Football games are run as close to "by the numbers" as you can get in sports. Hockey and basketball have a lot of judgement calls and loose officiating. Soccer has "injury time" (the worst rule in sports). I've even seen some fuzzy calls in baseball (but who's watching that?). Football has actually worked to get rid of judgement calls by officials. I was excited when they got rid of the push out. I want the rules to be clear-cut enough that we can have robots making the calls. In order to do that we need to work on this forward progress nonsense.
I propose a rule change for forward progress that would make it challengeable. This is just a suggestion--a starting point:
Forward progress has been "stopped" if one of the following occurs:I think the 5-yard/5-second rule sounds reasonable, but it may not be perfect. Suggestions for changes? I'm all ears.
1. The ball carrier has not gained yards for five seconds while being contacted by defenders.
2. The ball carrier is pushed back five yards from the point on the run which was farthest forward with constant contact by defenders.
While we're at it can we make holding a 5-yard penalty? Ten yards for touching a guy's shoulder in the wrong way seems like a bit much.