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Rules they should change in the NFL: 2009 Edition

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ice_Ice_Brady, Nov 3, 2009.

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  1. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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    My annual thread that comes mid-season when a lot of teams are fed up with one call or another. Please feel free to comment.

    1. Instant Replay by Majority. Probably the most discouraging fact is that refs are still swayed by emotion, and judging a close call is often too much burden to put on one person, who will then need to announce to 75,000 screaming fans that the home team will suffer. The solution is simple. Put 5 officials in a booth upstairs and give them access to all the angles. When a coach challenges a call, a vote at least 3-2 is needed on whether or not to uphold the challenge. The beauty of this is that the on-field officials never have to face the fear of the crowds or coaches, and no one will ever know what the vote was, or who voted which way... only the final result is announced by a referee who did not actually affect the outcome of the call. If a 60% majority is needed, how many botched calls will you see during a season? Not many.

    2. Two different Pass Interference Penalties. How many times does a defense played great, only to lose 45 yards on a questionable PI call? Passing is already dominating the NFL, and refs have a tough time explaining why one defender is guilty of the foul and one is not. A pass interference call should be a 5-10 yard infraction, unless it is blatant, in which case it could be called something like "pass obstruction" and result in a spot-of-the-foul. Simply put, pass interference gives too much power to one ref to swing the game because a defender tripped or barely touched a receiver. By making two separate penalties, the offense cannot be bailed out as often, as refs would have to face criticism for a spot-of-the-foul penalty that is not blatant.

    3. The Overtime Rule. Both coaches have a "silent bidding" in which they each hand a piece of paper to the ref. The paper states the distance they are willing to attempt a field goal. The coach who is willing to kick from a further distance gets his kicker on the field. If the kick goes in, the kicking team gets the ball first. If the kick misses, the defending team gets the ball first. Now we're looking at some real mind games and some real drama. Disclaimer: This was probably not an original idea. I think I heard it or read it somewhere but I can't remember where. Seems like a great idea... but it would be stupid to decide the game on a single field goal, and it should just determine who gets the ball first. Also, the college football rules are the worst; the team getting the ball last has a gigantic advantage much more unfair than the NFL Overtime rules right now.

    4. The Overtime Rule, part II. It rarely happens, but why not just eliminate a tie from the books and allow the overtime to flow without a game clock? I don't see any teams playing until the end of eternity in an infinite deadlock. Do you?

    5. Taunting. What exactly is this penalty? I saw Brandon Meriweather get tagged for it against Denver. That's funny because all around the league you see a bunch of hotheaded idiots celebrate after every play while getting in the other team's face. Can anyone really watch a Jets game and not flag about 55 plays that were more obnoxious than Meriweather's fist pump? Just get rid of the stupid rule or enforce it all the time. Don't wait until a huge situation occurs and then cite this arcane rule. And by the way, why is an end zone celebration always the one that gets flagged? I'd much rather see players celebrating when the clock is stopped than when it's running.

    6. Half the Distance to the Goal. This rule makes sense, why? You have the ball on your own 10-yard line and get flagged for holding. Why do you have the ball at your 5-yard line instead of your 1-yard line? I'd like to know because, suppose you have the ball at the other team's 1-yard line. Now you get flagged for holding. The holding call costs you 10 yards rather than 5. Isn't a holding call supposed to be a 10 yard penalty? Absolutely senseless. The only time this should apply is when you already have the ball at your own 1, and even then a loss of down should be considered, even if the penalty is before the snap.

    7. Face guarding/ Obstruction of the Ball. I'm not even sure if this is a rule anymore, but I remember it was called against the Pats in the 06-07 AFCCG. Receivers not only can't be touched after the magical five yard mark, but also they cannot have their eyesight impaired, so you'd better give them a five yard cushion Don't want to force the receiver to shift his eyes to look between two of your fingers. Seriously... let's let the defense do their job and try to prevent yardage.

    8. The "Brady" Rule. Ironically Tom Brady gets stuck with the unfair reputation of creating this rule. He didn't. I do remember a Hall of Fame quarterback lobbying for the competition committee to change some rules, but that wasn't Tom Brady. It's also funny that Brady was ridiculed for "lobbying" for a flag after a questionable hit after the throw. Guys, I have the NFL Sunday Ticket and I watch a lot of football. If players aren't whining after virtually every call, I'm going to call DirecTV because clearly there's a broadcast problem. Anyway, the "Brady" Rule HAS gotten out of hand. If a defender is already in motion towards the quarterback, he can no longer hold back. Usually a dirty or excessive hit is obvious... now refs are trying to call it based on a formula. Another reason for about 15 quarterbacks having QB ratings over 90 this season. This may be another dual penalty situation, where there could be both 5-yard and 15-yard infractions based on the severity.

