Today, I had the opportunity to sit on on the NFL Competition Committee conference call and listen to the changes and proposals for the next season.
It was very interesting to hear what the NFL is changing and why they are changing some of the rules.
Falcons President and CEO and Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay, and NFL Executive VP of Football Operations stated that their #1 priority was player safety followed by quality of game play.
Six of the eight divisions this past year at new division champions which pleased the committee. The average margin of victory was 10.3 which was the smallest margin of victory which pleased the committee as well.
Some of the new proposals that will be voted on or put in permanent place are as follows :
- By adding to player safety, the committee is eliminating the “leaper” on the extra point/ field goal attempt to improve safety.
- Touch-back – The NFL will be continue to have the touch-back to the 25 yard line to gather more data before deciding if they need to make it a permanent change.
- A player getting two personal fouls that equal a ejection will be a permanent addition. They are also proposing that the NFL will use replay to review personal fouls for ejection to make sure a ejection is for the correct call.
- Expanding the defenseless receiver to now a receiver running a route- even within the 5 yard bump window. A defensive player can’t attack the head/neck at any point in a route.
- The biggest proposal and change is as follows : All instant replay challenges will be done at NFL headquarters in NYC instead of being done by the on-field official. The official will not have the final say anymore and HQ will use his input to make the final decision. The referee will be on sideline but not “under the hood anymore”. He will have a tablet to see the replays on the sideline.
- Changing the pace of play was a huge concern with the committee. One proposal was to eliminate the tv commercials between the extra point and the kickoff.
- Changing the halftime break from 12 minutes to 13:30 with 2nd half kickoff as the clock runs out to speed up play.
- Some of the teams wanted to increase the number of challenges to 3 or 4 next season. This is just a proposal to be voted on.
- Seattle and Buffalo proposed a rule that they wanted the coaches to have the ability to challenge a personal foul call by the referee. This will also be voted on.
There were some unique rule proposals and it will be interesting to see what changes are made. Dan Katz from Barstool Sports stole the show with his question if the missing extra points would increase with a a “greased up Andy Reid on the goalpost”. You never know what your going to hear on these calls.
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