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Need to Know: Five NFL rule changes that should be approved without debate

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Need to Know: Five NFL rule changes that should be approved without debate

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 21, 17 days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage

Here are five of the proposed NFL rule changes that should pass with no debate:

Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed—I was scoffed at by some when I suggested in this space a couple of months ago that a coach should be able to use his two challenges on anything he thinks should be reviewed. If there’s no indisputable video evidence, the coach loses the challenge and the timeout. Well, now no less than Bill Belichick agrees with me as this is a Patriots proposal.

Re-organize the rules about what can be reviewed and what cannot be reviewed, including making the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play reviewable—OK, if you don’t want to open up offside calls to review how about the big, obvious things like the fumble that Bowman recovered in the NFC title game while being injured?

Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play—Can you tell I don’t like the replay process? This would let officials in New York do quality control over the review process and they could get a head start on the process while the referee is talking to the coach, making the announcement of the challenge, jogging to the replay booth, and getting the headset on. Better replay calls in less time? Sign me up.

Extend the goal posts an additional five feet above the cross bar—If it increases the accuracy of calls—and this clearly would—just do it and move on. Surprised this needs a three-fourths vote of the owners to get changed. It’s common sense.

Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul—This makes perfect sense. If a team tackles the quarterback by the facemask deep in the pocket, it could only end being penalized five yards past the previous spot. A personal foul penalty should hurt. But if they do this, they need to mark off offensive personal fouls on the offense that are behind the line from the spot of the foul. If there’s a chop block five yards behind the line, enforce it from there.

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Timeline

—It’s been 82 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 170 days until they play another one.

—Days until: Offseason workouts start 17; NFL Draft 48; Training camp starts 124

In case you missed it

Adam Hayward looks to help special teams improve

 

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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