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Bleacher Report – Vikings

The best and worst proposed NFL rule changes

By Matthew Coller

The NFL owners’ meetings are taking place this week in Arizona, which means that a team is getting moved and all sorts of potential rule changes are being tossed around.

We’ll ignore the first part (RIP, Oakland Raiders) and take a look at the three best and three worst of the 15 proposed rule changes that owners will vote on.

Good rule proposals

1) Coaches can challenge any play except scores and turnovers

Let’s be clear: Challenges and the instant replay system in general are making most sports brutal to watch. College football games take nine hours. College basketball season might not end until next March because refs will still be reviewing whose pinky finger the ball touched last. Hockey is using instant replay to study whether skate blades were a cenimeter off the ice for goals that happened 30 seconds after the zone entry. It’s the worst. But it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so they should at least do it the right way.

This proposal would allow a coach to challenge penalties like pass interference and holding. First, these calls are extremely difficult to get right for referees, so why not allow for a second look? It’s often an impact play and teams have been using pass interference as an offensive strategy more and more. Toss it deep, get the flag (Vikings fans will be shocked to hear that the Packers gained more yards than any other NFC team on pass interference last year). As long as coaches are still limited to two challenges, the game won’t be any faster or slower than it was before, the league would just get more calls right than before.

2) Sideline replay monitors to be replaced by hand-held devices

It’s incredible that the richest league on the face of the planet hasn’t figured out how to sponsor the heck out of handheld devices for officials. “OK, the side judge is pulling out his Official Microsoft Replay Magic Machine 8, which you can buy at Microsoft DOT com!” If the NFL has a goal of decreasing the time it takes to complete games, then refs should be able to circle around a dude’s cellphone and make a decision. If it’s too hard to see on a phone, then the call can’t be overturned. Boom.

3) Touchback is at the 20-yard line if the kick goes through the uprights

This one is hilarious. Whoever came up with this, promote them. In all seriousnesss, this might be a way – however backyard-Basketball absurd it might sound – to make the kickoff halfway exciting again.

Bad rule proposals

1) No longer a limit of three challenges per team, and no longer a requirement that a team wins its first two to earn the third

The thinking behind this one is pretty logical, in practice, however, it would be a nightmare. Sure, it seems kind of messed up that a team can be punished for being handed four terrible calls in a game, but there needs to be some way to keep coaches from challenging calls all Sunday afternoon. As angry as these head coaches get on the sideline, there’s no way they could be restrained enough to use disgression if given free reign to challenge whatever/whenever.

2) Receivers running routes are protected as defenseless players

When the NFL instituted the “defenseless receiver” rules a few years ago, it helped nudge the league into full-on pass-happy mode. Nobody wants to see more receivers get hurt, but making life even easier for great passing teams will further swing the league in favor of the best quarterbacks. Right now, there is still belief from fan bases with mediocre passing games that they can be competitive. Move away from that by one more percentage point and those teams will have no shot. If more rules are going to favor receivers, something has to be done to even the playing field for defenses.

3) Make overtimes during the regular season and preseason just 10 minutes instead of 15

Is there a single living and breathing human being (that does not LOVE 60 Minutes) who is upset about overtimes being too long? There are only a handful of games that go to overtime each year. Did someone say: “You know what this league needs? More ties.” How about this: Make all the quarters in preseason 10 minutes long, don’t have preseason overtime, resolve winner of preseason games with a kicking contest and don’t charge fans any money to ever watch the abomination of sports that is the preseason.

The post The best and worst proposed NFL rule changes appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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