What rules would you change? NFL legends, experts chime in

As great a game as football is, there are always ways to improve it.

For example, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh floated the idea of ​​tweaking overtime so that instead of starting overtime with a coin toss, the fourth quarter simply transitions into overtime. So if a team has a third and four in midfield when the clock runs out with the score tied, that team will simply go into overtime with the same deficit, distance, and field position.

It’s an interesting concept – overtime has been the subject of much scrutiny in recent years – although a formal proposal for it would certainly face a lot of opposition. For example, some people would argue that the two-minute drama bleeds out of games. Why would a team take risks to win at the end of regulation when they knew they could just beat the clock and move on?

Regardless, Harbaugh was just toying with the idea, and there are a ton of these suggested tinkers happening every season and off-season.

With that in mind, The Times polled a number of people associated with football about one or more NFL rules they would like to change.

They had a wide range of answers:

Steve Young

Chargers cornerback Deane Leonard, left, is called out for pass interference while defending Rams wide receiver JJ Koski.

Chargers cornerback Deane Leonard (left) is called out for pass interference while defending Rams wide receiver JJ Koski during a preseason game August 13 at SoFi Stadium.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Hall of Famer quarterback believes pass-interference calls can be too punishing for a defense, especially when a flag causes an offense to take up a huge property.

“Pass interference just got out of hand. The highest talent is being tested out there. There’s no talent for just popping a lollipop bomb in the final seconds of the game and such a little fool thing frantic happens and you gain 40 yards. It’s just not right.

“You say, what about egregious passport interference? It still feels like the web of everything I watch, it’s junkyards being won. You are not deserved. They need to come up with something that reflects the level of talent at stake rather than some guy whipping a bad long ball that has no chance of making it work. Then it’s like, “Well, look at that! We have 43 meters!’ This makes the game less reflective of talent, skill and competition. Once you say it’s collegiate 15 yards, the defense can get bolder and it forces the offense to step up their game.

Tony Dungy

The Hall of Fame coach criticizes the rules that place strict limits on players who train in pads.

“Let the coaches coach and train their teams how they need to train. I’ve spoken to these guys and they’re like, ‘We’ve got to take three days off. We can’t practice hitting pads twice in a row.’ I understand what they are trying to do to make it safer. But I think we legislated some of the off-game coaching. Yes, I need some parameters to prepare my team, but don’t let me train like all other coaches.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of coaches, especially defensive coaches, who have said to me, ‘If I have a problem during the season, I can’t really fix it because I can’t practice enough or hard enough to fix some of my technical problems.’

“Unlike before, the offensive now have the advantage of getting out of the training camp. If I’m a quarterback, I can take my whole group to Duke or Phoenix and we can throw balls anywhere. Defenses cannot do that. Now I come to camp and train and I can’t train enough to catch up. I know I’ll be complaining about bad tackles and bad defensive fundamentals for the first two weeks on Sunday night. It’s just a product of the way we have to practice now.”

Mike Carey

Although he retired from the NFL, the The longtime referee still keeps a close eye on the rules and trends of the game. He has a few ideas that would help the defense.

“You always have to make it safer, and I would eliminate low blocks entirely. Both offense and defense think there are times when you have to get on someone’s knees. No need. Athletes, no matter how good they are, they will pay for it later in life. Why are they allowing this? So that makes the job of an offensive coordinator a little easier? The legal blocks in the target zone are devastating enough to satisfy anyone who likes the game for its collisions. So we don’t need low blocks.

“If I were a defense fan or a defensive coordinator, I would wish the league would put the offensive tackles on the scrimmage line. Because if you see it now, the offensive line takes the form of a stealth bomber with tackles deflected from the line of scrimmage. That makes it incredibly difficult for defensive ends because it takes away an angle. Now it protects the quarterback more, so they probably aren’t as strict about getting the tackles on the line of scrimmage.

