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michael89156

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: February 18, 2013, 12:03:05 AM


State of the Union: Nine bold proposals for improving the NFL



 By Adam Schein
Columnist, NFL.com
Published: Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.



Genevieve Ross/Associated Press

Down the stretch, divisional rivals -- like Adrian Peterson's Vikings and the Packers -- always turn up the heat.

President Obama is set to address the nation with his State of the Union speech on Tuesday. I would never miss the opportunity to do the same with my own NFL State of the Union (with a tip of the hat to Commissioner Roger Goodell, who delivered his "State of the League" speech before the Super Bowl).

Here's a Schein Nine-style look at the issues in the league that must be addressed or changed in the near future, including my take on overtime and my ideas for the schedule during the final three weeks of the regular season.



1) Tweak the Rooney Rule and hold teams more accountable

Eight head coaches and seven general managers were hired this year, and none of them were African-American. That was a step backward.

I think the Rooney Rule needs to be expanded so that teams looking for new offensive and defensive coordinators and special teams coaches must also interview a minority candidate. These jobs are frequently the stepping stones to a spot as a head coach.

Finally, I would change the rule so that teams must interview two minority candidates -- rather than just one, as is currently mandated -- for head-coaching positions, to prevent interviews from being seen as a "token" courtesy to fulfill an obligation. I feel strongly about this.






2) Keep it in the division down the stretch
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How cool would it be if the last three weeks of the regular season were devoted exclusively to games between divisional rivals? The home stretch is already dramatic; this move would just increase the drama ten-fold.

I came to this conclusion while watching the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans battle it out in the AFC South twice over the final three weeks. Think of all the Week 17 drama that was produced by games between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East and the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North.

Chances are, few divisions would be wrapped up before Week 15. These final three weeks would be loaded with playoff implications, whether teams were fighting for a division title, a wild-card berth, the right to a bye week in the playoffs or seeding. These are the games the fans, players and TV networks salivate over. Sprinkle the other three divisional games each team plays somewhere between Week 1 and Week 14, but save the juiciest for last.



3) Never mention the words "18-game schedule" again

I get nervous whenever I hear Goodell talk about an 18-game schedule. It's backward. It's illogical. It would be too much. It's barbaric.

We would have more injuries. The playoff teams would be unrecognizable, and the quality of play would be diluted. An 18-game schedule would be bad for player health and safety, and bad for the quality of the game.



4) Keep kickoffs!

Let's revisit the basics of football. You have offense, defense and special teams. I am all for player safety, but kickoffs are part of the game.

Look at how Jacoby Jones impacted Super Bowl XLVII -- how he impacted the Baltimore Ravens' championship season -- as a return specialist. The kickoff return is one of the most exciting plays in football.

Eric LeGrand -- who was paralyzed during a kickoff while playing for Rutgers -- is himself a big proponent of keeping kickoffs. Serious injuries can (sadly) occur on any play.



5) Stop scheduling in-season games abroad

I think it is very intelligent to play games in London -- during the preseason. When a team plays a so-called "home game" abroad, it hurts the players and coaches of the so-called "home team," because they have one fewer game in their actual home city than the other 15 teams in their conference fighting for a playoff spot. The fans of that team are also robbed of one of the eight holidays known as NFL Sundays.

Promote the game abroad -- in August.



6) Shorten the preseason, and don't tie it to a ticket package

Preseason football is awful. Fans shouldn't be charged full price to watch second-teamers, third-stringers and guys who will never play a real down in the NFL. It's insulting.

Cutting down on the preseason would also be a great way to protect the players and help preserve player safety.



7) Move a team to Los Angeles

With the NFL more popular than ever and TV ratings going through the roof, the fact that the league doesn't have a team in this country's second-biggest media market ranks somewhere between odd and embarrassing.

I don't want to hear about how the Raiders and Rams had mixed results during their time in Los Angeles. With the right stadium, the right owner and the right football management, football in L.A. would be a huge success, on and off the field. It could even make the already-lucrative television packages even better.



