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Need to be educated: Inactives! Why?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATSNUTme, Oct 16, 2009.

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  1. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I follow and understand most things about this great game, but I have never had explained to me why there are 8 inactives for every game.

    I can't think of a financial reason for it. The players go though the Training Camp and Pre-Season fighting to make a rosters spot. Then on game day, eight can't play. This has never made sense to me. I know it is the policy/rule of the NFL and has been so for years. But I'd like to get a definitve answer as to why they do this.

    Anyone?
  2. borg

    borg On the Roster

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    I vaguely remember BB discussing it. He said expanding the roster invites more specialists, players with one useful skill. Example.... A field goal kicker and a kickoff specialist.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  3. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This question has come up numerous times before on the board over the past few years, but there's really three reasons:

    A) Teams know before gametime whether opposing injured players will be available or not.

    B) It puts team with injured players on an even playing field with teams that don't. Say if Team A has 53 players, but only 52 are healthy, then they would go into an inactive-less game with one less available player than Team B with 53 healthy players. With injured reserve rules the way they are, that wouldn't be fair.

    C) Teams have less players to fill the same number of roles; therefore, this prevents teams from having specialists to fill each of these roles. This is also the argument against expanding the roster over 53.

    On a side note, even the UFL has two inactives per game.

    Belichick on 10/8/04:

    Bill Belichick Press Conference

    He also hit a little on it on a 8/26/09 press conference:

    Bill Belichick Press Conference - 8/26/2009

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  4. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Thanks. It's kinda like throwing the baby out with the bath water, but it does explain it.

    Am I the only one that either forgot or didn't know?
  5. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The best reason why that I can think of is because, if you have an injured player, you shouldn't be further penalized by having to hold an active roster spot open for him. If the roster consisted of only 45 players, then you'd have to either cut guys when they got hurt and never have developmental players or you'd have to suffer in terms of having fewer players who can take the field.

    Rather than thinking of those 8 extra spots as being guys who aren't allowed on the field, think of it as 8 spots for injured guys and developmental projects: people who you want on the roster, obviously, but shouldn't be penalized on gameday for.
  6. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    thanks to pats1 and PNMe for helping me understand something i didn't get before.
  7. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Around when the WFL started teams changed from 40 active + 7 taxi squad players to 47 active players. They were attempting to keep those taxi players away from waivers and the WFL. Roster size changed again a few times ... numbers were in the 40's as I remember until in the 80's the size was fixed at 45.

    Then in 1989 they created the practice squad. the reason for that was for each team to have a 53 man roster to better prepare for their opponents without overly inflating team operating costs. I vaugely remember and please correct me if I'm wrong ... they wanted more players for practice but they didn't want to pay them (minimum salary) or give them benefits that veterans a accrued.

    The inactive list has actually been around for a long time but it had different names ... and different functions ... most notably the taxi squad. I think the overall idea was to have maximum amount of players while not creating competitive imbalance.. The NFL has tried to keep injuries from being a huge competitive disadvantage ... thus the practice squads and inactive lists. It still has some effect it could also well be worse if teams had 35 or 40 players available for any one game or practices.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  8. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Rookie

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    I remember in 2002 (the year after SB36) when the Patriots barely beat the Chiefs, Dick Vermeil cut an incredibly whiny interview after the game to complain about this particular rule.
  9. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    That's what i call an answer. Thanks, Pats 1.

    Now my beef. If you have a lingering injury, how are you supposed to evaluate it without traiing camp? My point? The PUP.

    Obviously teams will and have abused non season ending injury lists before, but why not take that into account and allow a limited number of players to play some preseason, but get on the pup?

    I know players with minor injuries get IR because they can't win their position due to nagging injuries caused by straining something after rehab stints.

    Nothing to stop fairly healthy vets being stashed for mid season call up on PUP either. They don't need camp so much and can be activated mid season if injuries occur. So the stashing is planned, rather than circumstantial.
  10. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    I too had forgotten the rationale despite having asked the question previously and gotten an answer here. Obviously, I'm one who needs repitition to learn. Excellent football thread with excellent answers. The cap factors into the rationale for the rules as well.
  11. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I've felt that this is the Commissioner's way of adding to the Violent Chess Game that is the NFL.

    Teams need to be very strategic in selecting their 45 out of their 53.

    Additionally it effectively limits the "game" of placing, or not placing guys on the doubtful or probable list. Most smart coaches want to keep teams guessing about who is playing. The 45 man game day roster forces their hands to make players active or inactive.
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