The League

Archive: NFL Rules

Seahawks only close to worst ever

Surprisingly, the Seahawks might not be the worst playoff team of all-time -- and not surprisingly, their closest competitors also hail from the NFC West.

By Doug Farrar | January 5, 2011; 03:14 PM ET | Comments (3)

Playoff change we can believe in

The NFL's division system should remain in tact, but a sub-.500 playoff team like the Seahawks should not be able to host a first round playoff game.

By Richard Boadu & Claude Clayborne | January 5, 2011; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Need to re-seed

The 7-9 Seattle Seahawks and their first-round home playoff game are the greatest case yet for Roger Goodell and the NFL re-seeding teams at the start of the postseason.

By Anthony Stalter | January 5, 2011; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (3)

When will they ever learn?

The NFL still does not know how long a player should sit out after a concussion and the league should continue to research concussions and prevent players from returning to the field too soon.

By Leonard Shapiro | December 22, 2010; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Using the evidence

New research on the effects of multiple concussions could help force the NFL to mandate longer rest periods to protect their players from absorbing more punishment.

By Dr. Matthew Prowler | December 21, 2010; 07:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

Three strikes and you're out

NFL players who suffer three concussions in one season should without a doubt be shut down for the rest of the year to prevent further injury.

By Richard Boadu & Claude Clayborne | December 21, 2010; 02:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Terrible uncertainties

Our best hope is for advances in the research on head trauma that will clarify football's risks -- but in the interim, fans must continue to push concussion awareness and treatment to the forefront of the NFL's consciousness.

By Michael Oriard | December 21, 2010; 12:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Who's responsible?

Only when every player on the field realizes that concussions are injuries and plays the game that way will we finally see a reduction in these injuries.

By Dr. Mark Adickes | December 21, 2010; 11:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Can't rush recovery

Bringing players back to NFL action following a concussion must be a careful, deliberate and tempered process. Rushing a player like Austin Collie back too soon could result in permanent brain damage and an early ending to a career.

By Dawn Knight | December 21, 2010; 11:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Countless misteps led to early exit

Twenty-three months is not enough time to evaluate a head coach, unless he only makes disastrous decisions in that span.

By Anthony Stalter | December 7, 2010; 12:24 PM ET | Comments (1)

Experience trumps genius

Josh McDaniels was hired because he had been tagged a young "genius" working under Bill Belichik. His failures prove once again that experience is paramount in the NFL's coaching ranks.

By Dave Goldberg | December 7, 2010; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Winning matters

Josh McDaniels made repeated poor personnel decisions, was responsible for a second 'Spygate' and alienated one of the best fanbases in the league. But in the end, it was his inability to win games that sent him packing.

By Leonard Shapiro | December 7, 2010; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

Too many bad decisions

Josh McDaniels repeatedly made bad decisions as head coach of the Denver Broncos. By firing him, the Broncos made a good one.

By Michael Kun | December 7, 2010; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Was $25,000 a fitting fine?

Was a $25,000 fine a fitting punishment for Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan's on-field brawl?

By Reader Poll | November 30, 2010; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

Subjectivity is a necessity

The NFL must consider each situation -- including the track records of the players involved -- when deciding on appropriate punishments for fights, punches and illegal hits, to avoid heading down a slippery slope.

By Anthony Stalter | November 30, 2010; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hits worse than fights

Long-term damage from helmet-to-helmet hits is more dangerous to the NFL than on-field fights and fines and suspensions should be levied accordingly.

By Michael Oriard | November 30, 2010; 12:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

A dangerous precedent

Failing to suspend players for fighting on the field sets a dangerous precedent in the NFL that could eventually result in injuries to star players.

By Michael Kun | November 30, 2010; 12:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Undetectable damage

For every concussion diagnosed, further undetected brain damage is likely done. The NFL must enforce suspensions to discourage head hunting and the use of helmets as weapons by defensive players.

By Richard Boadu & Claude Clayborne | October 19, 2010; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

Use your head?

