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Need to Know: Five rule changes the NFL should make

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Need to Know: Five rule changes the NFL should make

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 3, eight days before the start of NFL free agency.

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Packers CEO (and former Redskins safety) Mark Murphy revealed a list of rule changes that the competition committee will consider at the upcoming owners meetings. Here are five rule changes the NFL should make; the first three come from Murphy’s list, the other two have been kicked around for a while but aren’t necessarily under consideration.

Eliminate the point-after touchdown—With a 99.6 percent success rate, what’s the point (see what I did there)? Make the TD worth seven with an option to gain another point by passing or running over the goal line or lose a point if you try and fail to do so.

Expand the playoffs—Actually, I’m for seven teams in each conference making the playoffs if and only if they take some of the revenue and eliminate two preseason games. High stakes at the bottom of the playoff hunt and at the top as teams will fight for the one and only bye in each conference.

Centralize replay review—There is no point in the delay of having the ref go and stand under a hood for an eternity right in front of a large crowd that is screaming for him to either uphold or overturn the call. Have a crew in New York and let them make the call quickly and without crowd pressure.

Make everything reviewable under challenge—If a coach wants to use one of his challenges to say that pass interference wasn’t committed on a play or that his player did not go helmet to helmet on that defenseless player, or anything else, let him do it. If there’s indisputable video evidence, change the call. If not, don’t. This would correct obvious errors like the 49ers fumble recovery in the NFC title game. But to avoid four-hour games this should apply only on coaches’ challenges. When replay appeals go to the central location in New York, only current situations can be challenged.

Eliminate the spike to stop the clock—The spike is almost always a bad idea anyway. Teams use it way too often when running out of time is not an issue. But in any case the ability to trade a down for a quick stoppage of the clock should not so automatic. Make the offense run a play and throw a pass that is intended for a receiver.

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Timeline

—It’s been 64 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 188 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 8; Offseason workouts start 35; NFL Draft 66

In case you missed it

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Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.

Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.

“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.

But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?

Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.

So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?

It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”

There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it. 

MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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