The NFL Competition Committee has released 13 rule change proposals, seven bylaw proposals and a single resolution proposal, all of which will be presented to the owners at next week’s league meeting. Pro Football Talk has the complete list right here, and we’ve got the best and worst proposals below.
The best potential new rules:
1. Expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties.
Why was this ever not the case? This game is played at a breakneck pace. Eliminate human error by allowing officials to review as much as possible. Even judgement calls should be reviewable –but these aren’t judgement calls anyway.
2. Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed.
Now we’re talking! Although committee member Jeff Fisher has voiced doubt that this will be adopted for penalties.
3. Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play.
Centralized replay would be better, but this is a step in the right direction. More oversight is needed, period.
4. Permit clubs to trade players prior to the start of the league year.
I don’t see why teams shouldn’t be able to make trades prior to the start of free agency.
The worst potential new rules:
1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line.
I understand that the league is trying to curb injuries, many of which happen on kickoffs. But if you’re going to start kicking off at the 40, you might as well scrap kickoffs entirely. No way this will pass, right? If it did, though, at least we’d possibly start to see more surprise onside kicks.
2. Move the line of scrimmage for one-point extra point kicks to the defensive team’s 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line.
Don’t make the extra point less of a certainty, because you don’t want teams winning or losing based on something like that. Just get rid of it. It’s not as though such a development would render kickers unnecessary….
3. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews.
Yeah, cool. I guess. Or just, um, put a damn microchip in the football?
4. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage.
Wouldn’t this just give offenses a very easy automatic first down any time they needed it? Just throw right away to a receiver being engaged at the line.