8 Make overtime how it used to be -- with a wrinkle

There was never really anything wrong with the old overtime format. Changing it was the result of a groundswell overreaction to Peyton Manning not touching the football.

There are three phases of the NFL game. Teams that want to win should play defense or special teams. Playoff matchups have been won in overtime on defense before.

Folks say it's too arbitrary to decide overtime possession with a flip of the coin. I hear that. So here's my rule: The home team gets the ball first in overtime. Every player and coach would know that, affecting strategy during the home stretch of regulation -- and amping up the excitement.



9) Move the Pro Bowl down the schedule, but keep it in Hawaii

Few football fans really care about the Pro Bowl, though the players and the families like it as a nice reward. I didn't actually watch the game this year, but I heard it was more competitive.

That's good. Now it should be moved to the end of the season, after the Super Bowl. Shouldn't the participants in the title game be able to play in the Pro Bowl? And while it's true that the trek to Hawaii can be expensive, that's where the game belongs.




Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

TBTrojan

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#1 : February 18, 2013, 01:04:11 AM

#1 I'm so sick of the Rooney Rule. Barely anybody has a problem with any of the hires that were made and can't really point to any African American candidates (let's not kid ourselves here, it's about just African Americans not minorities) that were clearly better yet we keep hearing about how awful it is none were hired. What next when the 2 interviews don't work? Mandate that a coaching staff must consist of at least 50% African Americans? The biggest question I have for those pushing the Rooney Rule is What percentage of head coaches and GM is deemed acceptable in their opinion? An equal 50%, well forgive me for saying that's just outright idiotic considering that they are classed as minorities not to demean them but because there are FAR less of of them than the majority whites. The other issue is that even though there are far more whites, African Americans take up far more roster spots on teams, meaning the white guys have to take other jobs such as coaching from a much earlier age if they want to be involved in the sport, this gives them experience and a head start in things such as building connections.

#2 The final weeks are already heavily loaded up on divisional matchups and I know the Ravens vs the Eagles in week 16 was a far more exciting pospect for playoff implications than seeing the Giants walk over the Eagles, you had the Ravens needing to stop their seeding slide and the Giants fighting for a spot.

#3 I have no problem with 18 games IF they can work it out right with things such as an extra bye week to help with players health.

#4 Couldn't care less either way, if they keep it they will end up kicking off from the 50 yard line at some point to reduce the number of returns to zero.

#5 Living in England I agree with this to a point, it annoyed me no end that the Bucs lost 2 real home games so they could "host" 2 international games. If they are to keep it they need to drop a week of preseason and add 1 week to the regualr season where every team plays at a neutral site. Sure it still wouldn't be totally fair if a team got to play in Mexico while a division rival played in Japan but then life isnt fair.

#6 I see no need at all to cut down on the pre season BUT they do need to make they a totally seperate thing to the regular season when it comes to tickets and blackouts. With the limited number of practices teams are now allowed to have with players they need as much field time before week 1 as they can get.

#7 No, just no. LA doesn't work, they don't care. Unless you are winning championships you don't exist and they move on. They are the ultimate bandwagon city.

#8 Just give the home team the ball with todays rules that practically gift offenses points, no thanks.

#9 Didn;t they just move it from after the Super Bowl because nobody cared about it, the Super Bowl is the finale of the NFL season. When it's done people didn't think "YAY, we've still got the sleep inducing Pro Bowl to come." Plus Super Bowl players were already pulling out of the game because they we so beat up from an extended season and emotionally drained from winning the title and all the celebrations that came after it.

So thats 0 out of 9 on those "improvements" for me.

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#2 : February 18, 2013, 01:12:51 AM

Well Sir...blacks are 13% of the US population.  However you want to work the math, that is a minority.


As for no black coach deserved a job this time around.....how about Lovie?


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#3 : February 18, 2013, 01:17:47 AM

I doubt anyone cares about my opinions but I'll give them anyway.

