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2013 NFL Season Discussion Thread


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#41 of 482 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 17 2013 - 07:14 AM

Scott,Are you sure that those really were the Steelers playing on MNF last night?  You know, if the NFL does become unwatchable for you, then you'll have omitted watching MLB, the NBA, and the NFL -- leaving only the NHL to watch.  Not that that's a bad choice, of course. :)As far as the rule changes are concerned, I'm really glad that I own several DVD collections of the AFL and NFL, and of football that was played in the 1960s and 1970s to watch just in case I end up going down the same road as you.


Edited by Ockeghem, September 17 2013 - 07:15 AM.


#42 of 482 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted September 17 2013 - 09:47 AM

...and the woosification of the NFL continues. You can no longer hit players without someone looking for a flag, a hand brushing against the helmet is a 15 yard penalty, kickoff returns have almost been eliminated, pass interference is called if a defender even looks at the receiver, and now they want to flag players for calling each other bad names? Between this and all the additional commercial time, the league is becoming more and more unwatchable for me. I have no qualms about shutting off a game anymore and either finding something else to do (afternoon game) or going to bed (night game). The Steelers were playing on MNF last night, and I think I watched about 10 minutes of the game.

 

That's because the players, who actively and voluntarily seek to join the league, sign their contracts, and cash the big paychecks to play a contact sport that is known to be violent, turn around and file lawsuits against the league at the first sign of any health issues later in life.

 

Gee, who would have thought playing a violent contact sport might be hazardous to your long-term health. :rolleyes:  No one is forcing these guys to play the sport. If you don't want to accept the possible consequences, find another career.


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#43 of 482 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 17 2013 - 11:13 AM

It is true that they aren't forced to play football.  However, for all their young lives, society has been pushing them towards this end.  I'll wager they've been praised more for their athletic accomplishments than anything else they've done.  I'll also wager that many of these kids have a choice of pro football or something much more menial.

 

Many of these kids would never have received a college education without athletic scholarships.  Seems like I just recently read an article about how the kids aren't really getting that education anyway.  The college's recruits them for their athletic ability, keep them eligible to play, and they leave college without a real education.  One more way society pushes them into pro football.

 

I'll also point out that it is only in recent years that the dangers of the game has come into the public consciousness.  That many, if not most, of the players currently litigating did not know the risks involved.

 

I've never been an athlete, but I still remember my 20's, 30's.  I never really understood until much later that I'm not immortal.  No matter what I did, I knew my body would recover in a day or two.  The kids playing football don't really think they're mortal.  They don't see beyond the playoffs.  

 

Stop and think about what you were like at that age. I think most of us are like that.

 

I welcome changes to the game that make it safer.  At first I thought the "harsh language" was a joke.  Then I realized many acts of violence have begun with words.  There's already a rule against taunting.  The harsh language may be another form of that.

 

I welcome changes to the game that make it safer for both short and long-term consequences.

 

Do you really want to sit in your living room watching a sport that down the road is going to produce cripples, mental disabilities, and suicides?  That's what the sport is doing and it's going to become more evident as each year goes by.


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#44 of 482 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted September 17 2013 - 11:59 AM

Do you really want to sit in your living room watching a sport that down the road is going to produce cripples, mental disabilities, and suicides?

 

Last night was the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars!


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#45 of 482 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 17 2013 - 12:57 PM

Scott,Are you sure that those really were the Steelers playing on MNF last night?  You know, if the NFL does become unwatchable for you, then you'll have omitted watching MLB, the NBA, and the NFL -- leaving only the NHL to watch.  Not that that's a bad choice, of course. :)As far as the rule changes are concerned, I'm really glad that I own several DVD collections of the AFL and NFL, and of football that was played in the 1960s and 1970s to watch just in case I end up going down the same road as you.

 

Yeah, the Steelers are bad this year, as I expected, which is probably part of the reason for my malaise. However, I do currently find college football to be more entertaining to watch than the NFL. I am following the NFL more out of habit and for fantasy football.

