Physical, No More

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Reality has set in here at the NovaCare that the emphasis on illegal contact and similar infractions this year is going to significantly impact how the game is played.

Maybe it was the 43 penalties that were enforced during their first two preseason games. Maybe it took a steamed Chip Kelly to drive the point home postgame in New England. However it happened, the issue has their full attention.




The defensive backs were working on their revised techniques during the portion of practice open to the media Monday. It looked different. Not that illegal contact is ever taught, but the defensive backs were careful to steer clear of the receiver's body after the initial jam. They kept their hands to themselves.

"Once the receiver is beyond five yards, you can't reach your arm out and even graze him," said Billy Davis. "That's what they're calling."

Pro Football Talk notes that the last time the NFL put an emphasis on illegal contact and defensive holding, those penalties climbed from 79 in the entire 2003 regular season to 191 in 2004. As noted in Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column, there was an average of 12 penalties per game last season. In the first two preseason games, that number sits at about 20 penalties per game. Vice president of officiating Dean Blandino threw cold water on the notion that refs will keep the flag in their pocket more when the regular season begins. 

“We’re not going to change how we’re calling the games once the regular season starts,’’ Blandino told The MMQB.

"I don't know if we've all realized the full effect of the way they're calling it," said Pat Shurmur. "We're all getting used to the new way that the officials are emphasizing the bumping down field."

While teams have known about the rule emphasis for some time, the degree to which it will be enforced wasn't really clear until the refs stopped by training camp this summer. And as Nolan Carroll pointed out, defensive backs couldn't really work on their technique before then anyway because bump and run is not permitted during the spring. So you have a bunch of players around the league adjusting on the fly.

"Refs would always come to us before the game and tell us what he's looking for and  where to keep your hands and if you had too much contact down the field and the ball wasn't coming to you he would at least warn you," said Carroll. "Now they're just throwing the flag, man.

"I think every receiver has an advantage. I could go ahead and play receiver if they are going to do all that. I could at least be decent just because the rules are so sensitive right now, anybody can really play that position. As long as you can catch the ball, you can get away with it."

This development could impact physical corners in particular. The Seahawks, for instance, benefitted greatly from the refs' leniency last year. Now (perhaps partly because of Seattle's success on defense) DBs won't be able to use their muscle as much. Big people beat up little people, but what happens when the big people aren't allowed to swing beyond five yards? This is a question that faces the Eagles' corners, who are built for a more thumping brand of ball.

"Even though I like to get my hands on receivers, however I feel about that I know how the refs are going to be calling the games and we have to abide by the rules," said Bradley Fletcher. "We have to play by them or we're going to get flagged all the way down the field."

Added Cary Williams: "You have to work those things day in and day out … whether it’s hand placement, whether it’s eyes, whether it’s footwork or knowledge in the defense and where your help is, and what leverage you need to be at. Every play counts, every down counts, so you want to be as aggressive as possible, but you want to do it within the rules."

What's bad for the defense is good for the offense. The refs are allegedly going to be on the lookout for illegal contact from the receivers as well ("No extension [of the arm], that's our big thing," said Riley Cooper. "We just can't extend.")  but there's little doubt which side of the ball will gain the most from this.

Skilled tight ends should really reap the benefits considering they typically draw linebackers and safeties, who often rely on physical play in coverage. All the more reason to think Zach Ertz is on target for a hefty bump in production.

"It's going to be tough for defenders," said Ertz. "A lot of them grab -- especially linebackers. They're not as comfortable playing in the passing game so it's going to be tough for them. They have to adjust, but it's definitely an advantage for the offense."

And who benefits on the outside?

"Big, fast guys benefit from everything, I think," said Shurmur. "But anytime you can't grab a guy, I think maybe guys that are less physical don't have to worry about playing with somebody hanging all over them down the field."

Like DeSean Jackson, for instance.

Small receivers, big receivers, tight ends, et al. Production and points and yes, flags, will be up. Defenders -- and in particular, physical corners that are used to playing a certain way -- must evolve, and fast.

"Guys are so focused on getting the right hand placement that they are not playing at a fast level. That's what we're trying to get back to, is to playing where it's just natural and it's not something that you have to think about," said Carroll. "It's just another bump in the road for us again. Our backs are against the wall but that's how it is on defense, man."

