Next week, NFL teams will virtually meet to discuss and review seven rule proposals. One of those rules you don’t have to worry about is reviewing pass-interference. That wasn’t even on the list, which means it’s officially off the table in 2020. The competition committee had two rule proposals:
By the Competition Committee, to amend Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9, to expand defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.
By the Competition Committee, to amend Rule 4, Section 3, Article 2, to prevent teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.
The first rule is the NFL continuing to ensure player safety is at the top of the list. Teams also proposed rules. The second rule prevents teams from manipulating the clock as the Titans did to the Patriots in the playoffs last season.
The Eagles, Dolphins, Ravens, and Chargers each had proposals. Here are the first two from Philadelphia:
By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.
By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, to provide an alternative to the onside kick that would allow a team who is trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring (4th and 15 from the kicking team’s 25-yard line).
I love the idea of the second proposal. I can already see a coach trying to get over on the rule and try to swindle the refs into letting them steal a possession early in the game. I’m looking at you, Belichick and Harbaugh.
The original onside kick rules were changed for safety reasons. As we’ve seen over the last couple of seasons, onside kicks have become borderline impossible to recover. Teams are recovering just 10.4 percent of onside kicks since 2018.
Here is the proposal from the Dolphins:
By Miami; to amend Rule 4, Section 3, Article 2, to provide the option to the defense for the game clock to start on the referee’s signal if the defense declines an offensive penalty that occurs late in either half.
Finally, the Ravens and Chargers two proposals:
By Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers; to amend Rule 19, Section 2, to add a “booth umpire” as an eighth game official to the officiating crew.
By Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers; to amend Rule 19, Section 2, to add a Senior Technology Advisor to the Referee to assist the officiating crew.
The booth umpire is known ass the “sky judge.” This proposal asks for the addition of a senior technology advisor to the referee to assist the officiating crew. It’s 2020, and the NFL is still using chains to figure out first downs and rely on a group of men huddling up whenever a call comes into question. According to a report sent to the competition committee last month, the officiating department is working with on-field officials to figure out how video feeds could assist them. If owners do not pass this proposal outright next week, there will be an addition of some kind to the officiating crew that will likely be tested in the preseason for possible further implementation.