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Mara admits Goodell’s two-personal-foul ejection idea won’t be easy to implement

John Mara AP

Two days before the Super Bowl, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he’d like to see the league adopt a rule that mandates ejection if a player commits two personal fouls. And it became an interesting point of discussion during the Super Bowl, after multiple players were flagged twice for personal fouls.

But it’s not nearly that simple, if the rule is adopted. Officials already are reluctant to eject players because of the potential competitive impact on games. If they know that two personal fouls will get a guy ejected, they’ll be less willing to throw those flags, too.

That has a lot of issues associated with it,” Giants co-owner John Mara recently told NFL Media regarding Goodell’s idea. “What is the list of personal fouls that will qualify for a player to be ejected? Do we want to eliminate personal fouls and just make it for unsportsmanlike conduct? What we want to avoid is a situation where a guy grabs a facemask and that’s the second personal foul and he gets ejected. Or if he is going to block a pass and he hits the quarterback’s head, and that’s the second personal foul. It gets to be a very tricky discussion, and I don’t think we’re close to a resolution.”

Mara said that the resolution could be the development of a point of emphasis that players who engage in over-the-top misconduct should be ejected by officials, regardless of the potential impact on the outcome of a game.

Whatever rule is adopted, the NFL needs to do something to ensure that officials will keep games from getting out of control. Assuming, that is, that the NFL actually wants to keep that from happening, given that fans tend to find those types of games even more compelling.

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76 Responses to “Mara admits Goodell’s two-personal-foul ejection idea won’t be easy to implement”
  1. farvite says: Mar 1, 2016 9:48 PM

    Give it up.

    You’re not concerned with player safety.

    If you were, you would have been ejecting AND suspending players YEARS ago.

  2. illadelphiasphinest says: Mar 1, 2016 9:52 PM

    Says the guy with an immature hothead diva WR on his team. Joke.

  3. mantastic54 says: Mar 1, 2016 10:00 PM

    Potential impact on the game shouldn’t matter. If you do something that warrants getting thrown out, you should be thrown out.

  4. nflcommissioner says: Mar 1, 2016 10:00 PM

    Especially when you have Odell Beckham on your team. duh?

  5. joedirte says: Mar 1, 2016 10:00 PM

    This may be the only idea of Goodell has had that I agree with. If you commit 2 personal fouls you should be ejected.

  6. daytontriangles says: Mar 1, 2016 10:09 PM

    Not easy to implement?

    What could be easier? Commit two personal fouls, get ejected. It might be the single most straightforward rule the NFL creates in the last decade!

    As for the referees being afraid to eject players because it will change the balance of the game. Well, last I checked, players getting injured because other players feel free to commit personal fouls that knock their opponents out of the game, perhaps even the season. That changes the balance of the game a heck of a lot more.

  7. bigbenh8tr says: Mar 1, 2016 10:09 PM

    Wow another awful debate starting

  8. boyso3 says: Mar 1, 2016 10:16 PM

    Have no fear everybody. I’m sure the league will do the right thing.

  9. bigbluefandom says: Mar 1, 2016 10:21 PM

    Why? Two yellow cards and you are out in soccer. What’s so difficult about implementing two personal foul and you are out? Mara is starting to become embarrassing and this coming from a Giants fan. Longing for the days of well respected Wellington Mara and not this stooge!

  10. huh6016 says: Mar 1, 2016 10:27 PM

    let the refs carry tasers….

  11. gianthater says: Mar 1, 2016 10:33 PM

    Keep messing with the game, it’s getting so you can’t even tackle another player without a flag being thrown. How this game has changed over the years. Might as well play flag football or two hand touch. We might soon be reduced to watching the lingerie league, at least their allowed to tackle. What a sham they have made of the once great NFL.

  12. sparty0n says: Mar 1, 2016 10:34 PM

    I like the 2 PF ejection rule. But, they need to look at allowing inactive players to replace active players who leave the game with a concussion or other issue that permanently removes a player from the game.

  13. jdphx says: Mar 1, 2016 10:38 PM

    What is a catch?

    Maybe fix the rules you’ve already got?????

  14. llcamino says: Mar 1, 2016 10:39 PM

    Mara will probably propose that the punishment be to take salary cap money from his division rivals Redskins and Cowboys. That how he operates isn’t it?

  15. redeemerac says: Mar 1, 2016 10:48 PM

    I think Mara may be right.

