Troy Vincent: Defensive pass interference could become a 15-yard penalty


In past years, teams periodically have pushed for a transformation of the defensive pass interference penalty from being a spot-foul to a 15-yard walk-off.  Recently, there’s been no momentum toward making a change of that nature.

There may be now.

NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent told Judy Battista of NFL Media that the league may explore making defensive pass interference a 15-yard penalty as an alternative to making pass interference subject to replay review.

While that tends to take the sting out of a bad pass interference call, it creates a fresh incentive for defensive backs to tackle any receivers who get behind them.  Why not gladly give up 15 yards in lieu of being burned deep?

It makes much more sense to make pass interference subject to replay review, as the CFL did in 2014.  Getting it right should be about getting it right, not reducing dramatically the potential consequences of getting it wrong.

Far better than to make defensive pass interference a 15-yard penalty would be to create two tiers of pass interference, as there is for roughing/running into the kicker and as there used to be for face mask fouls.  While far from a perfect outcome, it’s much better than removing the spot-foul outcome of defensive pass interference.

156 responses to “Troy Vincent: Defensive pass interference could become a 15-yard penalty

  1. I agree there should be changes in the rule.

    Just as there is an “uncatchable” overthrown non penalty call. Same should be said for poorly under-thrown balls that causes the WR to stop his route and gets ran over by a pursuing defender.

  2. Ive been saying this for years. If they are going to call ticky tack garbage for a PI, stop making it a spot foul.

  3. Great suggestion. Do it. Just like college… The worse is defensive PI in the end zone. Someone tell me why they get the ball at the 1 yard line. Half the distance to the goal sounds like a great idea if the pass was thrown from inside the 15.

  4. It’s preposterous that Pass Interference isn’t called for the same yardage penalty on either side of the ball. If they are going to throw the flag as frequently as they do on Def. PI, than they need to change this penalty from what it is now.

  5. Guaranteed db’s will just tackle anyone getting behind them like Florio says. A change like this will destroy any down field passing attack. Be prepared for dink and dunk and everyone within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.

  6. I would just add in some discretion in the ruling. If the referee determines that PI was intentionally used to take the penalty rather than a 40 yard pass then make it a spot foul.

    This change absolutely needs to happen. Enough with these teams that just chuck the ball up 40 yards down the field hoping for flags. That’s not football.

  7. End of game. Why let a team throw a deep pass if all you have to do is DPI and kill clock? Let them have 15 yards if it kills a massive chunk of the remaining time in a game.

  8. How about also calling the penalty in a consistent manner? You almost need a scouting report on each officating crew to know what you’re in for before the game starts.

  9. If you have the means via replay to get it right, then get it right. Making these reviewable will lengthen the game, but not nearly the length of a game where yellow flags are flying everywhere because the defense decides to tackle every receiver who’s got them beat (while making it look like incidental contact). This is not an improvement, especially when you have the means to correct it.

    If you want to make judgement calls like this reviewable, why not make the replay available to all of the game officials and they each quickly give their opinion? I think you’ve got six officials plus the head referee on the field, so you’re going to have a consensus amongst the officiating crew, then make a ruling and move on. It’s a better option than having just the head referee and Dean Blandino make the call between the two of them (with Blandino always having the final say if there’s a disagreement).

  10. I’d much rather see this as a 15 yard penalty than have every penalty reviewed.

    The problem is that just like making a catch, DPI is too much a judgement call by the officials. If you make it reviewable there’s zero guarantee the refs won’t constantly screwup like they do now.

    If you make it a 15 yarder then its at least a consistent penalty and you won’t see teams just heave it downfield and hope for the PI so they can pick up 40-50-60 yards which is totally outrageous and game changing.

  11. They should review the Illegal Contact pat 5 yards penalty. Keep it 5 yards, but not an automatic first down. Too many cheap first downs are granted due to iffy calls.

  12. Hmmm, didn’t Vincent play for the Patriots? I am shocked that he would propose a rule change that would benefit the Pats offense who cannot throw deep due to Brady losing arm strength.

    Come on Pats fans, start the td’s. LMAO

  13. Have absolutely no issue with this. Ticky tack pi calls can determine the outcome at the end of games. Picture this scenario:

    Your team is up by 2 with less a minute remaining. The receiving team starts at the 20. You force the team to burn their remaining timeouts before they reach the 50 and should punt. They go for it on 4th and long at their 35. They send a receiver on a go route and he flails at the end of the play to spot the the ball on your 25. You lose by one.

    You honestly don’t have a problem with minimum or incidental contact that would cost you a game? You are an idiot.

  14. So many rules changes in recent years have been favoring the offense. The DPI spot foul has been repeatedly exploited by offenses to gain yards with recent tightening of DB interference rules. This is one change that actually favors the defense (somewhat; 15yds is still 15yds). I think they should put it in the pre-season at least and see what happens. To Florio’s comment about two types, I think that just adds to the existing judgmental nightmare; running into/roughing the kicker is pretty clear, not sure this one can be made so.

  15. I like two levels of penalty. 15 yards for unintentional PI and spot foul for flagrant PI. Either way, the rule has to be changed, it is way too inconsistent. This season, every pass play seemed to draw some kind of flag…it was ridiculous.

  16. The number of times a DB will tackle a guy is about 1 per season.

    It almost never happens in college because once beat you ain’t tackling him.