The NFL must set its policy on helmet-to-helmet hits with consideration to all lower levels of football where players are taught to emulate the physical play of professional stars.

By Dr. Mark Adickes | October 19, 2010; 08:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Changing a defender's mindset

Rodney and James Harrison made it clear that some defenders are looking to hurt players with every hit. The only way to change that mentality is to actually enforce ejections and suspensions.

By Joe Baker | October 19, 2010; 08:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

What should the NFL do to reduce helmet-to-helmet hits?

What should the NFL do to limit the helmet-to-helmet hits that so often cause concussions and other serious injuries?

By Reader Poll | October 19, 2010; 01:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Waiting on technology to catch up

Players are instructed and encouraged to make big hits, and a fine likely won't discourage them from doing so.

By Anthony Stalter | October 19, 2010; 12:56 AM ET | Comments (2)

More to be done

The NFL is paying greater attention to the serious health risks of concussions, but a simple rule change without more medical restrictions on a player's ability to return to the field following a concussion won't cut it.

By Dr. Matthew Prowler | October 19, 2010; 12:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

Head to head combat

The NFL is taking head injuries seriously and game suspensions should help limit helmet-to-helmet hits, but re-teaching tackling techniques to better protect players may be worth exploring as well.

By Dawn Knight | October 19, 2010; 12:15 AM ET | Comments (1)

A violent, dangerous game

Football is a violent and dangerous game, and at some point there's not much else the NFL can do to prevent head injuries.

By Jason Brewer | October 19, 2010; 12:10 AM ET | Comments (1)

Teaching "toughness"

Football players are taught from a young age that the game is about punishing and intimidating your opponent. Until that fundamental teaching changes, no amount of punishment will reverse the trend of dangerous hits to the head.

By Dave Goldberg | October 19, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Codeine concoction a serious issue

Purple drank abuse has run rampant through hip-hop and athlete culture for years, and despite the fact that it's only now garnering mainstream media attention, the NFL needs to act now to curb prescription drug addiction and abuse.

By Richard Boadu & Claude Clayborne | July 22, 2010; 03:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

Abuse beyond NFL

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is on the rise across the United States and codeine -- the key ingredient in "purple drank" -- is one of a number of recreational prescription drugs that needs to be more closely controlled.

By Dr. Matthew Prowler | July 20, 2010; 01:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

Southern 'sizzurp' gaining in popularity

Purple drank is more prevalent in hip-hop culture than athlete culture, and while it's use is something sports leagues should be aware of, at this point it's not nearly as big of a concern as performance enhancing drugs.

By Robert Littal | July 20, 2010; 12:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Sippin' Siz-erp

The year-long suspension levied against Packers' lineman Johnny Jolly should serve as a deterrent for NFL athletes looking to get a quick fix with the purple drank.

By Dawn Knight | July 20, 2010; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (2)

Downtime leads to drug use

Purple drank is simply the latest recreational drug of choice for athletes looking for something to do during down time. Hopefully recent suspensions levied by the league will limit its use going forward.

By Anthony Stalter | July 20, 2010; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Is codeine abuse a problem for NFL?

Are the recent arrests of JaMarcus Russell and Johnny Jolly for codeine possession a sign that "purple drank" has become a serious substance abuse problem in the NFL?

By Reader Poll | July 20, 2010; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

More needs to be done

The abuse of codeine in the infamous purple drank is becoming a trend in mainstream society and the NFL, where something should be done to curb its use.

By Doug Farrar | July 20, 2010; 02:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Is hip-hop to thank?

The increasing presence of purple drank in hip-hop culture and rap music coupled with its rapid excretion from the body which masks detection in drug testing has led to a growing problem of codeine abuse in the NFL.

By Dr. Mark Adickes | July 20, 2010; 12:40 AM ET | Comments (3)

The latest fix

Substance abuse is a constant in professional sports and purple drank is just the newest quick fix.

By Dave Goldberg | July 20, 2010; 12:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

Not a league-wide issue, yet

At least for now, the purple drank appears to be an isolated problem affecting JaMarcus Russell and Johnny Jolly and not an NFL-wide epidemic.

