Every year the NFL Rules committee and the owners take several changes into consideration. This year is no different. Major improvements may be made to the NFL and their rules for the upcoming 2012 season. The most important will come with instant replay.
The owners will be meeting next week and on the agenda are new rule changes. One proposal is to eliminate the Referee from making the challenged decision. The new rule would put the booth replay official in charge of all reviews. This is in hopes of speeding up the game substantially.
It was the Buffalo Bills that brought this proposed change forward, taking into consideration what is done in the college game. The booth official handles all replays and lets the game referee on the field know the decision. This keeps the NFL Referee from announcing the play is being challenged, running over to the monitor on the sidelines, reviewing the play and then projecting his findings. If the owners pass this it will all be done in the booth.
Additionally all turnovers would be reviewed. This past season the NFL reviewed all scoring plays. The new rule would mean all turnovers would be reviewed in the booth also.
Another rule change up for passing would be a change in the injured reserve list. Currently if a player is placed on IR they are ineligible to play that season. The proposed rule change would allow the player to come back to practice in the 6th week and play in the eighth week. This rule makes sense as many players only need weeks, not a year to recover.
The Rules Committee also is suggesting to the owners the playoff overtime rules be instituted in the regular season. This would mean each team gets a possession in overtime unless the first team with the ball scores a touchdown. This was hallmarked in the Denver-Pittsburgh playoff game last January when the Broncos won the game on the first play of the extra period. Should the first team with the ball kick a field goal, then the other team gets a chance.
All these rules make sense, especially the play review. It was taking up too much time for the Referee to handle the reviews himself. Now while the booth official is examining the play, the officials on the field can make plans as to where the ball will be placed and clock situations. This should be a means to speed up the game.
Rules are meant to be changed for the better. These changes appear to fit that criteria.