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If you could change any NFL rules.....

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Forget Favre, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Forderick
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    Forderick Cheesehead

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    They need to be rewarding because if a DB is beat on a 60 yard bomb, that will likely end up a TD the DB will always just take the 15 yard penalty.

    the problem is that Pass Interference calls are mostly wrong. Offensive PI never gets called enough and to me when it does get called its wrong. And defensive PI gets called way too much. these are judgement calls that the refs have to make in real time so its not an easy task, but they need to more consistent. Example, simply having your hand on a WR back should not be called PI ever.

    If they would just eliminate the bad PI calls, then the rule is fine the way it is.
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  2. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    NFL is looking at it
  3. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I agree. I like the interference rule, its the enforcement of it that sucks. Incredibly happy when the refs started calling double interference. Stricter grading (just a novel idea) combined with our new referee bench (#1 and probably the only reason I was fine with the NFL holding out on zebras) should fix that... if they utilize that right.

    Speaking of rules and pass interference, I feel obligated given recent events to push for stricter criteria for replay officials. Guys like the idiot from the Failmary game, who was taken off the field because he was a constant and major screwup (directly responsible for one of the worst calls in football history, well, 2 now, and famously botched a coin toss, a FREAKIN COIN TOSS!!!) should NOT be allowed in the booth. Mandatory IQ, vision, and comprehension tests (not even sure if I'm joking)
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  4. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Great topic, ForgetFavre. Though I'm not sure how much tweaking is needed with America's most popular sport right now. My thoughts on your suggestions in red below:

    I don't really have any ideas but I'm going to wax philosophical on some of the posts above:

    I agree with those that have talked about the problems with pass interference these days but there's no simple fix. The problem with setting up a fixed yardage penalty has already been pointed out, though something should probably be done. A lot has been taken away from defenses in order to protect player safety (which is a good thing) but defensive backs should have greater leeway in defending the pass (you know, to make up for the fact that they can no longer launch themselves at a receivers' heads). I hate seeing pass interference when players' legs get tangled or when the defender gets his head around to locate the ball in time. Perhaps defensive backs should be able to keep a hand on a receiver in order to facilitate getting his head around to look for the pass. Either way, it's largely a judgment call that's difficult to make in real time.

    Despite these problems, I disagree with those that have suggested significantly liberalizing the current system of coach's challenges. Penalties such as pass interference and holding are fundamentally judgment calls, so it's often difficult to form a unanimous opinion of whether a lineman was held or a receiver was interfered with. Consider the nuts out there arguing that Golden Tate actually caught that ball in Seattle...

    And I'm not interested in additional lengthy stoppages so coaches can second-guess every questionable call. The idea of reviewing plays for calls that were missed entirely is absolutely preposterous. How much time do you think such a review takes? -Doesn't sound like a very spectator-friendly proposition for the fans at Lambeau in December. At some point you only subtract from the entertainment value of the sport.

    You can't totally legislate human error from NFL officiating. It's going to happen. As long as such errors are not outcome determinative (ala the Seattle game), then I can accept these. It's another element teams must deal with (like weather conditions) and, theoretically, it affects all franchises equally over the course of a season (ala the Bears game last week).

    With that said, I find what aspects of a play that coaches are allowed to review is arbitrary and stupid. Although, I'm apprehensive about making judgment calls such as holding or pass interference subject to replay review, I don't see why coaches can't have a play reviewed in order to determine whether a runner was down by contact or whether the clock has been correctly administered. Dumb.

    Instead of receiving a third challenge, I think coaches should receive two red flags for the entire game. When they correctly challenge a ruling on the field, they retain their flag. If they lose the challenge, the coach loses one of his flags. In effect, challenges would be subject to a two-strike rule: if you're incorrect twice during the course of a game, you can't challenge anymore plays (with teams continuing to forfeit a TO when they're wrong).

    Also, rather than have an additional NFL official in the booth reviewing the calls on the field, why not have each team appoint a specialist to advise the coach from the booth on challenges? Instead of relying on an independent official in the booth, everyone would understand that each team has it's own replay specialist on staff, looking after his club's best interests. This eliminates concerns of bias by the replay official in choosing what, if any, plays to review and I like placing restrictions on booth review by tying it to a team's challenge flags. It means there wouldn't be stoppages unless the mistake is obvious.