 

And Johnny, I do understand the need to make the game safer, and I support that. However, some of the things I find that are making the game less entertaining have nothing to do with safety. The pass interference rules, current replay system, and way too many stoppages with commercials have nothing to do with safety, but are instead either poorly implemented ideas or just a money grab. There is no flow to the games anymore. And some of the safety measures have been taken too far. A blow to the head should be a penalty, but is it that hard to differentiate between that and an accidental light brush to the helmet that the players do not even notice, but both are a 15 yard penalty?

 

The college replay system and pass interference rules are far superior to the NFL's, IMO. A questionable bump of a receiver should never result in a 50 yard penalty, and the NFL's replay system takes far too long for reviews to occur.

 

Scott, hopefully the NHL will not go down this path, but I do see the money grab becoming more of an issue there, too. A co-worker with Red Wings season tickets stopped by my office today because he received his tickets yesterday. He always offers to sell me his tickets to the Habs game at face value, and wanted to let me know that his last row seats in the corner of the arena for the two Habs games (and two Leafs games) are now $58 each! These are for seats that sell for $32 for a normal game and were only $24 a couple of years ago. He knew I wouldn't want to spend $116 for two seats (plus another $15-$20 to park) where you can barely see the far goal, but wanted to make sure before he offered them to anyone else. So, I will be watching the Wings - Habs games on TV, and getting my live hockey fix from the OHL's Plymouth Whalers, where two center ice seats only cost me $24 total, including parking.


Edited by Scott Merryfield, September 17 2013 - 12:58 PM.


#46 of 482 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 17 2013 - 01:21 PM

 

And Johnny, I do understand the need to make the game safer, and I support that. However, some of the things I find that are making the game less entertaining have nothing to do with safety. The pass interference rules, current replay system, and way too many stoppages with commercials have nothing to do with safety, but are instead either poorly implemented ideas or just a money grab. There is no flow to the games anymore. And some of the safety measures have been taken too far. A blow to the head should be a penalty, but is it that hard to differentiate between that and an accidental light brush to the helmet that the players do not even notice, but both are a 15 yard penalty?

 

The college replay system and pass interference rules are far superior to the NFL's, IMO. A questionable bump of a receiver should never result in a 50 yard penalty, and the NFL's replay system takes far too long for reviews to occur.

As far as the too many commercials, I certainly agree.  Touchdown...commericial...kickofff...commerical.  In the space of two single plays (3 if you count the extra point) we get two commercial breaks.  That always fries my giblets.  However, it is rare that I watch a game live.  I always dvr the game start watching an hour into the game.

 

Hasn't the pass interference always (at least for decades) been at the spot of the foul or 15 yards?  I'm not saying that is right, but I can't remember it being different.  That call will really gaul me when the passing team called the play hoping for a penalty.  There are times when you know that's what they are doing.


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#47 of 482 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 17 2013 - 01:46 PM

 

Hasn't the pass interference always (at least for decades) been at the spot of the foul or 15 yards?  I'm not saying that is right, but I can't remember it being different.  That call will really gaul me when the passing team called the play hoping for a penalty.  There are times when you know that's what they are doing.

 

Yes, pass interference has always (as far as I can remember) been a spot foul in the NFL, and I have always thought it was a bad rule. It has become even more so with the minimal contact that can result in a penalty these days. I even see receivers sometimes motion for a flag to be thrown before the ball even hits the ground. How about trying to catch the ball first, huh?



#48 of 482 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted September 17 2013 - 02:03 PM

I can understand some of the frustration with teams trying to get a freebie via pass interference, but the current rule is superior to a fixed yardage foul for this reason:

 

If pass interference became a 10 or 15 yard penalty then defensive backs would start committing blatant interference for passes with the ball in the air over 15 yards because the interference penalty yardage would be less than any pass completion with a reasonable chance of being caught.  Why give up a 30 yard completion when a 10 yard penalty applies?  As it stands now defensive backs have to give the receiver a reasonable chance at catching the ball; perhaps they will or perhaps they will not.