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  • TNA

    Eagles Almanac is here! Woo hoo! And well done guys. It is awesome.

    • Dominik

      I pre ordered via email and haven’t been contacted so far. Hope that changes. Been waiting for it for long time.

      • TNA

        I got an email from them this morning. Check your junk email folder. These mass e-mail distribution systems sometimes takes time to process as well… never fear, though. it’s worth the wait. Sheil, as previously mentioned, did the chapter on the defense – “Billy Davis: Year Two”

  • anon

    Well great – glad we emphasized getting physical box out guys that aren’t really natural cover guys. Might as well put Fletcher on the bench.

    This season needs to start so I can find out whether this team is going to be any good or not.

    • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

      We got rid of DJax in part because he can’t deal with physical corner play as well as Chip would like his receivers to be able to and now it’s a moot point. Lovely.

      • Johnny Domino

        If the receivers get to lean in and don’t draw a call, it might just work out.

      • B-West

        I find that point particularly annoying as well. Hopefully Sheil or Tim ask Chip about it in the near future. On the bright side, these rule changes show that the league will continue to skew toward offense, playing into Chip’s hands.

        I’d actually like to see a team get ahead of this offense only league… If it’s going to be impossible to play defense anyway, just dedicate your resources to the offense. I’m talking 75% of the cap and all your picks. Trot out a replacement level defense via cheap free agents. It would be an interesting experiment.

        • anon

          what do you think we’re doing?

          • B-West

            Ehhh… More obnoxious. We could have taken Marquise Lee in the first instead of Smith. And traded up for D’AT somehow. And signed Chris Johnson.You know, way over the top ridiculous.

        • Johnny Domino

          It’ll look a lot like the Pro Bowl, and who wants to watch that.

          • B-West

            Oh, trust me, I’m not saying I want to watch it. That’s just where the trend is heading.

      • http://www.idonthaveawebsite.com theedevilsadvocate

        that is exactly what i was thinking. sucks mucho culo

  • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

    This stuff is really going to make it hard for me to watch football. If they really plan on calling regular season games like this then I’m not sure what the heck I’m going to do. I’ve noticed that they’re not even showing as many replays of the penalty calls. I think they know it’s going to enrage the viewer when they see the ticky-tack crap that’s basically giving free first downs to the offense. 3rd and 18? Incomplete pass… wait, first down!

    • John E. Zang

      Roger Goodell is a jackass. Yes offense is what most viewer want but when it becomes like arena football they will have ruined this game. Change is good to an extent but they constantly tinker with nonsense. Like the extra point, who cares? Leave it alone. Now the team that had the amazing come back has a chance to deflate on a damn extra point. I don’t get it.

    • birdsfanindc

      My biggest worry is flopping. Receivers will learn how to draw penalties just like soccer players. Just hand this over to FIFA already.

      • JosephR2225

        On the other hand, I like that we have the coach innovative enough to bring in Italian soccer coaches and Sidney Crosby to teach the Eagles players before anyone else does.

        • birdsfanindc

          True. We may have a Neymar clinic at the Nova Care before the season is over.

          • JofreyRice

            funny you guys are talking about Soccer. I’m wondering if these changes make it so the only team I watch with a bird on the logo ends up being the Liverbird.

      • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

        I need an Abilify/Xanex smoothie after reading your comment.

      • anon

        psh i’d just send djax on a 9 route and have him sort of engage the defender. They’d have to change the PI rules to a 10yd penalty, just too much at stake on downfield throws — DBs have no chance.

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          the dawn of the era of the smurf receiver

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            think? least DBs can reach around them. what do you do about a 6’3 225 guy. he can walk 10 yds turn around and stand there. once he has db on his back, it’s game over.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            hope not. mostly because of the premium Chip/Howie have placed on size/strength. Here’s what I know – these games have been unwatchable. Not in a general “preseason games suck” unwatchable, more like in an any soccer game way.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            Momah should have 25 catches for 250yd a game.
            .
            preaching to choir. get to see 1st team for maybe 6 drives over 2 games and the refs ruined it. between flgs and Marsh/Roc, not sure how anyone can see enough from defense to know if it’s good or crappy. been ridiculous.
            .
            sure dbs will adjust. been saying it for year now, better get 2 ball-hawking safeties. only way to stop passing game. anything over 20 yds need to be 50/50 ball.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            Momah couldn’t catch 6 for 50 in a dream.