    Again, I don't think you can eliminate mistakes or the element of judgment from NFL officiating and I don't think the number of disruptions necessary to fix every error would benefit the spectator experience.
  5. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Its not about eliminating them, it's about minimizing them.
  6. realcaliforniacheese
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    realcaliforniacheese A-Rods Boss

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    See my post in QB hits.
  7. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Well, you're sort of missing the point that some of these calls are just fundamentally judgmental in nature. One official might see pass interference where another sees no reason to toss the flag. Even with replay, think about the number of times you hear announcers split on such a call during television broadcasts. The standard for some penalties like pass interference is remarkably subjective and there's rarely going to be a consensus opinion about whether such calls were correct. The use of replay doesn't change that- it only disrupts the game, probably more so than the occasional "mistaken" calls themselves.

    It just strikes me that the predilection with minimizing "mistakes" on these sort of judgment calls overlooks that the number of indisputable mistakes is rather small to begin with. In addition, most such mistakes are NOT outcome determinative; more review means more frequent disruptions to the game; and officiating errors generally affect all teams equally over the course of the season. Just seems like the scope of problem is being exaggerated and the proposed solutions create as many, if not more, problems (not to mention a diminished product for spectators).

    I'm all for tweaking the way officials call pass interference on the field but I think the use of replay to second-guess these sort of judgment calls represents a real stumble down the rabbit hole that detracts from the quality of the NFL's product overall.
  8. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    No individual raindrop is responsible for the flood. It is the compounding of every call/non-call that can and in more cases than most people realize (IMO) do determine the outcome of a game.

    I'm not saying that every call should be reviwed in-game, simply reveiwable. The league already reviews every game and grades the officiating, IMO grading tougher, especially now that we have "bench" officials to replace them with will help standardize the calls and reduce the overall number of bad calls in existing crews. I've noticed Steratore's crew (irony is they were the first of the regular officials to work this year) has consistently produced bad officiating. IMO challenging the refs to be more accountable does not detract from the game (though the refs will get far less respect admittedly)
  9. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    I don't see the need to panic over something that affects every team equally (i.e., it's not really undermining competitive balance in the league). Anybody can point to a couple calls (or non-calls) they disagree with during a game but I don't think there's been a decline in the quality of officiating over the past few years. Rather the extensive use of replay on television broadcasts just highlights every possible error, so reactionary fans such as yourself can work themselves into a tizzy over this "problem."

    I have little familiarity with the procedures by which NFL officials are reviewed after games. And, despite your strong opinions on this subject, I doubt you much familiarity with this either. Don't let that stop you from having an opinion, though. Apparently the grading should be tougher, whatever the hell that means.

    With in-game review, I'm just pointing out that some of the currently non-reviewable items being complained about here (holding, pass interference) are judgment calls, making them trickier to review. These penalties are more subjective than whether a receiver has met the technical requirements of a catch or determining the precise location of the ball when a runner's knee was down. The expanded replay that's been suggested could mean waiting around while officiating crews debate whether the contact between the CB and the WR justified a pass interference flag. This just isn't the type of penalty that should be second-guessed while fans and players wait around and slow-motion replay distorts the what happened in real time. Half the audience will be disappointed whether such a call is reversed or upheld.

    Mistakes and missed calls cut both ways. The idea that in-game review of these judgment calls will somehow improve fairness is dubious at best and if the current state of NFL officiating is so problematic for you, then you should boycott.

    Nobody is saying that referees shouldn't be held accountable. But the knee-jerk reaction that says the NFL should expand in-game replay ignores the practical implications and confuses accuracy for fairness.
  10. HyponGrey
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    I've said the Officials needed to improve since the mid 90's. Not sure if that exonerates the "reactionary" label, but I'll give you that fact may very well mean I'm biased on the subject.

