The New England Patriots have always been active when it came to offseason rule change proposals. In the last few years, the team had tried to change several playing rules; some proposals have been unsuccessful so far (like making every play reviewable), others have already been put into place (like extending the goal posts).
This year, the Patriots have once again proposed some rule changes. Let's take a look at them.
1. Make every play reviewable
The classic. The Patriots want every play to be reviewable, which would potentially make the game and its officiating process much more transparent. As part of this rule change proposal, the team also wants to allow head coaches to simply call a time-out instead of having to throw the challange flag.
2. Place fixed cameras on all boundary lines
Under the Patriots' proposed rule change, all boundary lines - end lines, goal lines and sidelines - would be filmed. This would, similar to the first proposal, make the game more transparent and officiating an easier task.
3. Move extra points to the 15-yard line
While the team does not want to change the two-point conversion (on which the line of scrimmage is the 2-yard line), it does want to change the spot of kicking the extra point after a touchdown. Under the proposed rule, kickers would have to make a 33-yard kick instead of a 20-yarder.
While the Patriots have submitted three proposals, the Competition Committe itself also did propose one rule change: players with an eligible number should be permitted to line up outside of the tackle box when announcing themself as ineligible.
Sounds familiar? This is exactly what the Patriots did against the Baltimore Ravens in their 35-31 Divisional Playoff Victory. Ravens coach John Harbaugh called the three plays, in which New England used four offensive lineman and running back Shane Vereen as the fifth ineligible player, "deception", even though the plays, under the current rules, are perfectly legal. The Competition Committee apparently heard Harbaugh's remarks and now wants to make such formations illegal, because "this thing may get out of hand".
Via the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, here is the exact wording of the proposal:
Here is the competition committee's proposal about ineligible receivers pic.twitter.com/ZnJxO713e0— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 18, 2015
All 32 NFL teams will vote on the proposals next week.