          • JosephR2225

            But if we could somehow apply for an exemption that would allow Momah and Benn to play together as one player, Touchdown City baby!!

          • Amar, CB who bought in

            Why is everyone pissed about the penalties on the DBs, am I the only one who saw our O linemen being called for 3 penalties on 4 plays ?

          • JofreyRice

            I get that some people can’t watch soccer, but the game flows. It’s over in a reasonable time, and if you like the sport, it holds your attention. This incarnation of NFL Football is just awful. Makes you want to just skip it and check the highlights.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            I love soccer every 4 years, then go back to forgetting it exists like any good American.

      • Andy

        Oh great, get ready for the next Super Bowl in Qatar.

    • DoctorRick

      The first 2 rounds of pre season games have been BORING, You can pretty much plan for a flag on every play. I realize preseason is really just an extension of training season but man, all the flags make it look even more sloppy.

  • Robert Baer

    I wonder how long it will take until the offenses begin to use the refs in their playbook. Seriously, it seems to me like it wouldn’t take much for a savvy vet on offense to ‘draw a flag’ from the defense.

  • Kleptolia

    Stupid. I agree with the rules on leading with the helmet and hitting a defenseless receiver. I don’t like seeing guys get knocked out or get concussed.
    However, these new rules they’re enforcing have little or no benefit to player safety, they slow the game down, and they make defending the pass a nearly impossible mission.
    The NFL is killing the game that has made it billions of dollars. They should talk to Chip Kelly about business strategy…

    • John E. Zang

      It’s almost like they assume we don’t like to see defense. I for one loved how Seattle cleaned Denver’s “high powered” clock in the Super Bowl.

      • Kleptolia

        You know, even as an Oregon fan, I liked watching how Stanford played defense against the Ducks and took the game away from them. It wasn’t a good feeling, but the strategy’s employed were fascinating.
        Of course, that never would have happened if the rules in college football were being enforced like they are in the NFL these days.

        • Kleptolia

          *strategies. Don’t know what happened there.

        • DoctorRick

          Wait for it…

          • Kleptolia

            Heh. Yeah, I know. The secret is to not care. :-)

      • JofreyRice

        man, I loved watching Cleveland’s defense stop the Redskins on 4 straight downs at the goalline last night. The last play where they knocked Alfred Morris’ helmet off and prevented him from breaking the plane by fractions of an inch was just pure oldschool smashmouth D. Brought a tear to my eye for Eagles days gone by…

        Too bad their offense is an airborne turd. More sadness for Cleveland.

      • Warhound KnowsHstryWarts&All

        Generally team sports (in the USA, at least) water down their product (as in: more scoring) to attract a wider audience. This has been going on for a long time now; why is anyone surprised? It’s a real problem. The hardcore fans of a sport are taken for granted and have no power to keep the game they love. The owners, no matter how much they’re making, want greater profitability. This is understandable, but when does it end?

  • John E. Zang

    It’s not obvious this has anything to do with poor Peyton and Elway complaining about the big mean DB’s beating their a** in the Super Bowl. The league wanted the Broncos to light it up.

    • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

      They discussed this during our preseason game funny enough. How when Peyton gets outmuscled by a defense the rules change.

  • Soybot

    Keep in mind, inside 5 yards, the big guys can still beat up the little guys. The downfield stuff won’t matter as much if the DB’s do their jobs at the line of scrimmage.

    • Kleptolia

      Yes, but being able to touch the receiver after the 5 yard zone gives clues about which direction he will break and when the ball is coming. Those are important bits of info to have.

    • anon

      if you miss that jam it’s over if you’re not running a 4.4 or are out of position.

    • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

      There was a time when defensive holding or PI was called because you impeded the receivers progress. I agree with that call. Ball is not in the air, holding, ball is in the air, PI. Simple. That didn’t affect good coverage play though. A good corner can get his hand in the “hip pocket” of the receiver without impeding his progress and utilize that feeling to stay with him while looking for the ball. Taking that away is not fair, it’s not a good call, and it skews the advantage very heavily in the favor of the offensive player.

