Yesterday Fooch had an article highlighting some of the rule changes that the competition committee was looking to implement this off season. Quick summary of the rules for those who might have missed that article:
- Repeat offenders of illegal hits will be more likely to be suspended
- Defenseless player categories will be expanded to include QBs in the act of throwing, receiver trying to catch a ball, a runner who's forward progress is stopped, a player fielding a punt or kick, kicker or punter during the kick/punt, QB at any time after change of possession, a player on the ground, and blind sided receiver.
- Kickoff moved to 35 yard line, touchback to 25 yard line,
ESPN has a more detailed article.
Now we can agree or disagree about these changes, and some of them won't pass the competition committee. Reading these made me consider what rules I would change if I could. So, I propose this question--If you could change three rules in the NFL, what would they be, and how would you order them?
Without further ado, here are the top three rules I would change.
1.) Pass interference. I hate the current way that pass interference is called. Right now the rule is that the ball is placed at the spot of the foul. This is true, regardless of the nature of the pass interference. Simple hand fighting, to tackling the receiver before the ball arrives are treated the same. So here's my proposed rule change. The definition of pass interference wouldn't change, but the punishment would. Flagrant PI would be marked at the spot of the foul (or if it occurs in the end zone at the one yard line). Incidental is a 5 yard penalty. Both types of PI come with automatic first downs
2.) The tuck rule. Tom Brady made this one famous in the AFC championship game between the Raiders and the Patriots. I think it's a silly rule. If the ball comes out of anybody else's hands during the course of a football game it's ruled a fumble. The same thing should apply to a quarterback.
If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.