    9. Premature Suspensions. Yes, I'm going there. Players like Bart Scott should be fined and suspended for saying they want to injure another player. Joey Porter as well. Bottom line is, it makes football look really bad. You have all these penalties and rules in place and the sportsmanship and integrity of the game goes right out the window. Really good message to send to kids and fans, Bart Scott, you should be really proud of your idiocy.

    10. Spying. Spying on other teams should definitely be legal, especially if you hire a guy off the street and pretend he's taping something else. Just kidding. Just wanted to point out that the Patriots are 33-8 since they were "exposed" that fateful Sunday at the Meadowlands (and 4-1 since they were "exposed" again at the Meadowlands this season.) Eric Mangini doesn't have to worry anymore about teams trying to steal his signals, his plays, his gameplans, his players, or anything else that he is keeping secret.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    11. International football games make no sense, deprive fans the opportunity to see their teams, and should just cease.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  3. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well it gives us other fans the chance to see teams...
     
  4. 102 Pat

    102 Pat In the Starting Line-Up

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    Definitely gotta change the OT rule. I can't remember the stat but something like 65% of the time, the team who wins the toss wins the game. It's no secret teams play for the FG in OT...

    EDIT: With that kind of insight, maybe I can get a job with the Browns... :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  5. Chevy

    Chevy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    - Get rid of the "Half the distance to the goal" penalties. March of as many yards as possible. If the ball is at the 1, and the penalty is a 15 yarder, loss of down. (edit: just saw that you had this)

    - Penalty yardage should not move up the spot of a kickoff, but should instead deduct from the return.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  6. chrisfx811

    chrisfx811 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Get rid of:
    Faceguarding receivers, I agree with you there.
    Penalties inside the 20: actual yardage, or to the 1.

    DPI needs to be a reviewable call due to the game changing nature of the penalty. Maybe spot of the foul only for balls where the WR actually gets his hand on the ball, otherwise 15yds.

    Penalty for hitting a 'defenseless receiver' or whatever its called. Garbage rule, its part of the game to intimidate receivers coming over the middle by laying the wood to them on balls they have to lay out for. bring intimidation back into the game.

    Excessive celebration after a TD: Gimme a break, these guys play a game for crying out loud, let 'em celebrate.

    Roughing the kicker: Hitting the punters kicking leg should not be called. I can see where hitting him on his other leg might result in unnecessary injury.

    All the f-ed up qb rules: Unless a defender takes 2 or more steps after the ball is released, its not RTP.
    Illegal hands to the head? C'mon, if it's not a punch, its part of the game.
    Unless the NFL is going to penalize cut blocks, or the Bob Sanders 'knee missile' @ RBs, then QBs can also get tackled around the legs.

    Helmet to helmet rule &/or spearing: Either penalize it or don't. Another selectively called penalty. Why is it ok for Dawkins to drive his helmet into Welker's back, but not ok for a guy to fall next to Brady's knees and brush him as he goes by?

    OT rule: 15 minute quarter, at the least 10.

    Either get rid of challenges altogether, or give coaches more and the ability to challenge inside of 2:00. College at least reviews most of the questionable calls. I am really leaning more and more to penalties being a reviewable instance. I know it will slow the game, but nothing is more frustrating than refs selectively calling ticky tack BS to essentially hand a tam a game.
     
  7. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Is the kicking the ball out of bounds on an onside kick attempt still a re-do over if the ball hasn't traveled 10 yards?

    If so I don't understand that. Why does it matter that the ball travels 10 yards? A ball kicked OOB is a ball kicked OOB and should get placed at the receiving team's 40 yard line as is the case with a regular kickoff that sees the ball get kicked OOB.

    I also can't stand the half the distance penalties.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  8. TheBeers

    TheBeers Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Definitely think they should change OT. I think each team should get 1 possession and then if the game is still tied it goes to sudden death.

    Other than that I would like more uniformly enforced rules no matter what they are. Seems to me depending what ref crew you get determines how things are going to get called. Perfect example is last nights game Drew Brees took a h2h shot and it was pretty clear but didn't get called.
     
  9. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, the stupidest kickoff rule is that if you have a foot out of bounds, and recover a ball that's in bounds, it still counts as the ball going out of bounds. That rule needs to go.
     
  10. tombonneau

    tombonneau In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good post. Couple of thoughts ...

    #1 Would never happen. NFL is going to salary 5 more official per game, up to 80 on non-bye weeks. They just need to do a better job training officials on the axiom of you can't overturn the call unless you are 100% certain if 100 other officials watched the replay all of them would agree there is enough visual evidence to overturn it.

    #2 I love this idea and have wanted it for years but doubt this would happen as the NFL is moving further away from having the officials make "real time" judgment calls (see removal of force out, facemask reduced to only 15-yd personal foul). A good compromise would be to make PI a reviewable call.

