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
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.