“I would abolish illegal contact. At cornerback, you already have the best athlete on the field. What he can do backwards is incredible. That would give the defense a better leg.”

Joe Buck

Referee Alex Kemp watches the immediate replay in front of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Referee Alex Kemp watches the instant replay in front of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who challenged a game during a preseason game against the Detroit Lions Aug. 28.

(Matt Durisko/Associated Press)

The play-by-play announcer, who is moving from Fox to ESPN’s Monday Night Football this season, believes the league can continue to streamline the process of instant replay ratings.

“It feels to me like the instant replay rule works a little faster in college football than it does in the NFL. If something needs reviewing, college football has the ability to do so without the need for a coach to be involved. If something looks wrong, it shouldn’t be up to the coach to contest it. You should take care of that stuff. The NFL is kind of getting where they can quickly override an obvious call with this expedited replay instead of waiting. There is a lot of dead time. There are many worries about freezing everything. It has become too detailed and the delays can become too long and unnecessary. Flag, flag, flag, look, look, look, break the flow of the game.

“If it looks like a touchdown or looks incomplete, it probably should be. It takes a lot from the television audience and their patience when this stuff gets so detailed. When the flow of the game is broken so much that it’s stuck on a certain replay and they blend different angles together like in the Zapruder movie, it becomes too much.”

Tim Brown

The Hall of Fame wide receiver is criticizing a rare but somewhat controversial penalty for ball carriers who bow their heads on contact.

“I’ve only seen it a couple of times in a season, but it’s like the worst call ever. What’s a guy supposed to do, run with his head held high? Exposing the whole upper body? it’s so crazy You have to protect yourself, and the only way to do that is to pull your pads over your knees. They want everyone to run like Eric Dickerson with that straight-line running style. But you don’t know of any other great runner, be it receiver or running back, who had this style. It’s for a reason.

“Eric put those knees in your face so it was hard for people to get to him. But think of the Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smiths of the world, nobody walked like that. You will be taught that. I grew up a running back and one thing they taught you, when you get to that hole, you better have your pads over your knees because something’s coming. You may not see it coming, but it is coming.”

Al Michaels

A fan cheers from the upper deck of SoFi Stadium.

A fan cheers from the upper deck during a preseason game between the Raiders and Rams August 21, 2021 at SoFi Stadium.

(Jae C Hong / Associated Press)

The legendary play-by-play man, who now works for Amazon Prime on Thursday nights, would tone down the antics at the stadium.

“The league is trying very hard to make the in-game presentation as good as it is on TV. TV is now a better way to watch the game than watching it live. All of these stadiums have tried to improve the experience and they’ve succeeded with things like the video board at SoFi Stadium. It’s fantastic off the charts.

“But when I see this sign on any sport that says ‘make noise’, I think, what do you mean make noise? What does that mean? This has nothing to do with the game. I don’t want to sound like an old bugger, but the audience should react to what’s happening in a game.

“When I walk into stadiums these days, and at least half of them, I go even crazier than an idiot when I hear the public address announcer yell, he yells the prolonged ”Thirrrrd doooown!‘ I can not stand. What are you trying to do? When your home team is on defense, do you try to jam the opponent’s signals? It won’t. All it does is give people a headache.”

Mike Martin

The offensive guru and former St. Louis Rams coach believes the most effective rule might be: leave the game alone.

“I was on the competition committee for a few years, and this is what happened: a head coach lost a game because of a certain situation, and then we made a rule for it. And you end up sticking gum over all those little holes. It distorted the game so much. And the accumulation of all these small changes will dramatically change the game over 20 years.

“Just live with it. Just live by the rules we’ve all played by. Obviously there’s been some great rule changes, the linemen being removed and stuff like that. But 20 years from now, this won’t be a game that we even recognize.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2022-09-07/what-rules-changes-nfl-legends-experts-explain What rules would you change? NFL legends, experts chime in

Emma Bowman

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