The annual NFL Owners meeting held in Phoenix Arizona at the Biltmore Resort has come to a conclusion last week and the results were productive in some eyes, and not so much through others depending on your stance. The meetings began with 23 proposals on the table for discussion, which several were rejected in the end. Some were placed on hold for later meetings and one or two to be added along the way.
New England Patriots:
When it comes to rules of the game being looked at for change there almost always has to be a mention of one team, that being the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been in quit a few of these meetings being on the list for incidents that would leave some thinking they took advantage of the language of the rules.
This year its two things on tap concerning the Patriots , of course Deflate-gate, and the alignment of ineligible receivers. This was banned by the owners and passed fairly easy. Usually it takes a few years for certain rules to get changed,but when a team is using technical jargon to gain an advantage in playoff games it gets the leagues attention right away.
The last two years the extra point has become emphasis of the meetings and although nothing has changed permanently, the league is looking into possibly moving the extra point attempt back to the 15 yard line. Also may add an element, by allowing a team the opportunity to go for 2points more often by moving the try to the 1 1/2 yard line. This would most definitely change the outcome and dynamics of the flow of a game, for example: Most teams on their game charts do not even think about two points until they reach the fourth quarter; This change will see teams that score a lot of points like the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers, go for two after every score. Can you imagine the blowout games to happen. If one team is going for two-points it almost automatically force the other team to keep up and that will eliminate the extra point without having to vote it out.
The Playoff expansion has been tabled until next year, and the playoffs remain the same for now. We know that this will eventually happen because it has dollars signs all over it. Commissioner Roger Goodell is not going to let this one get away as he has been quoted as saying “I think several factors went into the decision to, at least, postpone the expanded playoffs. Some of them would be on the competitive side; in the last two years — interesting enough — it has been inconsistent with our experience in the past in that the last two (years) we actually had five less teams that would’ve qualified under the 14-team format than the 12″. Goodell also eluted to the making the regular season more exciting to watch “We want to make the regular season more important, more exciting, and have more teams in the race. If we’re not doing that, then we want to make sure that we understand why and what else we can do to affect that.” Look for this to take place next year if Goodell has anything to do with it. Perhaps this year another team or teams will finish the race with 10 plus wins and not make the playoffs to help his case, but we will see.
Here is one that has raised a lot of eye brows around the sports world. The league has agreed to a rule that will now allow for team Physicians or trainers to stop a game if they see a player is disorientated from a hit. It is more focused on head injuries, as the rule was helped along by Dr. Javier Cardenas, a neurologist in Phoenix who is the independent neurological consultant on the sideline for the Arizona Cardinals. “In my opinion, this is the biggest thing for sports medicine that has come out,”said Doctor Cardenas and added “Where else do you have a medical provider that actually is calling a timeout in any other sport? None. Huge for sports medicine.” Yes, huge for sports medicine but could be bad for a game watched on television, which already has complaints of the game being stopped frequently by our next proposal, instant replay.
Although instant replay proposals from several teams were rejected, the league is looking into allowing more cameras in all of the NFL stadiums to help with the instant replay process. This was helped along by a very angry Bill Belichick who felt that the league owners were paying more attention on his doings rather than making it better to get calls right on the field with more cameras in the end-zones. Instant replay already slows the game down enough, and the league felt adding more rules will make the game unwatchable, which is why every teams proposal for being able to replay every play was rejected. One addition of replay review for game clock at end of half, game, overtime if more than 1 second is on the clock has been implemented.
There were a few other rules that have been changed this year, one being the chop block. Now outside the tight end area, it is now illegal for a back to chop a defensive player engaged above the waist by another offensive player. Also the rule for a peel-back block changed to include all offensive players being penalized as opposed to just those inside the tackle box. The rule protecting receivers has changed as well, extending the protection if the pass is intercepted and they remain unable to defend themselves from a hit. Finally players are banned from pushing teammates at the line of scrimmage on punts and field goals. These rules will definitely set the 2015 season up for a lot of penalty calls and more slow down of play, but the league is making an effort to better its product on the field. For the old school fan that is asking the question what happen to the game of football? Well, simple it has moved on to the next century and this is now your modern style version.
Goodell concludes meeting:
Commissioner Roger Goodell concluded matters at the meetings by addressing its conduct policies and also addressed on-going investigations including deflate-gate being investigated by Ted Wells in regard to the New England Patriots. Goodell made short mention of this by saying “We have not put a time frame on Ted Wells. We’ve asked him to be thorough, complete. And when he’s finished with that, he’ll get that to us and to the public in general.” On the Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson reinstatements Goodell said he will continue to evaluate their situations and make that decision when the time comes.
In all, the meetings did what they always do, cause more questions and controversy. But when its all said and done the NFL will continue to grow by leaps and bounds from positive and negative stand-points.
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