  16. macker1283 says: Mar 1, 2016 10:50 PM

    Refs will be hesitant to throw the second personal because if the competitive advantage of someone being thrown out? Ahhh what?! Oh yea! Because we all know if there is one thing that NFL refs dont want to do is decide games with calls. Thats why they call borderline Pass Int calls every game which put the ball on the 1 yard line late in 4th quarter. Thats why refs call ticky tack roughing the passer calls after an incomplete pass on 4th down with less than a minute left. But yea. Having a safety ejected from the game for taking a guys head off for the second time in the game, Refs will refuse to do that!! No way.

  17. 12brichandfamous says: Mar 1, 2016 10:52 PM

    Do these bozos ever stop to think? If you don’t call a deserved penalty as written in the rule book, then you are managing player participation rather than enforcing the rules. That is a serious breach of game integrity and points towards favoritism!

    call the game per the rules! If that is a problem then eliminate the rules that are not going to be enforced. simple!

  18. hawkman54 says: Mar 1, 2016 10:54 PM

    Stupid idea- Use the penalties as punishment for the next game after a review that is doen in One day !!!! with a rebuttal available the next day !!! DONE !!!!

  19. nobleeding says: Mar 1, 2016 10:56 PM

    Mara is right. It is a bad proposal because the officials have proven themselves incapable on the basics. They cannot be trusted with more power to swing games based on silly fouls and outright errors.

  20. tomtravis76 says: Mar 1, 2016 10:58 PM

    Increase the penalty yardage on certain types of penalties. See how a coach and teammates react to a 35 ,40 or 50 yard penalty. You actually hurt the team with the penalty. 15 yards is nothing. You change the game with 35,40-50 yard penalties.

  21. laserw says: Mar 1, 2016 10:59 PM

    Whatever the Mara organized crime syndicate says is of no matter. This family should be behind bars for their racketeering against the Redskins and Cowboys and their misrepresentation and lying about a cap in an uncapped year. There is a special place in heck for the Mara family.

  22. dreece13 says: Mar 1, 2016 11:02 PM

    Of course it will be easy to implement. Everybody on the Giants will be exempt from the rule and everybody the Giants face will have their star players ejected on a regular basis.

  23. Damidwesterner says: Mar 1, 2016 11:07 PM

    Basically, Aqib’s facemask in the Super Bowl would be one strike. The Lion’s DL who brushed Roger’s facemask as he ducked out of the way shouldn’t be.

    Under the rules, both are PF facemasks. But the latter was accidental while the former was pretty blatant.

  24. Angry Orange Man says: Mar 1, 2016 11:07 PM

    There are different types of personal fouls. You have little ones like being a split second too late on a player moving out of bounds. Then you have big ones like Talib trying to rip the head off a Carolina WR.

    Those two plays shouldn’t carry the same weight when getting tossed from the game is on the line.

  25. madmax80 says: Mar 1, 2016 11:13 PM

    This rule would significantly decrease Olivier Vernon’s free agency value.

  26. toybkshr says: Mar 1, 2016 11:15 PM

    Goodell’s already had more than two – Eject Him!!!

  27. ebdug says: Mar 1, 2016 11:17 PM

    A guy knocks two passes loose and gets kicked out of the game. Yeah, lets vote.

  28. unclebirdman says: Mar 1, 2016 11:17 PM

    Not tricky or difficult. A personal foul is a personal foul. If you don’t want to get ejected, don’t commit a personal foul.

  29. dickebyrd says: Mar 1, 2016 11:26 PM

    Oh don’t worry Johnny… I’m sure if you, Krafty, and Rooney put your heads together you’ll come up with a way to cheat the system. If not, just pay off the refs. Much easier and less work.

  30. kuantan97 says: Mar 1, 2016 11:27 PM

    This happens every year. Something strange happens in one game and new rules are proposed. Football is being legislated into oblivion. Sometimes, stuff just happens. Let go of this obsessive quest for perfection.

  31. damcmp says: Mar 1, 2016 11:28 PM

    the NFL can hire NBA officials.. to call fouls.. what a load!

  32. autumnwind999 says: Mar 1, 2016 11:37 PM

    Hopefully the NFL is still around in 9 years so Trump can save it from the mess Goodell has made, after he finishes his second term in the White House.

  33. fafaflunky says: Mar 1, 2016 11:43 PM

    mara its simple. If someone acts like beckham did he ejected.
    Mara trying to protect his investment. Competion comititee a joke

  34. ariani1985 says: Mar 1, 2016 11:43 PM

    Giants., lol, try make it to the post season!

