There are a number of NFL rules that players must follow. And if given the opportunity to express themselves, many players would object to some of these rules. So we opened that door and allowed them to express their frustrations. Athleticism as part of our Anonymous survey of NFL players.
Our editors surveyed 85 players for the poll and 78 of them gave their opinion on which rule they would most like to see changed. The results? Well, players listed 19 different things.
The one who received the most votes (19.2%) mishandled the passer – a controversial topic among fans as well. Although the league has attempted to create some consistency with this decision, it seems subjective to the referees assigned to each respective game. At least that’s how the players feel.
“Make enforcement of the rules of the smugglers game more consistent,” one player said. “Some quarterbacks, they don’t call it. Other shifts get calls all the time. It’s ridiculous.”
Response from another player: “Rough the passer. I think the quarterbacks should be hit.
It’s not just the defensive players who support the change. One offensive player said he understands protecting the quarterback, but said the league has gotten out of hand with how often penalties are called in today’s game.
“I feel like there are so many that don’t need to be talked about,” he said. “Obviously you want to protect the QBs, but there are so many (rolling out passer penalties). I feel (sometimes) like it’s a normal room and they’re calling it (again).”
Anonymous 2023 NFL Player Poll: Best Player? The biggest talker? Most annoying fans?
Another penalty that drew widespread criticism from players was pass interference/illegal contact, which received 15.4 percent of the vote. One player said the league should “make pass interference calls reviewable.” Too many bad calls to IPs at critical moments.
Officials called at a pivotal moment during last season’s Super Bowl which you may or may not remember.
Another player agreed that it should be a reviewable play: “I wish you could challenge pass interference calls.” So if you’re on defense, you can also challenge it and say it wasn’t PI. But if you’re being offensive, you can challenge it by saying, “Hey, he ripped my helmet off!” »
One defensive player expressed his opinion on the rule: “Receivers can’t touch us either. After 5 meters they can’t get their hands on us and we can’t get their hands on them,” he said. “If this is going to be the rule for us, they can’t do it either.”
One player said the NFL should take a page from college rules and change the defensive pass interference call so it’s no longer a spot foul. “They should change it to 15 yards,” he said.
Players also don’t like the restrictions on NFL uniforms, which lead to numerous fines. Many players would like to have more freedom to wear the type of cleats, socks and undershirts they prefer.
“I don’t like the uniforms,” one player said. “I think they should just let us wear whatever. Just let us express ourselves.
Uniform regulations also received 15.4 percent of the vote.
“We always have to have our skin covered,” said one player. “I don’t know why we have to do this.”
“I hate wearing pantyhose,” another player noted, “but you have to because you have to cover your legs.”
And speaking of fines, one defensive player wasn’t as concerned about those being penalized for uniform errors. But he had this to say: “If a player comes in without socks or clothes, we can’t help but be stupid. But when it comes to a player just trying to get a block and helmets happen to be touching and he gets fined? No flags and he has to pay a fine of 40,000 or thereabouts? This kind of shit needs to go.
The targeting penalty, which received 9 percent of the vote and has become a major issue in today’s NFL, is another move that can result in hefty fines. “People don’t understand how hard it is to avoid some of these collisions,” one player said. “I get a penalty, but the fines and expulsions are too heavy.”
Another said: “I’m not a big fan of targeting. I think it slows the game down. It complicates the game too much. If you don’t want to get hit, go do something else. I know it might confuse people, but you know what you’re getting into. You can’t take everything out of the game.”
Offensive holding is a common penalty that frustrates everyone from players to coaches to fans. This is another decision that can change the trajectory of a game and can also be subjective.
“It’s stupid that it’s a 10-yard penalty,” one player said. “I know why it’s a 10-yard penalty, but it’s a real car killer. And it happens every play but they don’t call it (every time). This is the NFL’s way of trying to stop guys from holding because it’s a huge penalty.
Other rules that several players mentioned as being ones they wanted to change: blocking and blocking penalties, new fair catch rule on kickoffsand the fumble rule in the end zone that leads to a touchback.
Simply put, one player said, teams “should be able to contest (all) penalties.”
(Top photos: Carmen Mandato / Getty Images and Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)
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