    If competitive advantage was my issue with the calling, the argument could be made to bring back the replacement refs, or (to use exaggeration) eliminate the referees to put everyone on the same footing. I'm not saying that the officiating today gives teams a competitive edge, but rather that officiating must improve not only to ensure no competitive edge is given, but as a matter of pride. Fact is the way to make up a bad call is not to call another penalty to even the edge (of which there is no evidence) but rather to not make the same bad call again. When you follow that logic, every bad call DOES give an edge, and therefore must be cracked down upon.

    The fact that I did not mention the grading criteria shows I have little experience.

    I agree that impediment is subjective, and the speed and action of the game make it difficult to spot. But when the only answer as to why it isn't penalized when blatant or called when there is little case for it is "must've been a warning" or "must not have seen it" (and I will give some leniency in those cases) something is wrong. Now I admit replay is extreme. In all truth more attention to the grades/tougher grades would IMO go a long way to deal with this problem. The head referees in some cases are more to blame for bad calls than the ref who called it for not better knowing the... lets call them "tendencies" of the men he is trusting to advise/support him.

    I did a partial boycott for a while and only watched the Packers and (for the duration of Marino's career) the Dolphins, then the referee contract dispute came around (9/11 happened and it was settled) and Officiating improved to the point that it wasn't worth boycotting, as it is not now. That does not mean officiating cannot/does not need to improve. Thought that it was a goal of the NFL to seek to always improve the quality of the game? Just sayin
  11. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Nicely said. I too hope officials continue to scrutinize film in order to understand what calls they're missing or shouldn't have flagged, especially with these sort of non-reviewable, judgment calls. Consistency and accuracy should always be the goal.

    But I think concerns about officiating exist in all team sports and they're concerns that are often underscored by the widespread use of replay in modern broadcasting, which calls attention to such errors. I don't think NFL officiating was any better when Vince Lombardi was coaching the game. They're human; they make mistakes and perfection won't be achieved.

    The officiating mistakes, the inaccuracies- as long as they're unintentional- might be thought of as part of the competitive environment. Like wind gusting in an outdoor stadium, or the firmness of the turf, or the temperature at kickoff. It is a variable that affects the dynamic of the game, but I believe that the better team almost always comes out on top.

    The Seattle game is the only exception that comes to mind and the automatic review procedures already in place should have corrected the mistaken ruling that Tate had possession of the football regardless of what the NFL claimed in the days afterward. Possession of the football in the endzone is reviewable and Tate shouldn't have been awarded the catch because Jennings had established possession first, meaning the ball had been intercepted when they came down in simultaneous possession. It was an obvious and easy correction and they somehow ****** that up. Not sure why I'm repeating what everybody already knows. Even Canadians.

    Alright, time to put the presents under the tree and hit the sack. Merry Christmas, Hypon.
  12. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Good way to look at it. Biggest difference? I can't yell at God, mother nature, or whoever else for wind or hard ground LOL! It's alot easier to point fingers at a face.

    Merry Christmas!
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  13. net
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    net Cheesehead

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    Here is something they would NEVER DO, but to me the TV timeouts after change of possession would go. It slows the game tremendously. I would make up that time by extending halftime.
    I would largely adopt college rules, for safety. If you go down, you are down. You can't get up and run some more.
    I would allow bump and run on receivers all over the field, but, like college, one foot in would be a catch.
    There would be no overtimes. Ties would return. It really makes things interesting. What does overtime prove that couldn't be proven in 4 quarters?
    I would grant 4 points to any field goal over 50 yards. That helps an inferior team stay in games.
    I would set up an NFL-sponsored Spring-Summer football league. It would be composed of free agents and players off the practice squads. Each division would sponsor one team, making an 8-team league. It would keep fan interest going during the extremely long off-season. The teams could rotate one home game among the sponsoring teams. Thus the NFC North Knights would host home games in Detroit, Chicago, Green Bay and Minnehaha.
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  14. net
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    net Cheesehead

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    One more: I would implement a 300 pound weight limit unless you were more than 6'7" tall. It's not healthy, in any context, to weight that much, and the extra weight is contributing to injury.
  15. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    PKO! First kick to miss loses!

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