 

I'm assuming that a fixed yardage penalty is what you are proposing vs. the current spot foul.  If I'm mistaken please correct me.

 

Edit: Obviously defensive teams could not give up a 10 or 15 yard penalty on every play because the offensive team would just march down the field on interference calls, but I still think there would be more blatant interference on really long pass plays with a fixed yardage penalty.

 

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Edited by Walter Kittel, September 17 2013 - 02:08 PM.

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#49 of 482 OFFLINE   Jacinto

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Posted September 17 2013 - 02:53 PM

I don't think anybody would advocate making pass interference into a fixed yardage penalty. Spot foul is definitely the way to go. The problem is that the slightest contact results in a PI flag nowadays, and that's a little hard to stomach when it's a 40-50 yard penalty. In fact, as a DB, you can get called with PI without even initiating any contact. I can think of two plays I've seen between this season and last where the DB got flagged solely because he never turned around to look for the ball. In both cases the receiver initiated the contact to try to get through the DB to get near the ball. It's really hard to swallow a 45 yard penalty when all the DB did was maintain better positioning on an underthrown deep ball. With the current state of the rules, there is no question in my mind that cornerback is the most difficult position to play; the disadvantage the rulebook puts them under is at times insurmountable.


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#50 of 482 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 17 2013 - 03:08 PM

"With the current state of the rules, there is no question in my mind that cornerback is the most difficult position to play; the disadvantage the rulebook puts them under is at times insurmountable."Exactly.  Unfortunately, I don't know what can be done about the rules.



#51 of 482 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted September 17 2013 - 06:34 PM

I can understand some of the frustration with teams trying to get a freebie via pass interference, but the current rule is superior to a fixed yardage foul for this reason:

 

If pass interference became a 10 or 15 yard penalty then defensive backs would start committing blatant interference for passes with the ball in the air over 15 yards because the interference penalty yardage would be less than any pass completion with a reasonable chance of being caught.  Why give up a 30 yard completion when a 10 yard penalty applies?  As it stands now defensive backs have to give the receiver a reasonable chance at catching the ball; perhaps they will or perhaps they will not.

 

I'm assuming that a fixed yardage penalty is what you are proposing vs. the current spot foul.  If I'm mistaken please correct me.

 

Edit: Obviously defensive teams could not give up a 10 or 15 yard penalty on every play because the offensive team would just march down the field on interference calls, but I still think there would be more blatant interference on really long pass plays with a fixed yardage penalty.

 

- Walter.

 

Fixed yardage penalty seems to work fine in college football.


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#52 of 482 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted September 17 2013 - 07:07 PM

Fixed yardage penalty seems to work fine in college football

 

You may have a point; but is it an apples and oranges comparison due to the differences in the passing programs at the college and pro levels, in general terms?  I really couldn't say, just throwing it out there.

 

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#53 of 482 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 18 2013 - 03:53 AM

Fixed yardage penalty seems to work fine in college football.

 

 I agree, Malcolm. I hear the "defenders will intentionally tackle the receiver" argument all the time, but I just do not see that happen in college enough to warrant giving teams a 50 yard penalty, which I think is way too excessive. 15 yards and an automatic first down is already a very harsh penalty.

 

You may have a point; but is it an apples and oranges comparison due to the differences in the passing programs at the college and pro levels, in general terms?  I really couldn't say, just throwing it out there.

 

- Walter.

 

Maybe in the past, when the college game was more of a running game. However, modern college football has a similar amount of passing as the pro game, so I do not think that argument holds water anymore.



#54 of 482 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 18 2013 - 02:20 PM

In fact, as a DB, you can get called with PI without even initiating any contact. I can think of two plays I've seen between this season and last where the DB got flagged solely because he never turned around to look for the ball. In both cases the receiver initiated the contact to try to get through the DB to get near the ball.