1) Tweak the Rooney Rule and hold teams more accountable

I hate the Rooney rule. Coaches should be hired and interviewed based on their merits. To force someone to factor in color is counter productive. 12.5% of NFL head coaches are black. 12.4% of American citizens are black. I'd say it's a pretty fair ratio.

2) Keep it in the division down the stretch

I like this idea. Week 17 was recently set up to be a division game every year and I think it's been very popular. Expanding it to weeks 15-17 would likely be popular as well, and provide some very exciting story lines.
 .
3) Never mention the words "18-game schedule" again

I heard a proposal once. Raise the roster limits to maybe 60 or so, but limit each player to 16 games. The team decides when and who, but every player must sit for 2 games to keep them healthy. It would definitely make depth and Back Up QBs a much higher priority.

Another solution would be to add a bye week. Maybe just one league wide bye week around the holidays. Giving teams increased rosters, and an additional bye would alleviate some of the injury concerns. 

4) Keep kickoffs!

They're not going away. The player, coaches, owners, and most importantly the fans won't allow it. It may be tinkered with some more, but it'll never be eliminated.

5) Stop scheduling in-season games abroad

i disagree completely. I think we should schedule more. Another proposal I've read was to increase the schedule to 17 games with every team playing one international game. Not just London, but Mexico city, japan, germany, etc etc. I don't understand many NFL fans irrational fear of international games.

And to the point of using preseason games, In the very next point he discusses how useless the preseason is and they fans don't want to pay for those games. So what makes him think fans abroad would???

6) Shorten the preseason, and don't tie it to a ticket package

I can agree with the ticket prices, but I would hate to see the preseason reduced. This is where many players make the team. If it was reduced, the time would be spent to get your starters ready to play rather than evaluations. Mike Williams earned his starting position because of the preseason. Many more starters in the league wouldn't have even made the team if they hadn't had this opportunity to prove themselves.

7) Move a team to Los Angeles

The NFL has said on numerous occasions, they want a team in LA. It has to be the right fit though. The right stadium, owner, management, etc. So far, that hasn't materialized.

I'm also against a downtown stadium. I'd much prefer the Industry, CA proposal. The suburbs would have a much better time building a fan base than downtown LA. Look at Irving/Arlington, XT and East Rutherford, NJ.

8 Make overtime how it used to be -- with a wrinkle

Home team is on offense first? That's a horrible idea. I like taking away the element of Sudden Death. Especially the way the league is gearing itself towards high scoring offenses.

9) Move the Pro Bowl down the schedule, but keep it in Hawaii

I attended the ProBowl when it was in Miami. I enjoyed it. It'll likely be the last opportunity I'll ever have to go to one. I really don't care one way or the other about it's location, but I think at least every now and then it should come to the Continental US.

I do like it being the week before the Superbowl though. Would anyone really want to see Ray Lewis's last snap to be at the Probowl rather than the Superbowl? Let the Superbowl contenders have their game, and the rest of the league have theirs.   I would like to see the competitions brought back though.


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#4 : February 18, 2013, 01:29:18 AM

Rooney rule again? Not even gonna finish reading this.

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#5 : February 18, 2013, 02:37:48 AM

Well Sir...blacks are 13% of the US population.  However you want to work the math, that is a minority.


As for no black coach deserved a job this time around.....how about Lovie?
Not sure why the "math lesson" when the point was they are minorities.

As far as Lovie goes, who are we kidding, the guy has to go back to being a DC before getting another shot.
He's a defensive coach who's offences stank in an offensive league, leading to him missing the playoffs in 5 of the past 6 years, not exactly a high quality candidate IMO.

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#6 : February 18, 2013, 03:06:10 AM

Fire Goodell /thread


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#7 : February 18, 2013, 07:20:09 AM

1. Agree. Sure the general population is 13% black, but the NFL is way more than 50% black. That's the point. Yes, the Rooney Rule isn't necessary in a perfect world. The world isn't perfect.

