Should the NFL change a winning formula?
The NFL is strongly considering implementing up to at least 13 new changes drawn up by the league’s competition committee at next week's owners' meetings in Orlando, according to an NFL spokesman.
Though not listed, but of equal importance (if not more so, in some cases) is the issuing of personal-foul call for players using racial slurs such as the n-word on the field, however it remains an area of focus and concern for the league, something Rams coach Jeff Fisher who said - "We're going beyond the field of play, we're going to the workplace, there's going to be numerous discussions with respect to the topic and we're going to move forward.''
In addition, the competition committee's Rich McKay said that they support the idea of expanding the play-off format, which would increase the volume of participants from 12 to 14 teams, adding one post-season spot per conference.
Here are the further changes under consideration:
1. Move kick-offs to the 40-yard line, from the 35, (current position).
2. Making all personal fouls reviewable.
3. Eliminating overtime in pre-season games.
4. Extending the goalposts vertically by 5 feet on each side (someone’s been spending too much time in the company of Sepp Blatter, or the oh so ‘innovative’ Michel Platini)
5. Moving extra-point attempts to the 25-yard line, making it a 43-yard try. (Proposed by the Patriots) The competition committee separately is proposing one pre-season game this season where extra-point snaps will take place from the 20.
6. Adding six cameras to all boundary lines on the field to supplement TV camera angles.
7. Allowing any officials' decisions to be challenged by coaches, not just specific kinds of plays.
8. Protecting players from getting their legs rolled up on from the side - and not just from the back - as a penalty.
9. Allowing the referee to confer with members of the NFL officiating department in New York at the league office during replay reviews.
10. Changing review rules on the recovery of a loose ball. This would include reorganizing the replay section of the NFL rulebook.
11. Keeping the clock running (‘Fergie Time’ to soccer fans) on quarterback sacks at all times of the game.
12. Changing pass interference so that it can be called within a yard of the line of scrimmage.
13. Enforcing defensive penalties behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, instead of from the end of the play or from the spot of the foul.
Aside from the above recommendations, there were also a variety of by-law change proposals under consideration in the form of the following:
1. Raising the number of active players on game day roster from 46 players to 49 for non-Sunday or Monday regular-season games, excluding Week 1. The league has Thursday games throughout the season, as well as some late-season Saturday contests.
2. Raising the practice squad roster size from eight to 10 players.
3. Permitting teams to trade players prior to the start of the league year (i.e. from the end of the Super Bowl to, using this year as an example, March 11).
4. Changing mandatory roster cut-downs during the preseason go from 90 players directly to 53, skipping the 75-player step
5. Allowing more than one player to be "designated to return" on the injured reserve to come back after six weeks.
6. Allowing teams to test and time up to 10 draft prospects at their own facilities, and allowing any rival team to come witness the testing and timing at the other teams' facilities.
7. Changing the roster reduction time after the fourth preseason from 6 p.m. ET to 4 p.m., with all teams to submit their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m.
In summary, despite the inevitable conflict of opinion bound to emerge in the wake of change, (both on and off the field), be assured that Roger Goodell and the powers that be will do their upmost to preserve the integrity of this most compelling of sports. Not just for now, but for years to come.
Something Sepp Blatter and his surreptitious band of cronies at that hive of corruption - FIFA to you and I - have comprehensively failed to do, despite the hard-hitting clout of the ‘Ethics Committee’…