‘I Do Not Like It’: Mike Tomlin Dislikes Proposed XFL Rules
PHOENIX — The competition committee will meet this week in Phoenix to discuss some rule changes that could be implemented in the NFL moving forward, and while there are some intriguing ideas, not everyone is in favor of those changes being implemented. Count Mike Tomlin in as one of those who does not want to see a drastic change.
One of those key rules has been the famed 4th-and-20 rule that the XFL grew in popularity this season. In the rule, a team could get the ball back by converting a 4th-and-20 instead of an onside kick. The idea was proposed to be implemented for fan engagement, but Tomlin only stated that he is not in favor of the rule.
“Personally, I do not like it,” Tomlin said.
That is a rule he does like, though Tomlin did mention that they are looking at changing rules for kickoffs. The XFL has different rules for kickoffs. For one, if the kickoff does not clear the 20-yard line or it goes out of bounds before the end zone, the ball ends up on the opposing team’s 45-yard line. Meanwhile, the opposing team lines up only 5 yards away from the opposing team. That is one rule Tomlin does not like, and he said that he did not like that idea. Meanwhile, touchbacks are spotted at the 35-yard line.
The implementation of some rules is inevitable to create a more entertaining game. However, Mike Tomlin and the competition committee must also understand the risk of injuries. So, for the group, their main idea is to try and lower the injury rate on the kickoffs.
“There have been a lot of discussions,” Tomlin said. “I’ve learned and been around long enough to never try to anticipate how the membership might view things, particularly after hearty discussions. There have been a number of discussions about special teams play, kickoffs, and punts, and all of those discussions are around reducing the number of injuries whether it’s the total number or injuries or the injury rate.”
Regardless of the rules adopted as early as tomorrow, expect special teams to see a shift in the coming years as the NFL tries to make it far more interesting than it is right now.