Belichick details thinking behind proposals

Belichick details thinking behind proposals
March 25, 2014, 4:30 pm
Share This Post

ORLANDO -- The Patriots four proposed rules changes for 2014 will be voted on Wednesday here at the Ritz Carlton.
You’re probably familiar with the proposals by now: Raising the goal posts five feet; moving the line of scrimmage for an extra point kick back to the 25; making every play challengeable (not increasing the number of challenges); and installing stationary cameras on boundary lines to make it easier to determine plays along those borders.
During his morning session with reporters, Bill Belichick explained the thinking behind each proposed tweak. Here they are.
BB: Certainly I think the goal posts, that’s outdated, virtually every kicker at the Combine can kick them over the top of the goal posts, some of those guys aren’t even gonna be in the league, but I’d say every kicker can do that. … I don’t have a percentage, but I’m telling you, any kick that’s not (attempted from) outside the 10-yard line or outside the 45-yard line goes over the top of the uprights. I mean, they all do. Even the guys at the Combine who aren’t even in the league, that’s where the ball travels. So, to make the officials have to make that judgment, whether it is or it isn’t, the angle and all that, I mean, I think we should try to take that judgment out of the game if we can and get it right.
BB: “I mean, it’s been two decades, and the extra point conversion percentage is over 98 percent. Six of the last nine years, it’s been over 99 percent. In the last decade, there hasn’t been a field goal under 20 yards that’s been missed in 10 years. So, when the extra point was part of the game originally,,. we had players in other positions who were kicking, surfaces were a lot less ideal than what they are now. It was a tougher play. Now, we’ve made it a non-play, and I don’t think non-plays are good for the game. Just like I don’t think putting the ball on the 40 yard line and kicking into the endzone or even putting on the 35, and having over 50 percent touchback rate, I don’t think that’s an exciting play. I can’t imagine the fans waiting to see a 99 percent extra point, and then an over 50 percent touchback play. Personally, I don’t think that’s great for the game.”
BB: I’m not proposing more challenges. All I’m saying is, as a coach, if you want to challenge a play, I think you should be able to challenge it. And why does it have to be limited to, I don’t know, there’s four or five pages in the rules book of plays that can be challenged, and now this year there are more proposals to amend that probably because of one or two plays that happened in the league last year. I think eventually, each year, there’s gonna be some other circumstance, situation that comes up and we’re gonna want to add that. I mean it’s four to five pages of plays that challenge procedure. Every year it gets amended and it’s hard to keep it straight. I can’t get it right. We have a coach that’s responsible for that on game day to know exactly… I don’t know how the fans could possibly get it right if the coaches can’t get it right. For the officials themselves, it’s challenging. I think it simplifies it. And I understand it’s a judgment call. So, if I throw a challenge on an offensive holding play and they look at it, and they don’t think it’s holding, I lose the challenge. But if it’s an egregious play, I don’t see why it should not be allowed to be challenged when it affects the outcome of the game. I think we can find multiple, multiple examples of plays for example where the offense isn’t set, that if the officials could look at it, it’s very clear that they’re not set, that would nullify what subsequently happened. I can think of many situations where that would have affected the outcome of the game. So, why plays like that can’t be challenged, why other plays can’t be challenged, I think is… if we fundamentally want to try to get the games right and the plays right, then I don’t see why they should be excluded. Even though they’re judgment calls, but if you’re willing to use a timeout on that, I think you should be able to do that. It’s not going to slow the game down. It’s no different than if you challenged another play. So, I’m not looking for more challenges or anything else, just if you think it was a call that was missed, that you should have the opportunity to have the officials review it. That’s all. I don’t know if anybody agrees with that or not, but that’s the proposal.