By Michael Kun | July 20, 2010; 12:05 AM ET | Comments (1)

More distraction than crisis

At the moment, the purple drank craze is a much less severe threat to the NFL than the impending 2011 lockout.

By Michael Oriard | July 20, 2010; 12:03 AM ET | Comments (1)

The well has run dry

With his talent quickly diminishing and few teams willing to put up with his antics, Terrell Owens may have run out of options to continue playing in the NFL.

By Robert Littal | July 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

How will NBA impact new NFL CBA?

How will LeBron James and the current NBA free agency process impact a new NFL collective bargaining agreement?

By Reader Poll | July 8, 2010; 12:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

NFL remains the real king

The NFL continues to dominate the sports landscape, giving its owners the power and arrogance necessary to prevent its players from enjoying the spoils of an NBA-style free agent auction.

By Anthony Stalter | July 8, 2010; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

City-sized ego

While the LeBron James free agency circus might factor into a new NFL collective bargaining agreement, there simply is not an NFL star with LeBron's $100 million ego.

By Dawn Knight | July 8, 2010; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (2)

The almighty franchise tag

While Cleveland Cavaliers fans would love to keep LeBron James in town with the power of the NFL's franchise tag, it's that singular factor that most greatly differentiates the NBA's wide open free agent market and the far more restrictive NFL.

By Tim McHale | July 8, 2010; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

The power of publicity

Fewer free agency restrictions in the NFL would allow the league to capitalize on the type of publicity storm currently swirling around LeBron James and the NBA's free agent class.

By Brandon Benson | July 8, 2010; 11:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Liberate the players

Just like NBA stars, top NFL free agents should have the ability to choose their destinations and create drama in the offseason.

By Adam Tracey | July 8, 2010; 10:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Apples and oranges

There's simply no way to compare the financial systems of the NBA and the NFL as their respective collective bargaining agreements are miles apart.

By Jason Maloni | July 8, 2010; 09:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Will Vick be a starter again?

Will Michael Vick ever be a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL again?

By Reader Poll | June 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Public party invited trouble

By hosting an overtly public birthday party in his home town, Michael Vick invited the possibility for trouble back into his life.

By Chris Richardson | June 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Skills in decline

Michael Vick's skills, not his character, will keep him from regaining a starting quarterback role in the NFL.

By Anthony Stalter | June 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

He's just not very bright

While he may not be a bad guy, Michael Vick's poor judgment continues to lead him into situations that threaten his career and freedom

By Robert Littal | June 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Is the NFL doing enough to curb PED use?

Is the NFL doing enough to curb the use of banned substances through its drug testing and suspension policy?

By Reader Poll | May 28, 2010; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Level the playing field

The NFL could and should do more to enforce its banned substance policy, starting with making first-time offenders sit out a full season without pay.

By Leonard Shapiro | May 28, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Time to reel in HGH

The NFL's drug testing system, for the most part, is effective in discouraging its players from using performance enhancing drugs, but it may be time for the league to regulate human growth hormone use as well.

By Dr. Mark Adickes | May 28, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Disorganized deterrent

With the NFL's current haphazard drug policy it appears the league will only take action against a player who test positive for a banned substance if it absolutely must. There's got to be a better way.

By Doug Farrar | May 28, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

All about perspective

Like the tragic results that often result from legal drug use, the NFL's banned substance testing and suspension policy does enough to curb the use of performance enhancing drugs in the league.

By Dave Goldberg | May 28, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Straightforward and sufficient

The NFL's performance enhancing drug policy is a sufficient enough deterrent and those who seek to beat the system are outliers, not the norm.

By Tim McHale | May 28, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

NFL players face unhealthy system when it comes to treating injuries

While NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering whether to suspend players for seeking cures from the syringe-wielding physician Anthony Galea, he should ask why so many of them distrust their team physicians and seek alternative ways to heal. Medical care in the league is not a simple issue. Anyone who says otherwise should read up on O.J. McDuffie's case.