    Signed. Packer nation!

  35. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: Mar 1, 2016 11:44 PM

    Actually it isn’t all that hard just count to two and toss the guy. Why should a guy get three shots at the QB’s or WR’s head? If some PF aren’t so bad then make them ordinary fouls and drop the yardage to 10 yards and no automatic first down. Problem solved.

  36. kelsey59 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:08 AM

    College football doesn’t have a problem with it.

  37. soflosportsfan says: Mar 2, 2016 12:14 AM

    There needs to be something done to prevent the embarrassment of another OBJ incident. How often does a player commit 2 personal fouls in a game? Exclude facemasks and chopblock personal fouls since most of the time they’re accidental if your name isn’t Aqib Talib.

  38. JaminJake says: Mar 2, 2016 12:18 AM

    If there was any standard to the officiating, you could consider implementing this.

    The variance of officials is too great. Defenders get to the QB fast as ever and should two late hit penalties eject someone from the game? To even make this possible, there would have to be two levels personal fouls for late hits. One would be when an edge rusher would hit the QB moments after he has released the ball. The other, and flagrant personal foul would be like Talibs face mask in the Super Bowl.

    But this is hoping a league that can’t get goal line cameras could create nuanced rules and achieve any standard in officiating.

    Don’t worry, they’ll be finished with their appeal of deflategate soon.

  39. sariff420 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:29 AM

    Sjws are ruining football. If it ain’t broke. Dont fix it

  40. RE LEE says: Mar 2, 2016 12:41 AM

    …. as if injuring players esp the QBs and other key players won’t have competitive impact on the game.
    That’s precisely why some dirty players commit personal fouls because of the cost- benefit. SB ring as opposed to fines? It’s a no brainer.

  41. mrwalterisgod says: Mar 2, 2016 12:56 AM

    If you exempt roughing the passer calls, then I would be all for this. We’ve seen some pretty lame roughing calls in recent years (Cough Brady/Rodgers Cough).

  42. theheyseed says: Mar 2, 2016 1:00 AM

    Fire Goodell for the good of the game.
    Having offseason withdrawals I went and watched some old games on tape. Just ten years ago it was so much better to watch. The NFL has been slipping away under this “leadership”

  43. suggahbuggah says: Mar 2, 2016 1:13 AM

    Peter King is a jerk.

  44. 440Barracuda says: Mar 2, 2016 3:40 AM

    Other than asking Jane Skinner to marry him and wanting the commissioner job, I don’t think Goodell has had an intelligent thought in his life.

  45. kevingreene160sacknoHOFclub says: Mar 2, 2016 5:09 AM

    The Vontaze Burfict rule.

  46. jaxon51 says: Mar 2, 2016 6:01 AM

    Flagrant foul: Roger destroying evidence in Foxboro 4 days after ruling on NFLs biggest cheating scandal ever- the Ernie Adams fueled Spygate.
    Personal foul: Roger poor handling of Saints personnel / everything in Bountygate.
    Flagrant foul: Roger poo poo-ing Concussiongate
    Personal foul: Roger “Marcia Clarking” Deflategate.

    Point system that is enough Roger.
    Goodell must go!😀

  47. bonniebengal says: Mar 2, 2016 6:45 AM

    Personal fouls are not cut and dried. They are up to interpretation. This rule would give entirely too much power to the refs to change the game.

  48. pnut87 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:05 AM

    Hey, guess what. Refs can already eject players. When was the last time they did it thought? Seriously. I can’t think of the last time they kicked a player when they needed to. A card system won’t do jack. Better freaking refs on the other hand…

  49. mikea311 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:18 AM

    one unsportsmanlike conduct and you sit for a quarter, two and you are gone.

    personal fouls are going to happen, unsportsmanlike conduct can be controlled.

  50. mysterytonite says: Mar 2, 2016 7:31 AM

    Utter bs, with the incompetence of today’s referees. Fix what you got first there bub.

  51. ju8686 says: Mar 2, 2016 8:03 AM

    So what Mara is really saying is that it’s too simple and in order to increase TV timeouts & the ability to manipulate the pace of the game they need to add more layers of if this, then …

    Kinda like the catch rule.

  52. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 2, 2016 8:06 AM

    The problem is the total inconsistency of the refs.

    They could call 2 fouls on a player from one team and eject him while not calling the same or similar fouls on a player of the other team.

    The result will be just another thing that fans scream cheating cheating cheating over as far as how the refs call a game.

