Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Competition Committee Proposals

Rich McKay met with the media a few days ago to outline proposals that will be forthcoming from the Competition Committee, and we thought you might be interested to see what is being discussed.
  1. Bunch formations on kickoffs: Since requiring kickoff teams to keep a minimum number of players on one side of the kickoff formation teams have moved increasingly to grouping players in a tight bunch inside the hash marks in an attempt to disguise what its intentions were. The proposal would require teams to line up in a more easily discernible formation.

  2. Reduce the number of players in the wedge: According to Mr. McKay some teams use three or four players in the wedge when returning kicks. Mr. McKay told the media that some teams do not use a wedge at all, therefore three or more players in that role "will [not] adversely affect kickoffs." We're not sure of the logic there, but that is what he said.

  3. The Hines Ward Rule: Technically this rule would ban blocking defenders in the head, but the hit by Hines Ward on Cincinnati Linebacker Keith Rivers seems to be the impetus for this proposal.

  4. No hits to the head of a receiver who has not yet received the ball: In this proposal no defender could hit a receiver in the "head area of the defenseless receiver" ~ i.e. a receiver who has not caught the ball. Mr. McKay indicated that a defender would not be permitted to "hit that receiver with your forearm or with your shoulder as that receiver has yet to catch the ball. In other words, have two feet on the ground with possession of the ball." This may be a result, in part, of Ryan Clark's wicked hit on Wes Welker last season.

  5. Expanded Instant Replay: Two specific types of plays would become reviewable ~ "an incomplete pass where there is a recovery of a fumble," which would allow the play to continue (i.e. the fumble recovery would play out) and then provide for a review/challenge, and "a loose ball being out of bounds when it's recovered on the field of play." Mr. McKay referred to "a couple of kick plays where the ball landed right by the sidelines" as the impetus for that change.

  6. No onside re-kicks: Currently the rule is that a foul on the kicking team during an onside kick does not result in a rekick. This proposal would extend that rule to the entirety of the game.

Changes that are adopted should be announced in the next day or two.

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