By Sally Jenkins | May 22, 2010; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dear AP: Don't look back

Associated Press should stick with the votes they made at the end of the season, just as they do when voting for awards across professional sports.

By Brandon Benson | May 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Policy holes lead to undeserving winners

Holes in NFL banned substance testing policy allowed Brian Cushing and others to continue playing long after a positive test.

By Doug Farrar | May 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Suspension is sufficient

Brian Cushing's league-issued four-game suspension is punishment enough for his used of a banned substance. The Associated Press should not feel compelled to pile on by stripping him of his well-deserved Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

By Tim McHale | May 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The pressure to perform

Brian Cushing is far from the first defensive rookie whose desire to be a star his first year led him to take performance enhancing drugs. Now he's suffering the consequences.

By Anthony Stalter | May 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

It's in the position

The AP is right to revote on the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year award, but a trend of banned substance use among elite pass rushers might be a sign that certain position players are more likely to experiment with steroids.

By Joe Baker | May 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Should AP strip Cushing?

Should the Associated Press strip Houston Texans' linebacker Brian Cushing off his 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year award for testing positive for a banned substance?

By Reader Poll | May 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

League should take action

The NFL has a responsibility to incoming players to more closely monitor pre-draft interviews so questions like the one Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant are prohibited.

By Anthony Stalter | April 30, 2010; 12:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Questions complicate larger issues

The public outcry surrounding Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland's inappropriate question to Dez Bryant could forever change the protocol for prospect interviews

By Doug Farrar | April 30, 2010; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (1)

An inexcusable inquiry

There's no way to sugarcoat the question Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland posed to Dez Bryant in a pre-draft interview, and the NFL should encourage future draft prospects to report that type of questioning.

By Brandon Benson | April 30, 2010; 09:38 AM ET | Comments (1)

Whistle blowing aspirations

The real outrage in the Dez Bryant-Jeff Ireland situation should be directed at the sports writer who blew this story out of proportion to brighten his own star.

By Matt Infante | April 30, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Interview regulation?

Should the NFL more closely monitor and regulate how franchises conduct pre-draft player interviews?

By Reader Poll | April 29, 2010; 11:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Defense wins championships?

New format provides rewards for strategic decisions and personnel advantages on both sides of the ball.

By Doug Farrar | March 24, 2010; 02:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Decisions, decisions

While the new postseason overtime format might increase fairness, it certainly doesn't make the job of an NFL coach any easier. Instead, they now have one more big second-guessable decision to make.

By Dave Goldberg | March 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

The new blame game

The NFL coaches who were hesitant to back the new playoff overtime format will soon be scrambling for a new laminated "overtime scenarios" sheet to avoid ridicule for the strategic decisions they may now be forced to make.

By Michael Kun | March 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Risks will be rewarded

Look for pass-first offenses to excel in the new playoff overtime format while offenses that focus on the run may be forced to take risks in the extra period.

By Matt Loede | March 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

What type of team will benefit?

What type of team will benefit most from the newly approved playoff overtime format?

By Reader Poll | March 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Financial security is paramount

Before changing the overtime structure, the NFL should focus on securing its financial future going forward.

By Chris Richardson | March 2, 2010; 02:23 PM ET | Comments (1)

Don't count on change

While the NFL would be wise to change its overtime format, don't expect the status quo to to be tweaked any time soon.

By Dave Goldberg | March 2, 2010; 08:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

Officiating consistency before OT reform

Before the NFL competition committee addresses overtime, it should fix the inconsistency in its officiating crews.

By Doug Farrar | March 2, 2010; 12:49 AM ET | Comments (1)

Bring back the 'D'

The NFL should amend its rules to allow defensive players to be more physical, then worry about its overtime format.

By Larry Brown | March 2, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Just plain stupid

If the NFL wants to change the overtime system, this is not the best way to do it.

By Edward Valentine | March 2, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Is overtime the NFL's biggest rules problem?

With the NFL's competition committee scheduled to discuss a new proposal to change its overtime format for playoff games, is the league's overtime system the rule most in need of change?

By Reader Poll | March 2, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

 
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