    #3 & 4 I agree, I'd love to see OT rules changed to something else, but if it ain't even gotten any traction by now, doubt it ever will.

    #5 Not so sure so much it's taunting, but celebration rules should be more lax. Still, it's better than college football where that stupid penalty has cost teams games (hello, Georgia).

    And in reaction to the poster who said international games is depriving fans the rights to see games, I don't think Tampa is selling out their stadium. The NFL will continue to play "home" games for teams that cannot routinely sellout their local games. I see no problem with this.
     
  11. ctpatsfan77

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    Already gone.

    This is a tough one, because if you make the rule that way, then it encourages DBs to just tackle receivers well short of the ball.

    I say no change to this rule, since it only applies to defenseless receivers who don't have the ball.

    If it were up to me, they'd start a play clock after a TD. Within reasonable limits, anything goes until the clock runs out.
     
  12. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    This is how I would like to see the overtime rules changed:

    If the receiving team goes down the field and scores a TD, the game is over, same as it is now. If, however, the receiving team hits a FG, the other team gets a possession. If the second team scores a TD, the game is over. If the second team kicks a FG, the next score wins.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  13. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think like Bill, rules are fine, just enforce them consistently so teams can be coached to play to them. You do that by making officials more rather than less accountable. Do business as business is done and quit kvetching when the outcome doesn't suit you. The game was always inherently rough, but with bigger, stronger, faster players in the PED age they have to protect these guys from ending up in even worse shape than their predecessors and they have to protect an owners incredibly valuable assets as well. Football is a team sport and I think while premier talent matters premier coaching and scheme and execution matter even more which is why the league legislates to maintain focus on the game and not the individual antics of the more flamboyant performers.
     
  14. DaBruinz

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    Some good idea. Some not so good.. My comments in red.
     
  15. Krugman

    Krugman Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Good post,I like the first three in particular.
     
  16. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    This is such a cop-out.

    The issue isn't teams not getting the ball in overtime, its that the winner of the coin flip wins 65% of the time. The coin flip decides the game more than the actual play.

    The reason for that is that even if you stop the other team, you end up with significantly worse field position than they had.

    Easiest way to fix that? Move the kick back 10 yards to where it was when OT was won 52% of the time by the coin flip winner.
     
  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Overtime: I'd like to see some sort of change - whether it's moving where the ball is kicked off from, first team to score six points, sudden death only after both teams have had one possession - something should be changed.

    Pass Interference: that's a tough one. One thing the NFL has been trying to do is get away from subjective calls, trying to determine intent, etc. In addition, it would encourage cornerbacks to simply tackle wide receivers that had beaten them.

    Half the distance: If the penalty yardage would result in the offensive team being penalized 'half the distance', give the defense the option of adding the yards to what is needed for a first down. For example, offense has the ball 1st and ten on their own ten and gets a 15-yard penalty. The defense can choose either 1st and 15 on the five, or 1st and 25 on the ten.

    For calls against the defense, the offense can take the current half the distance penalty or have the yards assessed against their opponent the next time the get the ball. For example, an offense has 1st and goal on the four, and the defense gets a ten yard penalty. The offense can choose 1st and goal on the two, or wait till after the next kickoff and make their opponent start with a 1st and 20 rather than a 1st and ten.


    I have one other that I'd like to throw out there. In regards to challenges, why not either make all reviews instigated by the refs in the booth, rather than coaches? Or if you are going to leave it as is, why limit the number of successful challenges? The whole idea is to get the calls right, correct? So if a team has five incorrect calls go against them, why are they limited in the number of those calls they can challenge? As long as they have a timeout remaining (to be taken away if the call is upheld), a team should be able to challenge any number of bad calls. The threat of losing a timeout is enough to keep a coach from going crazy with challenges.
     
  18. Deus Irae

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    The faceguarding penalty is no longer on the books. The endzone celebrations should be given more leeway.

    I'll say "no, thanks" to the other rules changes suggested here. The rule change that I'd like to happen is a return to the old style of "push out of bounds" still being a catch. Last night's game was a great example of why, too.
     
  19. Belichick_The_Great

    Belichick_The_Great Rookie

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    Want to fix overtime? Just get rid of it for all but playoffs/SB. Ties can do interesting things to the standings, and you almost never see them anymore (just ask Donovan McNabb). :)
     
  20. BradyBranch39

    BradyBranch39 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good post, but I don't agree with all of it.

    Some things I have time to give my 2 cents on:

    2 PI penalties is too complicated for these refs to handle. They should go back to the 2 facemasks though.

    Totally agree about the stupid taunting penalties. I've seen a few this year that were like WTH

    I have no problem with the half-the-distance penalties, but the loss of down when you're at the one makes sense.

    And yeah, Bart Scott should be suspended.
     
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