There may not be players in the training facilities banging weights or taking long whirlpools to recover from injuries and there may not be phone calls being made (openly) to agents about soon to be free agents.
There is however day to day business of the NFL that continues.
Case in point, regardless of whether there is a deal or no deal, the NFL’s competition committee is meeting and the rule change rumors are quite interesting to say the least.
On the forefront of the CC rumor front is the change in the way coaches challenges are made. The CC is considering a review system that will put all scoring plays in the hands or the eyes of the replay booth official. In other words, only the replay official can signal the head ref to review the play. This is similar to what happens after the 2 minute warning. It will also save challenges for coaches to use on stupid stuff like 5 yard completions.
Tony Sparano who has been questioned regarding his challenge use will get a small reprieve from the vocal fan populace.
In addition, the 3rd challenge flag that is rarely used may be eliminated. The 3rd challenge is granted to a team only when that team has successfully challenged two prior events through the course of the game.
While the challenge rules are the top rumor for now, it’s the leagues talks regarding touch-back and kickoff positions that may have the most impact on games.
It’s no secret that fans love it when their kicker (especially if your a Dolphins fan and the special teams coverage sucks) puts the ball in the opposing end-zone for a touch-back thus bringing the ball out to the 20 instead of, again if your Miami, the 40.
The CC is looking at whether the kick-offs should be moved to the 35 and the touch-back yardage be moved out to the 25. Thus increasing the chances of touchbacks and shortening the field to 75 yards instead of 80.
Rich McKay who is the presiding member of the leagues CC told reporters today VIA a conference call that the league is trying to find new ways to protect the players (the same ones suing them) from injuries that are increasing in kick-offs and returns. The idea is that more returners would be encouraged to stay in the end-zone and accept the 25 yard start line as opposed to running the ball out and ending up shy of the 20.
Hardly exciting and it seems to me that they may as well do away with kick-offs all together and just hand the ball over to the opposing team while they wear bubble wrap. O.k. in reality, I understand protecting the players but this is a bit much for me. Helmet to helmet? Yeah, got it, on board 100 percent. Encouraging returners to stay in the end-zone? How exciting is that? Of course this completely helps the Dolphins since they need a return guy. If this passes, I can actually shag balls and take a knee in the end-zone and the league can pay me the league minimum to just that. Now all they have to do is find someone to fair catch punts (or catch them and run to the sidelines). See Ted Ginn saw the future of what the kicking game would become, and hear I thought he was scared.
What are your thoughts on Ted Ginn being ahead of his time the rule changes being discussed?