    This would add zero to football, ie; a typical Goodell rule.

    Goodell’s National Integrity League

    Goodell is VILE

    Goodell must go

  53. jtwp61 says: Mar 2, 2016 8:23 AM

    You have to make these penalties reviewable if you want to eject players. The refs throw too many of these flags how it is, you can’t let the refs mistakes impact the game even more.

  54. flexx91 says: Mar 2, 2016 8:25 AM

    He has a point. An inadvertent grab of a facemask, a shove out of bounds (enhanced by a great acting performance by the “victim” which is not reviewable) and/or a perceived roughing call on a QB (which is also not reviewable) gets a player tossed out of a game? The Beckham/Norman fiasco absolutely but unless there is a review of the fouls to determine if it was in fact intentional or malicious (and not left up to an official’s account of what he believed he saw), I have to agree with Mara.

  55. ( . Y . ) says: Mar 2, 2016 8:34 AM

    Almost as difficult to pass as, say, stashing cash in a phony account for “stadium upgrades”? This guy is so dirty he makes Belichick look like a Saint

  56. kemp13 says: Mar 2, 2016 8:45 AM

    If a guy grabs a face mask, and doesn’t release it immediately, and it’s his second personal foul, then yes, he SHOULD be ejected. But the owners don’t want anybody ejected. They pay the players too much to stand for too much “discipline.” For more detail, talk to Jerry Jones.

  57. cshearing says: Mar 2, 2016 8:46 AM

    I do not understand the idea that officials are reluctant to toss players due to affecting the competition. They already throw flags on phantom pass interference and holding calls; they affect the game greatly too.

    In other words, get over and call the game officials.

  58. sonhoodoo says: Mar 2, 2016 8:52 AM

    So, let’s see….Goodell now has, hmm, 6 personal fouls. Can he be ejected from the NFL for life?

  59. knockknockwhosthereowen says: Mar 2, 2016 9:02 AM

    Make it 3 then, problem solved.

  60. steelerben says: Mar 2, 2016 9:04 AM

    If you want to implement the “two strikes” rule but don’t want players getting ejected for incidental or unavoidable contact that still requires a flag you can bring back the 5 yard face mask and extend it to a 5 yard roughing the passer (which could be like running into the kicker). The players are still protected as refs would be more willing to toss out a 5 yard penalty on an iffy play, the major penalties could carry stiffer consequences which would help to weed it out of the game, and you don’t have to worry about competitive balance on a freak play.

    You’re welcome, NFL.

  61. stoopidfool says: Mar 2, 2016 9:16 AM

    make them play without their helmets……..

  62. stoopidfool says: Mar 2, 2016 9:18 AM

    make the player step off the field and require the unit to play shorthanded for the rest of the drive

  63. footballfan825 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:04 AM

    If two personal fouls is so common and would make it difficult on officials I suppose they could make it 3 personal fouls. I love the suggestion that refs won’t throw flags…

  64. magnumpimustache says: Mar 2, 2016 10:09 AM

    Simple answer.

    Do a video review of all personal foul flags thrown.

    Have the review either reward no flag 5 yards or 15 yards based on the severity.

    If a player gets two 15 yard personal fouls make the second one 25 yards and the third one 35 yards etc…

  65. danm1978 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:15 AM

    bigbluefandom says:
    Mar 1, 2016 10:21 PM
    Why? Two yellow cards and you are out in soccer. What’s so difficult about implementing two personal foul and you are out? Mara is starting to become embarrassing and this coming from a Giants fan. Longing for the days of well respected Wellington Mara and not this stooge!
    —————————————–
    And in soccer, the referees give leniency to the player that is already on a yellow. I like the idea, of it—the one thing that will really stop players in their tracks is if they don’t get replaced after ejection.

  66. metspeed21 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:20 AM

    So you tap a qb’s helmet with a pinky and get an inadvertent facemask on what used to be the five yard variety and you’re ejected? I’m not on board because many of the personal fouls are already ticky tack.

    That said, a hit like Burfict put on Brown should be an ejection. Even targeting in college seems to be too harsh at times. I think it just has to be obvious that a player is using his head on a defenceless receiver (not shoulder) as well as other equivalent hits that are intended to injure.