2. Agree

3. Agree

4. I've got a more radical idea for kickoffs. Kickoffs should be tied in with extra points. An extra point should be a 50 yard kick making it very important to have a good kicker, hence the term "foot"ball. A successful extra point gives the ball to the opposing team at their own 20 yard line. A short extra point attempt turns into a kickoff. After successful FGs, the opposing team gets the ball at their own 20.

5. Agree. Hate the London game.

6. Agree.

7. Don't care.

8. I prefer a 6 point OT. A FG gets you only half-way there, a TD wins it. First team to 6 wins.

9. The Pro Bowl is awful. Get rid of it.

In addition:
10. Find a way to bring Defense back to the game. The rules are too much in favor of the Offense.


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#8 : February 18, 2013, 07:38:57 AM

I'm offended there aren't more Asians being offered head coaching jobs.


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#9 : February 18, 2013, 08:06:20 AM


1. The problem with the Rooney rule expansion is that HC's don't really "interview" their coordinators they've got their guys they want. Definition of the old boy network but doing even more sham interviews won't change that.

4. No, please god no. Kickoff returns are basically a random factor that is much less about the skill of the return man than just breakdowns by the kick team (look at the top KR year to year and see the lack of consistency). You could get the same effect by having a slot machine each team pulled the handle on on changes in possession and if they got jackpot give them 6 points.

7. How does having a team in LA help the league? Last I read TV ratings in LA are up since the NFL left and the rest of the country doesn't care about LA.

9. Get rid of the pro bowl. It was better? LOL. It is always awful football and the only thing any serious fan wants is for their favorite player to not go to the dumb game.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

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#10 : February 18, 2013, 10:33:49 AM

As for no black coach deserved a job this time around.....how about Lovie?

why does he deserve a head coaching job over some of the other guys hired?

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#11 : February 18, 2013, 11:10:43 AM

Rooney rule again? Not even gonna finish reading this.

That crap is stupid! What about other minorities? Just more selfish self-serving crap.

Lovie was the only guy worth keeping as a hc and most teams felt like they didn't need him, so what?

What about making it so white guys can play running back or corner once in awhile? Maybe since the majority of players are black, maybe there should be a "Alsott" rule?

Freaking rediculious.

Naismith was right about Revis. Everyone else is a dummy.

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#12 : February 18, 2013, 12:32:04 PM

What about making it so white guys can play running back or corner once in awhile? Maybe since the majority of players are black, maybe there should be a "Alsott" rule?

Freaking rediculious.

Because when we're talking about white people, opportunities should only be given based on talent and resume'.


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#13 : February 18, 2013, 12:34:25 PM

My opinion on the Rooney Rule is that it is good to have in that it requires teams to interview a diverse range of candidates, which is in the best interest of the teams. By diverse, I don't necessarily mean race, but rather ideas and coaching styles.

That being said, to hire someone based on anything but merit is absolutely ridiculous and not in the best interest of anyone.

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#14 : February 18, 2013, 02:25:29 PM

1. It has become a farce, which was expected. You can't legislate this type of thing. Almost every "equal opportunity" law is not functioning as designed or is now gone. Except for housing, I am not aware of it still being on the books and.or being enforced anywhere else. An owner will hire for merit, not color or ethnicity.

2. Agree about division games

3. Agree no 18 game schedule.

4. Agree about kickoffs.

5. 10,000 times agree no more foreign country games during regular season.

6. Disagree. 4 game preseason is necessary to get players redy for season, especially since changes to CBA limiting "real" practices.

7.No. No to LA now, no to LA tomorrow, no to LA forever. I lived in LA. It's not a pro football area. Heavy heavy college support over the entire state. It's like basketball in Indiana.

8 Could care less about how OT is resolve. Do agree both teams should get a chance to get the ball.

9. Feel very strong about this one. GET RID OF IT! Every year, it seems, 10 or 15 players become pro bowl players because the one voted in doesn't play. Find something else to do with the players in Hawaii-non contact.  A player who doesn't go unless in hospital or death in the family he loses his pro bowl designation-.No one replaces him.

 This whole think is a joke anyway. Players are voted in on reputation not what they actually did on the field that year. John Lynch (Denver) is a good example.


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