  • Chuck Dougherty

    Might as well take out tackles and add flags to skill position players…this is ridiculous… makes me despise Seattle more. Way to ruin the game for everyone else

    • B-West

      It’s on golden boy Peyton Manning too… They made an entire round of pass defense changes when Ty Law and the Pats made him look like a fool 10 years ago. Seattle made him look terrible on the NFL’s biggest stage, so changes are here again.

    • DoctorRick

      Say wha? Blaming Seattle for playing within the rules makes no sense.

    • Kleptolia

      Seattle didn’t ruin the game for everybody else. They just played the game better than everybody else in 2013z

    • Chuck Dougherty

      I had no problem with the way seattle played the game.. in fact.. I was one of those people who was rooting for them.. it just post game where they bragged about how they knew the refs wouldn’t call it made the NFL and the head of officials take notes…

      • Adam G

        Couldn’t agree more. Having a team claiming they outsmarted the refs by just holding more is the equivalent to a neon sign. Goodell’s ego is too large to ignore that.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    better get to the qb.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      how we going to do that? mail him a letter?

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        scheme brother…the answer is always scheme!
        .
        might as well take 2 or 3 free runs roughing passer 15 yd penalties in 1st series. what difference does it make? cant cover WRs, qb will have all day and refs tossing laundry hand over fist.

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          “there are multiple penalties on the play…all on the defense”

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            and hats. ‘we have holding on everyone, illegal contact by almost everyone and roughing the passer on DLine’.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            “compound penalties – on the defense. The result of the play (which was a sack fumble returned for a score) is TD offense”

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            holding team to FG will be a like a punt. missed FG is equal to turnover. if i want to watch a 65-49 game, i’ll just watch 2 college air raid teams.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            It’s going to be purely ridiculous.

            Think about it, we’re sitting here as fans of a team that by all accounts is on the cutting edge of offensive football; putting players in space, confusing defenses, and getting YAC. This B.S. stands to benefit us more than most teams in the league and we hate it. That in and of itself should speak to the complete hatred NFL Fans will have for this version of the game.

          • TNA

            I disagree that this in particular benefits the Eagles more than most teams. CK’s offense works whether there’s stricter enforcement of rules or not. This just makes it easier for less talented offensive teams to be more productive — it benefits them more than it does the Eagles.

            I hope Huls is working on a program that lets DBs to see from the back of their helmets and/or otherwise give them 360 vision. Either that, or figure out how to train the DBs to run backwards faster.

            A speedy free safety and forward-looking coverage in general seems to be more important with this kind of calling. Has anyone done an analysis on the teams that succeeded in 2003 after the last effort to make more explicit calls?

          • anon

            Dbs have to be better at turning their heads.

          • peteike

            yup, the new hands to the face flags also over the top. One of the lineman was saying its natural that your hands get pushed up into each others helmets all the time. Now they are trying to learn how to keep the hands down but when they battle its almost impossible.

        • TNA

          that IS an impressive scheme — unintended consequence of more explicitly calling rules favoring the offense.

          at least we have two QBs.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            if i was DC, Lane Johnson would end up taking snaps after Foles, Sanches, Barkley, Smith, and Casey.

          • TNA

            naah. I’d bring Tebow on board or anybody that can run around elusively while giving receivers time to get a holding penalty called on the defense. One of the new reads for QBs should be “contact on receiver after 5 yards”. As soon as that’s seen, just chuck the ball towards him.

  • JofreyRice

    Is this the second time Peyton’s successfully lobbied for tightening the rules for PI/defensive holding, after losing in the playoffs “because” of it? The initial push to cut down on the physicality of DBs, in 2003, mentioned above, happened after New England beat the crap out of Marvin Harrison & Reggie Wayne off the LOS in the AFCCG. Now Peyton’s rhythm-based passing game is disrupted by physical DBs again, and we have a new wave of heightened enforcement. If there is a single player in the league that could/would have that kind of effect, I suppose it would be him.

    They’re ruining their own product, here. Add these stoppages onto an already herky-jerky game, and I think the contest loses watchability.

