March 20, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference at the annual NFL meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

5 Rule Changes The NFL Should Make

The NFL seems to be constantly changing it’s rules and frustrating the fans in doing so. If they’re going to change the rules, there’s plenty of things I’d like to see the NFL do that they don’t even seem to be considering.

It would be easy to say something like “undo all the Goodell rule changes,” but I think we need to just get over it. Lets face it, all the player safety rule changes are here to stay whether we like it or not.

So rather than focussing on those rules, lets instead highlight some some rules changes that would genuinely make the game better, without making it less safe for the players.

1) Mandating quality field conditions – There are a few stadiums in the NFL, mostly in the Northeast, that have absolutely dreadful fields. The worst is easily in Washington, and that crappy field claims the lives of ACLs every fall. From Adrian Peterson to Chris Clemons to Robert Griffin, and there’s no reason for it. The NFL needs to fix this, and mandate quality conditions at every stadium. In my opinion, they should take away draft picks from the cheap ass teams who wont pay to install a real playing surface.

2) Expanded Rosters – I have no idea why this didn’t happen with the new CBA, but the NFL needs to expand it’s rosters. Even just expanding them to 55 players, and expanding the practice squads to 10 would be sufficient. I’d also like to see teams being given 2-3 more players on the active rosters for game days. All of this would give teams more flexibility. You might even see teams start to carry 2 kickers, one for kickoffs and another for field goals. Ultimately though, this is something that I think both the teams and the union should want, so it’s only a matter of time.

3) Wider Hashmarks - It wouldn’t have to be as extreme as the college hashmarks, but the hashmarks should be widened. Doing so creates more space for the offense to work with. Ultimately, the league is at it’s best when it’s most explosive players are in the open field. Widening the harmarks creates enough space that it’ll be easier for offenses to make that happen.

4) Overhaul Instant Replay – The NFL’s instant replay system is completely broken. I’m going to save the details for another article, but I have a plan that would drastically change instant replay for the better. No more long delays, no more referees under the tent, no more challenges, and more huge limitations on what is reviewable.

5) Enforcement of holding by defensive lineman – This isn’t truly a rule change, but it would drastically how the game is played. Currently, certain defensive linemen are getting away with horrible and blatant holding of offensive linemen. It prevents the the offensive linemen from picking up blitzers or getting to the 2nd level when blocking for the run game. It’s very frustrating that this is never called, especially since the league is trying to help offenses, and this would help and doesn’t involve the negative press that other rule changes seem to bring.

6) Eliminate the “tuck rule” – Oh wait, they did that. Never mind.

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  • All Coug’d Up

    1: OH MY GOD THANK YOU! PREEEEEEEACH MR MYERS! This article should get sent right to the league office! You are not all that worried about player safety (no matter what you say) if you do not force these teams to carry a quality field! You are a puss if you cannot man up and tell your owners to pony-up some green for the betterment of the game! I love the idea of draft picks, but let’s face it not even THAT will change some of these guys’ minds and they’ll just forego the draft picks. Tell them “fix your field or we’re putting your team on open market for someone who will”, that’s the only way.

    2: Excellent point, I think you have to expand to 57 before teams start thinking about 2 kickers though. Play-makers on the cheap will be the result of adding just 2 additional roster spots.

    3: This move would affect kickers drastically, making it even more important to have an accurate guy. I think with the engaging rule of not being able to stack the line now, something like this becomes more likely. I think they just took 90% of the blocks that were happening out of the game.

    4: Interested to hear this proposal, as I like the NFL system better than the college.

    5: Absolutely great call here. I saw it called a few times last year so I think there’s an acknowledgment of it but the league really needs to make this a point of focus in their rules.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I only brought up the kickers in the roster proposal for 2 reasons, and then both got cut to keep this from becoming a dissertation. First was the hashmark concern. Not all kickers will del wit that as well as others. The 2nd was actually a player safety idea. By letting teams carry 2 kickers, they’ll like pick one who’s accurate for FGs and other who’s less accurate but has a big leg for kickoffs. If most teams have a big legged PK, then there would be more touchbacks and less injuries on kick returns.

  • YyYo MaC

    How about this: If, during a fieldgoal attempt, a timeout is called but the ball is still snapped, the kicker should not be allowed to take the practice kick. If the kicker does kick the practice shot then it should be a delay-of-game penalty.

    • All Coug’d Up

      A delay of game during a timeout? That seems silly because what if the whistle isn’t real? You’ll have kickers hesitating because they thought they heard a whistle and don’t want the penalty, then it’ll cost someone a game and heads will come unglued.

      I think you should make the coach take the timeout before the kicker is planted and set to take the kick though. It’s retarded that you’re able to take a timeout after the guy has set and is ready. Maybe in this case if the kicker were to take a practice kick you could give that “delay of game” you were talking about because the stoppage would be obvious.