I think the philosophy behind this rule has two points: 1) both receiver and defender have equal right to go for the ball.  If the defender blocks that, it's interference; and 2) The defender should play the ball.  If he's just throwing up his hands without looking for the ball, that's interference.

 

I may have the nuances wrong, but that's how I understand it.  The receiver should be able to go for the ball and if the defender blocks that, it's interference.  If both players are playing the ball, then contact is probably not interference.  I like it.

 

No one ever said being a DB was easy.

 

I also think if you make it a yardage foul, and not a spot foul, intentional interference will increase.  The skill level of DB's and DB coaching is higher in the pros.  They will coach intentional interference.

 

I say this as a fan who has watched his team get burned in pass interference many, many times.


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#55 of 482 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 18 2013 - 05:16 PM

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, Johnny. IMO, no infraction is worth penalizing a team more than 15 yards.

 

Back to this season. The Browns have traded Trent Richardson to the Colts for Indy's first round pick next year. I can never remember a team throwing in the towel on the season after just two weeks. Cleveland fans must be beside themselves right now.



#56 of 482 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 19 2013 - 07:14 AM

Has Richardson done so well for the Browns that he's worth a number one pick?  When I first read about that trade I thought the Browns did exceedingly well on the deal.


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#57 of 482 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted September 19 2013 - 09:55 AM

I think money plays into it -- by unloading Richardson's contract for whomever they get with Indy's pick (which is not likely to be anywhere near top 3), they'll have more cash to pay their own top pick this year (very likely top 3) and maybe some FAs. And Indy probably figures that he's better than any RB they'll be able to get with their top pick this year.

 

Consider this: Indy now has the #1 and #3 picks from last year's draft!


Edited by Aaron Silverman, September 19 2013 - 09:56 AM.

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#58 of 482 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 19 2013 - 09:58 AM

Trading for Richardson is a head scratcher for everyone involved. Wise move? Only playing time will tell.

 

But considering who all is out there(Willis McGahee for one) unsigned...shocking to say the least.

 

In other news, with all the hurt running backs, apparently Maurice Clarett might even finally make it to the NFL... :rolleyes:



#59 of 482 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 19 2013 - 11:19 AM

Has Richardson done so well for the Browns that he's worth a number one pick?  When I first read about that trade I thought the Browns did exceedingly well on the deal.

 

He had around 1,000 yards and 11 TD's in his rookie season, playing most of the season with broken ribs on a team where opponents were stacking the line against him because of the lack of a passing threat.

 

Running backs do not command the same price they used to, so we can certainly debate whether he was worth a first round pick. However, just one year ago Cleveland spent the #3 overall pick in the draft on Richardson, and they have now dealt him for probably a late first round pick next year.

 

Meanwhile, Richardson should be better in Indy, as he is now playing with an upgrade at QB and receivers. Teams can no longer sell out to stop him. He is also a very good pass blocker, as last year the Browns QB's were sacked about half as often (based on sacks per drop backs) with Richardson in the backfield versus someone else there. I doubt that Indy could get this talented a back in next year's draft where they will be picking.

 

The trade certainly sends different messages to each fan base. In Indy, the team appears to be doing whatever they think is necessary to compete now. Meanwhile, in Cleveland the front office has just told its fan base that this season is over only two weeks in. Personally, if I was a Browns fan I would be done watching the team this year.



#60 of 482 OFFLINE   Richard V

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Posted September 19 2013 - 12:05 PM

Wish the Vikings would sack Ponder, seems pretty obvious to be that he is a huge bust.  Poor decision making, weak arm, no leadership qualities.  Vikings need to admit they blew it, and move on.  Draft another guy, or give their 3rd string QB a try, by all accounts he has a cannon for an arm. Doubt he could do much worse than Ponder's done so far.


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