    • B-West

      I wonder how much Peyton pushed this behind the scenes. I haven’t heard anything this time around. I seem to remember the Colts sending video cut-ups to the league office about the Patriots pass D back in 2003. Does that sound familiar, or am I just making up that memory? I didn’t turn anything up with a search.

      • JofreyRice

        def sounds familiar,

  • http://www.damokleez.com EaglefaninAZ

    If the refs and league stick with this preseason program into the regular season, the backlash will be swift and stiff. I turned off the first Birds preseason game 10 minutes in. Unwatchable. The TV NFL pundits will be relentless, which in turn will rile up the fans even more.
    I guess we’ll see.

    • Adam G

      Reminds me of the replacement ref situation. If the backlash is strong enough, it won’t last.

    • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

      Will the TV people be relentless? I feel like the trend so far has been very little discussion about these “penalties” and even less replays of them. I think they’re trying to shield the fans from seeing how truly terrible these calls are. Maybe they think we’ll just look at it as more opportunities to grab a beer / take a wiz.

      • Septhinox

        Wait…What? Every preseason game I’ve watched has the announcers destroying the flags.

        • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

          Last night on 3rd and 18 there was a flag for defensive holding / illegal contact. Replay was never showed, announcers didn’t discuss the penalty at all, and then Gruden got flagged for B*%$#ing at the ref.

          It’s just my opinion, anyway.

    • jshort

      Here’s what it comes down to for me. Will always watch an Eagles game if possible. I don’t have to waist all day Sunday and Monday night watching an inferior product. Me, I like physical football.

  • BleedGreenJames

    I can’t stop laughing at Fletcher’s face in that picture

  • peteike

    whats so bad about these calls is that they can be so subjective when there is even minimal contact. Fans will not be happy when there is a flag and a DB was just placing his hand out to gauge his distance. Also sometimes its just natural when guys are running fast next to each other and add in that a WR can now make his route run into the db its even worse. They can actually move enough to make it look like contact to get the flag. Just awesome, now we’ll have offensive flopping in the NFL, cant wait.

    Man, RG3 looked bad, those slides were comical, he wont last.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      see him take on 3 d players. wow, how stupid is he. still can only read 1 side of field, high and low. no one open, time to take off

      • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

        He’s just simply not a good QB (at this point in time). He’s got a cannon and all of the talent in the world, but he’s Vick all over again. Unless he can change it quick, he’s going to spend a lot of time on the sideline.

      • peteike

        I just saw that the flopping angle was discussed below, oops. Im always late being out here in mtn time.

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        Any fun reading on Redskins blogs about this?

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          little bit. basically sounded like we did in ’12 about Vick. desperation/begging/questioning why he cant slide.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Man, RGKnee better hope he doesn’t turn into a turnover machine, then.

  • anon

    Jets OLB Quinton Coples shed 20-plus pounds in the offseason and is playing at 265. Coples
    led the team in QB hurries last season, but wants to turn those hurries
    turn into sacks. He worked on his technique with former NFL pass
    rusher Chuck Smith over winter. Smith came away believing Coples has
    the ability to be “dominant.” The Jets need Coples. Right now they’re
    leaning on a pair of 34-year-olds in Calvin Pace and Jason Babin for
    productivity off the edge.

    This is what i’d like to hear about our guys like barwin, smith (though he obvs gets a pass), curry and others that have deficiencies in their game. Find a retired star and improve your game. That’s a trait that i like most about guys like LBJ, new year new skill.

  • peteike

    only good we can take out of this is that the refs are obviously over doing the flags to get the players used to it. Come regular season they will be much more hesitant but that may make things worse. It will just be inconsistent. Im not expecting this to be smooth at all, will probably be that annoying over kill talk radio subject every week.

  • Cranky Caucasian

    Wouldn’t mind this so much if they’d also call offensive PI and holding as closely. So many blatant missed calls. They’re focusing so much on the defensive players, they’re ignoring the offense.

  • John J. King

    Let’s see: receivers have to turn to the ball to make a catch. So far, what I see from Safeties and CBs is that they try to cover with their backs to the ball which means that if or as they get a sense the ball is coming to whomever they are guarding they need to reach out and grab because they have little idea where the ball actually is. If the Receiver can fake it, the S or CB gets a call now when the ball is going elsewhere. If they are actually the target they are not in a position to intercept or bat it away. The ‘D’ backs must learn to run with the receiver and watch for the ball. Not a revolutionary rule change but you’d think the world was coming to an end if you listen to the whining from the ‘D’ Backs.

