game could potentially be subjected to a coaches’ challenge or review by the officiating department in the instant replay system.   I think this is overkill.

The Skins also want personal foul calls to be reviewable.  This seems like a subset of the suggestion above.  If the above rule change were implemented, plays could be reviewed, and personal fouls not originally called might be imposed by the review process.

  • Philadelphia Eagles:

The Eagles want any scoring play or any turnover that is negated by a penalty to be subject to an automatic replay review.  Those are potentially game changing plays; reviewing them to be sure the penalty call is correct is not a bad idea – – and there just aren’t that many of these sorts of plays in a typical game.

In addition to those team-specific recommendations to the competition Committee, the reports say that the Eagles, Panthers, Rams and Seahawks all want the rules to permit coaches to challenge “player-safety related fouls” called on the field or not called on the field.  This sounds good – – but I wonder what the scope of “player-safety related fouls” might be.

Here is the Curmudgeon Central Rule that should have been implemented as soon as the NFL had enough cameras in the stadium to consider implementing instant replay for anything:

  • Whenever there is a fight or an altercation that leads to a flag or flags being thrown, replay should be used to determine the player that started the altercation and his team should be the one penalized – – unless the retaliation by the other team exceeds the original provocation.

Time to move from reality/practicality/rationality to the part of the world inhabited by José Canseco.  Earlier this week, Canseco used a Tweet to accuse A-Rod of cheating on his fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, with Canseco’s ex-wife.  Minutes after that Tweet “hit the streets”, Canseco put out another one to challenge A-Rod to a boxing match or an MMA match “anytime you want” – – apparently as a way for Canseco to defend Jennifer Lopez’ honor.  I guess I am glad that he suggested boxing or MMA to settle this matter and stopped short of suggesting they reinstitute dueling with pistols at 10 paces…

About a month ago, a Notre Dame WR, Javon McKinley, was arrested on battery and alcohol misdemeanor charges.  There were two charges of battery related to McKinley allegedly punching two campus police officers.  [Aside:  Getting into a fight whilst intoxicated is never a good idea; getting into a fight with two police officers whilst intoxicated is a really bad idea.]  McKinley is suspended from the team pending resolution of all this stuff…

Finally, we are in that part of the sports calendar when the TV promos for the upcoming Masters golf tournament happen daily.  Ergo, consider this comment from Lee Trevino who briefly boycotted the Masters tournament for several years in the 1970s:

“Golf is a game invented by the same people who think music comes out of a bagpipe.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Proposed NFL Rule Changes”

  1. The CFL has had overtimes where both teams get the ball for about 20 years now. It seems to work reasonably well and does seem more fair.


    1. Bones:

      The CFL has a couple of rules that I think the NFL should consider adopting – – if they do not let their collective egos get in the way. The OT rule is one of them; the punt return rule is another.

  2. Consider golf is also made by people who boil sheep intestines in the stomach with oatmeal and call it food…. hmm.. possibly related to being the people who invented whisky….

    1. Ed:

      Your haggis reference reminds me that one of my favorite examples of a disgusting culinary concoction is a haggis ice cream sundae…

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