BOSTON (CBS) – The NFL rulebook is 121 pages long and is available in PDF form on the league’s website.
There are only 17 rules for on-field play, but they are so complex and complicated that it’s enough to be its own novel.
According to NFL penalty data collected by Pro Football Focus, defensive pass interference was the third most called penalty in 2012, and consistently ranks in the top five – but it continues to increase year after year.
Former NFL tight end and Sports Hub host Jermaine Wiggins is in the same boat as most people when it comes to pass interference: it has gone way too far and it’s changing the outcomes of games.
He revealed his plan to fix it Monday afternoon on the Gresh & Zo show.
“It could almost be like basketball where you have a flagrant 1 or a flagrant 2 foul, or in football like running into the kicker or just a personal foul. It could be a spot foul or a fifteen yard penalty, where it would be determined if the player actually had a legitimate shot of catching the ball or if it was just chucked up there.”
Wiggy would also like to see the “automatic first down” part of illegal contact and defensive holding go away. If you’re facing a third-and-long and heave a prayer up to a receiver that was contacted illegally, Jermaine Wiggins feels like it should just be a 5-yard penalty and a replay of the down, much like offsides.
Andy Gresh has a plan of his own that wouldn’t involve any rule changes.
“You now got more guys going out for passes than ever before, so you need another set of eyes out there. You need an eighth official,” said Gresh. “But the NFL is never going to do that because they won’t spend the money.”
As far as other rule changes, Wiggins is on board with the Patriots head coach as far as what can be reviewed.
“I’m in the camp of Bill Belichick where everything should be reviewable. Everything happens so fast that it’s tough to see with the naked eye – especially the defenseless receiver hit.”
Listen below for the full discussion: