The NFL Competition Committee met this weekend to discuss several items that could lead to proposals for eventual rule changes. From expanding the 53-man roster to 55 players, or shutting down the idea of an inactive list during Thursday Night games, the league is in a constant state of fluidity. In addition to those roster changes, the league is exploring:
- Making more plays reviewable. This is something you can tab as an annual discussion point. There is consideration of making pass interference reviewable too -- making pass interference a 15-yard penalty rather than a spot foul. Regardless... it's 2015. Why isn't the league advancing their use of technology to 1) make ALL plays reviewable and 2) ditching the idea of "challenges" -- penalizing teams/coaches because the officials miss a call is insane. In honor of Spock, logic dictates using technology properly should limit any delay imposed in the game today. The current system:
1) The coach waits until the last past possible second to throw the challenge flag;
2) The official chats with the coach to see what he's challenging;
3) The official announces the challenge to the stadium;
4) The official lumbers over to the replay booth and spends 3-4 minutes reviewing (while the television audience goes to commercial and the game comes to a complete standstill);
5) The official patiently waits for the television networks to return;
6) The official announces the results;
7) People boo.
Let's mirror, if not improve, system that college football uses. During college (or minor league football), a replay official stops the game if there's a need to review. The official on the field waits for the results and announces them after they've concluded.
Obviously college isn't a perfect system. We've watched games go through 3-4 replays during a single possession and THAT can drag a game to its knees too. On the other hand, if the officials are THAT bad as to constantly miss plays on the field, then it's on the league/organization to lock down those issues.
- Making the chop block illegal. "The chop block has been banned from both the high school and college game," NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent writes. "We have a generation of players coming to the NFL who never used the chop block, yet they may be expected to initiate this technique that could result in a career-ending injury. We strongly need to consider removing this technique from the game."
- There is the idea of medical timeouts. "A medical timeout could be called when a spotter or an independent person unaffiliated with either team on the sideline believes a player is in need of medical attention, but he remains in the game," Vincent writes. "What is the practical application of such a time out? What are the processes and procedures that would be in place to ensure both competitive balance and the health of the player?—these are questions that should be considered."
Other ideas include adding another official on the field, enhancing concussion protocols and "refining the definition of a hit on a defenseless player", as well as changing dates on the whole June-1st concept. The Committee will provide their list of recommendations to owners, who will vote for those changes in Phoenix later this month.
+ Former cornerback Ken Riley is now an official member of the black college hall of fame. Riley was one of seven former players and coaches, including Richard Dent, L.C. Greenwood, Roger Brown, and Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd, that were enshrined on Saturday.
"This is a great honor and an awesome experience. I am happy to be a part of group of athletes that aren’t just known from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, but they're nationally known," said Riley during his speech. "These guys are some great individuals who not only did great things in the NFL, but in life."
During his speech, Riley shared vivid memories of his wonder years at FAMU. Under the direction of Jake Gaither from 1965-68, Riley went 23-7. Despite being known for his elusiveness as a scrambler, he proved to be a marksman of a passer during his senior season, completing 100 of 108 (92.5 percent) with 14 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, Riley played in an era where black quarterbacks were overlooked in the pros. Like so many of his peers, he was forced to change positions after being drafted in the NFL. Nevertheless, while in uniform with the Bengals, he became one of the best defensive backs in NFL.
+ Paul Dehner released his wide receivers outlook on Monday, promoting the idea that it will be unlikely Cincinnati will re-sign Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, and also makes a point to say that overpaying wide receivers isn't something that playoff-winning teams do.
Call it coincidence or not, last year supported the growing notion paying receivers doesn't pay off. Of the teams ranked in the top 10 in receiver salary last year only three made the playoffs (Broncos, Lions, Cardinals) and none recorded a playoff victory. Of the bottom 10 teams in receiver salary last year, six made the playoffs with all but one winning at least one game (Steelers lost to the Ravens).
Yes but the teams that lost didn't lose because they had/didn't have a receiver. Peyton Manning had already begun collapsing, Detroit focused more on defense and the Cardinals didn't have a quarterback. And of the bottom 10 teams in salary at receiver, most have that money tied into a talented quarterback.
But I still don't understand the point about re-signing Sanu and Marvin Jones.
Only so much receiver money will be there to go around and it becomes hard to imagine Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones both receiving contracts, especially if an early draft pick is dedicated to the position.
1) If the Bengals go with a wide receiver, sure. Are we convinced that they'll draft someone in the first three rounds? Or is the point about drafting a receiver just background noise that tends to permeate during the draft?
1a) OK, I'm open to drafting a receiver in the first three rounds.
1b) On the other hand, if the Bengals draft a receiver in the first three rounds, why have them sit behind Jones and Sanu in the first place? More and more these days, receivers are jumping into the fray as rookies.
2) Jones is unable to stay healthy and Sanu leads the NFL in dropped passes. Yet these guys are so impressive that the Bengals, with nearly $40 million in cap space, will be unable to re-sign both?
3) Want shock value? Don't re-sign A.J. Green.
|Passes to A.J. Green||580||342||59.0||5,035||35||32||84.5|
|Passes to everyone else||1,531||959||62.6||9,723||64||34||85.4|
Now THAT would be silly.
+ The Minnesota Vikings are looking for a new starting middle linebacker, which begs the question... will unrestricted free agent Rey Maualuga follow Mike Zimmer to Minnesota? The question was brought up with a Vikings.com mailbag:
Given that last year’s starter at base middle linebacker – Jasper Brinkley– is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in a little over a week, I would say the chances are very good that the Vikings address this position at some point in free agency. It could be re-signing Brinkley, or it could be signing another unrestricted free agent. Another name scheduled to hit the market that will be interesting to watch is Rey Maualuga, who played the first six seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, including five seasons with Mike Zimmer as his defensive coordinator.
+ While doing research on another subject, we came across our grades from the 2011 NFL draft. They were:
WR A.J. Green
QB Andy Dalton
CB Korey Lindsey
LB Dontay Moch
CB Robert Sands
WR Ryan Whalen
RB Jay Finley
1) I forgot to tell everyone that a "C" meant, see you later. See what I did there?
2) I have no idea what anyone was thinking with Korey Lindsey.
+ Other Links
Generic offseason review from NFL.com is generic.