Saturday, September 6, 2008

New NFL Rules

The summer heat has died down...children and college kids have returned to school...beer and chips are flying off the shelves...that's right folks...it's time for some football. With a new season comes a few new rules, a few of which I think will make for some great games:
  • Defensive Helmet Radios: QBs have had radios in their helmets so that coaches can easily communicate with them between plays, which has worked out very well. Now, coaches can communicate with the other half of their team: the defense. One defensive player will be allowed to have a radio in their helmet now, which I think is a great idea. Defense needs to communicate with the coaches just as much as the offense.
  • Reviewable Plays: These obviously are nothing new but there have always been restrictions on the types of plays that can be reviewed. A few types of plays have been added to the roster now: field goals, extra points, and illegal forward handoffs. These types of plays are usually easy to call and therefore are rarely questionable (especially extra points), but we've all seen a FG kick that called for atleast a few replays. It's good to know they can be reviewed now.
  • Second Half Coin Toss: This is an interesting new option that teams will now have for the coin toss: they can defer to kick or receive in the second half now. Another addition in favor of the defense.
  • Facemasks: The 5-yard penalty for incidental facemasks has been eliminated; all penalties will be 15-yards now. Also, officials will be on the lookout for offensive players grabbing defending facemasks.
  • Forceout Rule: This is by far my favorite addition/revision to the NFL rules. Previously, the rule for sideline/endzone passes was that a receiver must get 2 feet inbounds before stepping out...unless the officials call a "forceout," meaning they believed the receiver could have had 2 feet inbounds but a defender "forced" them out. This rule is now eliminated. Regardless of any forcing, a receiver must get 2 feet inbounds. I love this because when this rule existed, it forced defenders to sometimes make snap decisions to often pull back from touching a receiver, hoping that they would not get 2 feet down. Now defenders will not have to restrain themselves - it eliminates a touch of ambiguity that is often decided in reviewed plays.
So let the games begin. Living in CT again, I'm going to have to deal with occasional conflicts when the Eagles are playing at the same time as one of those damn NY teams...thank God for satellite-providing sports bars.



4 comments:

David Oblas said...

Defensive helmet radios will significantly increase the abilities of the defense, but also will make lower scoring games (eh...)

reviewable plays... why do we need to review extra points? haha

second half coin toss... im confused...

facemasks - good, that's a serious issue, you could do some serious damage to someones neck by grabbing their facemask. it should be a 20 yard penalty.

forceout rule - part of playing defense is keeping people from getting yards (duh)... i think forcing someone out should be perfectly legal, and im glad they changed this rule!

KW said...

Well watching games yesterday I found out that the defensive coaches get cut off from communicating with players once 15 seconds are left on the play clock...so there actually won't be a considerable difference.

Yea, there's pretty much no need to review extra points

The coin toss is a bit confusing

Yes, facemasks should definitely be enforced

And yes...I'm glad they changed the forceout rule too

Tom Whalen said...

I love the 15 second rule; just picture this: "Look A-hole, either you plug the" ... 15-14--13-12...

David Oblas said...

glad we're in agreement. go steelers! (c: