What types of penalties should the league review this year?

I think we all agree that the game is becoming (what was the famous word - over-officious?). i.e. The number of penalties is just getting absurd. I know that the league has to walk a fine line between player safety (hence more roughing the QB penalties) and the quality of the product. Still, are there penalties that you think the league should review to see if they are really necessary. I’ll throw one type out there – false starts. Every offensive lineman twitch is being called, with defensive lineman jumping up and down to make sure one of six (or is it seven?) officials saw the nostril flare. Is this really a player safety issue, no, its not. Is it an unfair advantage? Its getting to the point where I don’t think its that either. What if you let O lineman move their body but not their feet? What if you let them move anything as long as they didn’t cross the line of scrimmage. I know it may seem weird at first, but defenses would/should be able to adapt. Am I off m rocker? Are there other penalties you’d like to see re-considered?

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Roughing the passer comes to mind for some reason… :rage:


Hands to the face still needs some work too.


Make ANYTHING reviewable by a team’s coach.

People saying this will slow down the game are morons. Coaches will still have the same number of limited challenges they do now.

Then again, what’s the point? Officials looked at Marvin Jones catch a TD pass through multiple replays, multiple angles, not a one of them showing the ball touch the turf, and still reversed the call.


With PI or lack of PI being the potential difference of 60 plus yards, it should absolutely be reviewable. But I think a wholesale change should be made in WHO reviews the plays. I think offsite refs in NY or wherever should make the call. Imagine if you get pulled by a police officer who says he caught you speeding, then asked YOU if you were or not, and you got to decide if you got a ticket or not. These refs have egos and when a coach challenges, they are saying “you made a mistake.” Then we ask those who made the mistake to admit it when most of these plays are close.

With the “experiment” of being able to challenge PI, it became 100% clear that the refs were NOT being honest. Then the rules started getting bastardized… well it has to clearly affect the play… Noooooooo… that is not what is required for a PI penalty. No sense that to overturn or change that the rule needs to be altered. That is a level of intent by the refs that they did NOT want to do this. It became a shit show. Obvious PI’s were not changed and some not so obvious were. But in total there were MANY examples of clear PI’s that were not called on the field, and then were not overturned. You need more independent people making the reviews and calls. Not the people who made the bad call in the first place.


No more spot foul on PI. Just make it 15 yards and a first down. Refs call it by “tells”, watching for jersey-pulls, outstretched arms and what-not. It’s an inexact science, better to lessen the damage done by a bad call.

Roughing the passer calls should automatically be reviewed. Incidental contact should not result in a foul. I’m not saying those that were judgement calls on the number of steps taken should be reviewed, but those involving “contact” while rushing the passer or defending a pass should.


PI has needed redone for years.


Agreed. It hasn’t hurt the college game. 50 yard penalties are ridiculous.


Agree. The PI ‘experiment’ wasn;t a true experiment - they engineered it so that the league got the outcome that they wanted. I also think the definition of what is and what isn’t PI needs work. I think more contact SHOULD be allowed.

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ALL /EVERY TD is automatically reviewed…AND on several angles for three minutes each time, not just a hurry up /shh let’s move on way.

I’m perfectly fine if it’s a spot foul (PI). But it’s to damn penalizing if the call was wrong. Just review every PI on the field. Always get it right.

Exactly - nothing has been rectified, as a result of instant replay. When I was a kid, it used to be much more fair. It’s getting way out of hand.

It’s not necessarily the rules themselves… they need more accountability, transparency and consistency. Show us the booth and let us hear the reviews like the xfl. Make refs full time employees who get incentives for doing well / penalized for doing poorly.


It should really be called “Touching the Passer” - Because they are basically playing flag football in the modern nfl.


They went out of their way to prove they couldn’t do that reliably (use review for PI).

I have been saying this for a few years now…but referees should be under much tougher scrutiny then just a few fines here and there. The Marvin Jones TD, that call, the ref should be suspended. You had a ref looking right at Adam Jones stepping out of bounds against the Titans in week 16, he should be suspended. I suspect that there is some illegalities going on here & I don’t doubt the refs, Goodell and the Mob are all in cahoots

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Make it illegal for Packers players to hold.


Maybe, but I think its more likely just laziness and inertia. To me that ref straddling the sideline looking back at Adam Jones was the most egregious officiating error I’ve ever seen. There’s absolutely no excuse when you are a “side” judge to not get that call right. I would love to know if something like this even comes up on the league’s radar, and if so, what exactly is done. If the answer is “no” and/or “nothing - except they don’t get post-season assignments”, then something is wrong. Who has to influence the league to do something about referee accountability? The owners? Do any of them care enough? One owner with some balls? A fan demonstration?

Other rule changes I’d like to see:
–No more false start penalties unless it triggers a defender to cross the neutral zone. Approximately 95% of false starts have zero bearing on the play.
–Get rid of ineligible receiver downfield altogether. That OL is only an ineligible receiver if you throw it to him. Otherwise, he’s a blocker.
–Ban the technicality of a kick returner touching the ball while out of bounds to get a cheap penalty on the kicker.
–Allow coaches to challenge anything at any time of the game. Number of challenges are limited anyway.
–Make referee disciplinary action (fines, etc.) public info, just like it is for players.
–Make refs available to the media for questions more often, especially when requested.
–Stop the clock after a first down inside 2 minutes, like in college.

Great list! Never thought about the ineligible receiver. Public ref disciplinary action is also a superb idea. Only thing I don’t like is the clock stoppage for 1st downs inside of two minutes. The games are long enough and no stoppage encourages you to keep your TO’s. Nice job, Jcook!