  67. mogogo1 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:20 AM

    This is like the catch rule where what should be easy inexplicably becomes difficult. First off, it shouldn’t be ALL personal fouls–stuff like running out of bounds on kick coverage or celebration penalties should be excluded. It should be purely the “bad” penalties like fighting and late hits. It’s pretty uncommon for a guy to get 2 of those in a game and if he does, he deserves to be tossed. You wouldn’t see that happen very many times before guys settled down and started controlling themselves.

  68. rootpain says: Mar 2, 2016 10:22 AM

    Other than Bronco fans, I think most people would agree that Talib’s face mask in SB50 deserved more than a game penalty and a followup fine. Especially after his intentional eye poke penalty and suspension during the season. What’s frustrating is that Goodell had the perfect opportunity to correctly suspend Talib for 3 or 4 games for that. Talib bragged about it for Pete’s sake.
    It’s not as difficult as Mara points out. If the infraction is as blatant as Talib’s then out he goes. Otherwise it gets reviewed for a blatantcy check. If confirmed, again, out he goes. If there’s a question then he’s on notice.
    It’s not like it’s going to happen every week. But players and teams should never think they can get away with a blatant personal foul to set the stage for a game or to otherwise intentionally cause an injury.
    And who cares what Mara says. He has long stopped being relevant.

  69. Frum Slum says: Mar 2, 2016 10:46 AM

    I think smacking a guy in the head or slamming him away from the play after the ref spoke to both teams about it already should be worth an ejection probably

  70. juvat308 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:55 AM

    Terrible idea, unless you change what are considered to be Personal Fouls. Take the Facemask penalty. Often, it’s unintentional and called when a player lightly brushes an opponent’s face mask. You really want a player to get ejected because 1 of his 2 Personal Fouls was that?

  71. xinellum says: Mar 2, 2016 11:13 AM

    NOT TRUE!!!! If they implemented the rule for personal foul penalties that occur outside the whistles (i.e. fighting, late hit, cheap shots after the whistle, taunting etc…) then yes they should be ejected, there is no room in football for that garbage. If they are penalties which occur in the action of the game (Face mask, defenseless receiver, clip, chop block, etc…) should not be included. That clearly delineates between those personal foul penalties that are related to creating fights and harming the image of the NFL without punishing players for playing football.

  72. stratomaticfan says: Mar 2, 2016 11:14 AM

    Easy…if 2nd personal foul is Unsportsmanlike Conduct, you’re gone. If you know you’re on edge of getting booted, you find a way to control yourself.

  73. pixelito says: Mar 2, 2016 11:21 AM

    He’s right.

    And I can’t wait to hear the complaining on this blog when their player is thrown out for 2 face mask penalties.

  74. roadtrip3500 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:36 AM

    Baseball umpires are just as varied in calling balls and strikes as football officials are calling penalties, but every baseball umpire seems to know when to kick someone out of a game – whether it’s the team’s ace starter, the home run/batting leader, the 25th guy on the bench, or the manager. Football officials have to know when someone merits an ejection and do it without fear. Yes, soccer ejects someone with two yellow card fouls, but there’s also a single red card that can get you sent to the shower right then and there. Or, do it like the NBA… decide what violations are “technical fouls” and everyone knows going in they’ll sit with two Ts.

  75. jm91rs says: Mar 2, 2016 12:18 PM

    Anyone making an argument for this should have no say in rule making. Refs miss these calls all the time. How many Tuesdays are we hearing from the League that a penalty was either missed, or called incorrectly. Say a guy gets a helmet to helmet personal foul in the 1st quarter but replay shows it was shoulder to chest and no contact with helmets occurred (you see this weekly). Then later in the game they get a legitimate late hit or something. They are ejected even though they only had one personal foul. Are fans supposed to be OK with more games being decided on Refs’ mistakes? I’m certainly not.

    Also, note to Steelers fans that think this would help you get rid of Burfict earlier in the games…In game 2 against the Bengals this year, Antonio Bryant had 2 personal fouls before half time. One was for fighting, where both he and Dre Kirkpatrick SHOULD have been ejected. All fans would eventually get screwed by mistake calls and this would have to be changed again by the competition committee. If it were 3 personal fouls, that might make it immune to too many mistake calls.

  76. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Mar 2, 2016 12:23 PM

    The heck with grading levels of PF’s or ‘points.’ An obvious deliberate attempt to injure should get the player tossed, period. The most comparably physical sport is hockey where an obvious attempt to injure draws a match penalty, meaning the player is ejected from the game and is subject to an automatic review that can lead to a lengthier suspension dependent on the extent of the penalized action and influenced further if the player is a repeat offender. Simple enough

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