The NFL’s executive vice president of operations, Ray Anderson and the president of the competition committee, Rich McKay told the press about their proposals for rule changes on Wednesday.
The main focus of their proposals was player safety. This includes the rampant illegal hits in addition to some proposed changes in the kickoff game.
Anderson promised the media that repeat offenders of the illegal hits that were so widespread in the 2010 season would be suspended, not just fined.
Anderson and McKay decided against reseeding and the “Calvin Johnson Rule”. In my opinion, this is a good thing because reseeding is pointless.
The point of rule changes is to improve competition and make players safer. Reseeding has no effect on safety, and it would actually DECREASE competition. If the Seattle Seahawks had to play the Saints in Now Orleans, I believe the Saints would have won, hands down. Therefore, reseeding would tilt the playoff games towards the better teams, and decrease competition.
The “Calvin Johnson Rule” would be almost impossible to enforce. Who is to say that Johnson didn’t actually let it go accidentally? It would be the player’s word against the ref’s word, and that situation will rarely produce a winner.
When McKay surveyed the coaches, he found that some of them would like to eliminate kickoffs. This seems a bit drastic, and would put a lot of people out of a job. However, changes are being made to the kickoff game.
The proposal was to move the kickoff from the 30-yard line, where it is now, to the 35-yard line, and all members of the kicking team must start between the 30 and 35 yard lines, to limit running starts. Touchbacks would start at the 25, instead of the 20 like they do now. With limited running starts, and a greater inclination to take a knee, injuries would (hopefully) be decreased significantly.
The other proposed change was a mandatory replay proposal. This means that every scoring play would be reviewed, even the obvious ones. This would make the game too slow, put something needs to be done so that the border-line scoring plays can be reviewed, not just two of them. Maybe, we could give the coaches a different colored flag to throw that would do the same thing as a challenge flag, except it has unlimited uses and can only be used on scoring plays. I think most coaches would have the common sense not to challenge a field goal or an obvious score, so the game wouldn’t be slowed down too much, but scoring plays could still be challenged.
I think, overall, Anderson and McKay did an awesome job, and I think that if these proposals are made, the game will be improved by a lot.