Blog Entry

My Take On the New NFL Rules

Posted on: March 25, 2010 7:59 am
Edited on: March 25, 2010 8:08 am
 

Hidden beneath the overtime rule controversy, a few other rules have been passed. I don't see these rules as "game changers" like the overtime rule. In my opinion, there was no need for an overtime rule. The teams have four quarters to end the game. It's terrible watching the ultra conservative play during those four quarters that cause overtime. The new overtime rule won't change the worsening conservative play calling in the NFL, it will actually make it worse. In the early 2000's (2004 playoffs to be exact), the St. Louis Rams had one of the most explosive offenses in the league. Mike Martz had plenty of time left to score the game winning touchdown against the Carolina Panthers, but instead, opted to settle for the field goal to go to overtime. It was horrible to watch as a NFL fan. This new overtime rule will not change that new 'content' attitude in the NFL. It could actually make it much worse which could make the NFL unwatchable. Coaches weren't scared of the 'unfair' coin flip, and they certainly won't be afraid of going to overtime with the new change.

Here are some of the new rules passed yesterday:

During a field goal or extra point attempt, the defensive team can't position any player on the line directly across from the snapper. Previously, a player needed to have his helmet outside the snapper's shoulder pads.

This rule is pretty silly as I see it having no impact at all. It may suggest blocked kicks will no longer come from attacking the middle, but there will be slanting on the lines that will create a hole every now and then.

A dead ball personal foul on the final play of the second or fourth quarters will cause a 15-yard penalty on the second half or overtime kickoff. Previously in those situations, no penalty was enforced, although players subsequently could be fined by Goodell.

This is one of the new no-brainer rules. Even though it didn't seem to be a problem, it addresses a possible issue in the future. Just imagine a huge fight breaking out at the end of a heated game before going to an overtime period and nothing being done about it. If the overtime rule (old one) caused controversy, this scenario certainly would to.

If a punt returner makes a fair catch signal and muffs the ball, he is entitled to "reasonable opportunity" to catch the muff before it hits the ground without interference of the coverage team. The ball will be rewarded at the spot of the interference, but there will be no penalty yardage marked off.

This rule is intended to keep the punt returner safe from injuries, but it still wouldn't have prevented Dante Wesley, Panthers, from blatantly cheap shotting the Bucs Clifton Smith last year. It's always a terrible idea adding rules that are this subjective, "reasonable opportunity". I'm pretty sure if you talk to ten refs about their interpretation of this, you will get ten different responses.

When a ball strikes a videoboard (as one punt did last preseason at the new Cowboys Stadium), guide wire or sky cam, the play is whistled dead and replayed. The game clock is reset to when that play started.

Another no brainer. Where are all my friends who laughed at me when I told them a ball would never hit the scoreboard last season? *Crickets* Exactly. I'm still owed an avatar of Tony Romo for a month by you guessed it...a Steelers fan. He pulled a Houdini.

The replay judge will be allowed to initiate a review if he believes there was some sort of interference with the ball. This is the only case outside of the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters and overtime that the booth can order a replay. Coaches can also challenge whether there was interference with the ball.

These two statements do go well together. What if the replay judge doesn't see the ball get interfered with, but the coach does and has to challenge; then it happens again to the other team, but the review judge sees that one? If the coach has to use a challenge on an interfered ball, he should not lose a challenge. For example, a coach lost his first challenge and wins an interfered ball challenge. Regardless of winning the second challenge, he has zero challenges left for the game because a review judge missed the interference. Basically, a coach can get penalized for an incompetent review judge. You would think this would be addressed in this rule change. There has already been instances where reviews were not held in the final two minutes for controversial calls.

If the clock is stopped in the final minute of either half for a replay review, but would not have stopped without the review, officials will run off 10 seconds before resuming play. Either team could take a timeout to void the 10-second runoff.


This is a fair rule change. A wide receiver slides in for a catch with 30 seconds left and a review is held. The team has no time outs left and benefits from this stoppage of play. The call is upheld so they run 10 seconds off. Only fair way to do it. I would like to see someone argue this rule. Although, a deep ball would run more time off the clock.

Comments

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2010 6:10 pm
 

My Take On the New NFL Rules

I never thought there was a problem with the OT rule. I think sudden death is a fine way to end the game. The 1st team to score wins, seems fair to me.



Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2010 3:00 pm
 

My Take On the New NFL Rules

Great post.  I agree with your comment of a coin toss being the penalty for not taking care of business in regulation.
As an FYI, I've heard or read more than one media outlet in the past 24 hours state that once the rule changes are presented to the players union and owners later this spring, there is likely to be discussion about applying the new playoff OT rule change to the entire season.  My take is similar to yours: if the whole season matters in leading up to the playoffs, and if there is a rule important enough for the playoffs (which this new rule change is, or it wouldn't have been done) then it should apply to all games...if a change must be made to the previous OT set-up.



Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2010 2:52 pm
 

My Take On the New NFL Rules

If a punt returner makes a fair catch signal and muffs the ball, he is entitled to "reasonable opportunity" to catch the muff before it hits the ground without interference of the coverage team. The ball will be rewarded at the spot of the interference, but there will be no penalty yardage marked off.

This rule is intended to keep the punt returner safe from injuries, but it still wouldn't have prevented Dante Wesley, Panthers, from blatantly cheap shotting the Bucs
last year. It's always a terrible idea adding rules that are this subjective, "reasonable opportunity". I'm pretty sure if you talk to ten refs about their interpretation of this, you will get ten different responses.

I agree with the Dr. here on this on in only one regard, this rule either old or new would not have prevented Clifton Smith from being destroyed last season. The part that I do not agree with, either "reasonable opportunity" or not is allowing the Punt Returner to make up for mistake that "HE" made.  Seriously, why give the Punt Return a chance to regain control of a ball the he lost control of and if he doesn't regain control and the opposing team recovers the muff, the new rule will give the Punt Returner the possesion of the ball. Look at it from this angle, if any other position player "MUFFS" a.k.a losing the ball, he is not awarded the opportunity to recover the ball. Then again, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings should try and pursuade the NFL to adopt this rule for all players as much as he fumbles the ball. Oh wait, I think Steve Slaton of the Houston Texans already beat him to the punch.



Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2010 10:22 am
 

My Take On the New NFL Rules

FOREPLUS, thanks for the compliment and adding to the blog. The incredible thing right now is the overtime rule change only applies to playoff games. One of the best things about the NFL is the short season and every game really has playoff implications. How in the world are the regular season games not included with this new rule? There will be a meeting in May to discuss this and if they don't include regular season games, it will make the rule even more ridiculous. Last 11 out of 13 overtime games were settled by a FG. I didn't check if they were first possessions or not, I know some weren't, but the teams involved in those games were in the playoff hunt last year. The new rule does change some of the strategy and should be applied to regular season games as well if they must have it. Funny thing is, the media's main victim of the old rules were the Minnesota Vikings and the Vikings were one of four teams that voted against the new rule. The media does refer to the kickers winning games as cheap, but the new rule really won't change the fact that the kickers are a big part of the game. Heck, look at super bowl teams in the past and the majority of them had great kickers, or like last year Saints, had kickers who were on fire.
I'm with you, there was no need to change the overtime rules. I viewed the coin flip as punishment to both teams for not winning the game in regulation. If anything, I see three FG's being made in overtime to win most of the games. The teams that win with the TD will be the teams that score on defense or special teams for the most part.
Thanks again for joining the conversation.



Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2010 10:12 pm
 

My Take On the New NFL Rules

Very nicely done and I'm sure a lot of true football fans like myself have not heard of these rules. The only one being talked about is the o/t change. I personally see it as an abomination to the game. Two rules for how and when a game can end is ridiculous. First I had no problem with the sudden death, as you stated the teams have just played 4 quarters and still no one has won. While it is better to get the ball first it does not mean you will win. Statistically you probably will but now there is no shot at it. Go down score any way you can is how the game is played. Just suppose on the kickoff of o/t the receiving team gets a great run back and now is in position to score a field goal(not a cheap score as all are reporting)the defense should have stopped the offense. Now coaches must decide whether or not to kick that field goal or go for the touchdown which IS now an automatic victory. This indecision will make the games go longer. I am not sure but I thought I heard it was only on the first posession for each team. Why are we giving them extra tries when like said earlier they already had 60 minutes. if it is only on the first posession and the field goal is good the other team goes down and now must score a touchdown or they lose.Hello if they also make a field goal don't we now have another tie game.
One of the worst rules to be made in HISTORY.
As for some of the other new rules some are indeed very good while others make you think how long it took the committee to come up with them and why did they bother. Allowing for interpretation by anyone on the field is like the Umpires in baseball calling balls and strikes. Ask ten of them and even though they all know where the strike zone is supposed to be if you ever get the chance to see those ten call a game their strike zone will be different.
Thanks for the great article and a place for me to vent.



Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2010 10:18 am
 

My Take On the New NFL Rules

Thanks for commenting on the blog and the compliment. These rules were under a heading right here on cbssportsline.com. Here is the link- .




Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: March 25, 2010 8:14 am
 

My Take On the New NFL Rules

I was watching NFL total access, and I couldn't find any of these rules there. THose are some pretty good rules, but some are pointless too. Yes, you have t oamke the rule. But obdviously if it hit the scoreboard it is a dead ball.

      
;  I'm the first to view your blog, its good. You have a lot of inside information. How did you get all of this?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com