    • peteike

      were talking split seconds here and sometimes they can make a play with their back turned. Enough to at least disrupt the play without grabbing the WR. I think its the ticky tack hand placement, minor contact over blown flags fans are worried about seeing. Like someone mentioned, 3rd and 18 and minimal contact, first down. Can ruin a game and the flow. I dont think they will throw them as often as preseason either but then there could be consistency issues. Hands to the face for the lineman is another one they are calling left and right.

      • John J. King

        Split seconds are equal minutes if you have no idea where the ball is. Yes, DBs can make plays without seeing the ball but this enforcement is not new or a change in the original rules. If they learn to be receivers – which under the rules they are – they will have fewer problems. They have been living with bad habits that were condoned by the refs. That’s gone. Time to be pros and do the job.

  • Jim Breslin

    This is going to help the eagles. We face more man than anyone. Teams know playing zone against us will get you a trip to Canton and not in a good way. So what is more difficult to do without making contact playing man or zone? Advantage Eagles. And for those young-ins out there who think the flags will fly all year I give you the 1988 baseball season where they cracked down on balks. Pitchers were balking guys around the bases at the beginning of the year. Then a funny thing happened because the umps called it consistent. The players adjusted. Now you rarely see a balk not get called and you rarely see balks. The nfl players will adjust and those that don’t will be cut. http://reconditebaseball.blogspot.com/2008/08/balks-story-of-1988-major-league.html

  • Mr. Wu

    here are my questions:

    1. How does this improve the game?

    2. How does it make it safer for players?

    Because between this and the hands to the face calls it seems to me all this does is water down the NFL even more. I understand the defenseless receiver thing and not leading with your helmet etc….good, phase out concussions, I am all for that. But football is offense AND defense. At this rate in 15 years there will just be a quarterback and 10 receivers running through a field of pinball bumpers to see which team gets to the end zone quicker, then they will all hug and eat cupcakes together.

  • MagatBrackendale

    After watching parts of several games between several different teams the most notable aspect of officiating I observed, that has not changed, is inconsistency. In one game a mere finger brushing against a jersey gets called while in another game blatant holing by linemen is ignored. “Hands to the face” is called in one game against DBs, but never against TEs or centers. In another game it is called several times against O linemen but not the D. Not much new here folks.

  • eaglesfan, 20-win failure

    this is ridiculous. it’s taking the game in the opposite direction that it should be going. defenses should be allowed a bit more leniency to be physical, not the other way around. and all these penalties are going to slow the game, kill momentum, and bore the viewers. there’s a league-wide average of 24 pts/team, per game; who even wants higher scoring games??? i can’t stand watching shootouts on every matchup and having records broken every week. UGH.

  • Matt

    There’s been a lot of talk about starting boykin at CB over say a Cary Williams. If we the refs are emphasizing no contact, wouldn’t we especially benefit from replacing a more physical corner with a more athletic one?

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      Yes.

  • NickS, Combine Warrior

    Big people can’t beat up little people if they’re flagged for it. Move Boykin outside.

  • Bird of Prey

    If it was possible to kill football for the average fan, Goodell has found it. At some point in the future it seems pass interference will be if the defensive back touches the ball before the receiver. Is it because Peyton Manning had a bad game? I just don’t understand how reducing defense down to a point a kin to players standing in front of a penalty kick in soccer will grow the game. If touching in any manner after five yards down field by a defensive player is called with impunity, then I guess there are going to be 3 1/2 to 4 hour games with idiotic scores and no defense being played at all. And that is a change that can kill the game for many fair weather fan and a lot of die hard ones as well. I like defense, what is the highlight of the NFC championship game last year? Yep, you guys like it too.

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    Chip Kelly and Howie are saying ‘Oh, Crap !’ somewhere after releasing Desean Jackson because he couldn’t perform when DBs got physical.

  • Richaud Jeaffreson

    No WAAAAAAAAAAAY the TV networks allows this to happen. It is going to screw everything up, because the games are going to take forever.