    Make it a 15 yard for offense or defense but please no more replays, at least how the NFL does it.

    Maybe the better change would be to use college footballs replay procedure. It takes 1/10th the time and gets the calls right just as often as the pro replays, and probably more.

  17. Why not just cut it out already, create an actual air tight strict definition for DPI, light a fire under the officials to actually start getting it right, and go from there?

    Or if you’re positive your geriatric officials can’t get it right in real time then make it reviewable.

  18. 100% of teams would gladly give up 15 yards in lieu of being burned deep especially when the game is down to the final seconds. Wait til it cost your favorite team a game. Better just make it a review-able penalty and move on.

  19. Florio:
    While that tends to take the sting out of a bad pass interference call, it creates a fresh incentive for defensive backs to tackle any receivers who get behind them.


    Yeah but don’t they already do that now?

  20. Its time to balance the game out offensively and defensively.

    DPI should be 10 yards with no automatic first down — the same as offensive pass interference.

    If they want to keep DPI with an automatic first down, then OPI should have an equivalent result….automatic 4th down!

  21. I’m ok with review over making it 15. A coach still has no more than 3 challenges per game, and inside of the 2-minute, I don’t think there would be many more bomb attempts than there are now in hopes of invoking a call-down from the replay official.

    Odell Beckham’s now-legendary catch against Dallas was DPI (two officials threw flags). If that’s only a 15, Carr likely drags OBJ to the ground, because it saves about 30 yards. As a spot foul near the goal line, Carr tries to break up the pass and fouls in his attempt, because that ball is either a TD (as it became), or first and goal inside the 5, caught or not. A 15-yarder gives the DBs an instant crutch that won’t cost them a big play.

  22. seahawks wont like this as their 5 yard holds may be called pass interference and allow the other teams to gain 15 yard chunks at a time.

    Even though the hawks were one of the best in the league at NOT getting holding or PI penalties, you’re clearly right. Facts just get in way sometimes…

  23. In more important news, the World Champion Patriot trophies are still all SO SHINY!

    I think they polish them every day. Totally understandable. They must take good care of those trophies and make them really shiny. 🙂

  24. The CFL has two tiers of pass interference: “accidental” pass interference which, I believe, is a 10-yard penalty and defensive pass interference which is a spot foul. Perhaps the NFL should look at that.

    I also agree that more plays should be allowed to be reviewed, including pass interference and running into/roughing the kicker.

    Here’s a thought: expand the types of plays on which a coach can ask for replay review, allow only one challenge but the coach keeps the challenge if he wins the review; in essence, he has unlimited challenges if he continues to win challenges but if he loses even one, he’s done. But, again, greatly expand the types of plays that can be reviewed.

  25. I am surprised by how many think PI should be reviewable. The problem is PI is a subjective call. If you review it then it is subject to another subjective call.

    As the article mentions, you should not fix the problem by making the consequences less – you should get the call right. That is all well and good, however, teams do not have unlimited challenges so presumably there would still be many PI calls that are wrong. I would just rather see the penalty reduced to 15 yards and move on.

    With regard to intentional PIs at the end of games, I do not see a big problem. One, the game cannot end on a defensive penalty. If there was only enough time for that one play, you are no worse off as you get one more crack at it from 15 yards closer. If there is more time remaining, the clock stops on the penalty, so you have given the opposing team an extra timeout and 15-yards both of which are very valuable with under a minute left. If the opposing team is just trying to get a FG 15 yards is huge.

    If PI is reviewable, the blows to QBs heads should also be reviewable. Much easier to enforce and refs miss it as much as they call it, and when they call it it is often wrong.

  26. When Tom Brady wins his one for the thumb next season, do you think he should wear all 5 rings on one hand? Or should he spread them out to both hands?

    I think he should wear them all on one hand. It will be quite heavy but it will be a sight to see…a great reminder that no QB other than Brady has 5 Super Bowl championships. Nor will they ever.


  27. The NFL isn’t going to make Pass Interference reviewable. That would restrict the NFL’s own ability to control the outcome of games…which Goodell won’t let happen. Granted, there’s no proof the plays that do get reviewed are actually handed an accurate outcome. So, it could possibly happen, but would require the NFL to possess unfettered control over more than just 1 ref one ref on any given field…they would need Head Refs to also be Goodell patsies, subservient to the NFL’s dictated outcome agenda.

  28. I too am worried that this is a pretty major paradigm shift.
    It very well could lead to DBs deciding to be more aggressive downfield due to less risk on the penalty.

    But I’m not sure I’m buying the “DBs will just tackle anyone who gets behind them” for two reasons:

    1) Why wouldn’t they just do that NOW? If you are so worried that a person who has beaten you is assuredly going to SCORE, then why wouldn’t you tackle them even with a spot foul, as the CHANCE to stop them is better than a sure Touchdown, right?

    2) If a person is beaten so badly that the WR is “behind” them on deep pass play… the receiver is in most cases so far “behind” them that they can’t catch up to them.. thus making the “tackle” impossible.

    The worry/fear is not well thought out at all…

  29. If you make PI reviewable in this passing age then get ready for 5 hour football games. The 15 yard rule works great in both HS and college with a very minimal amount of tackling the receiver out of desperation. 15 yards is still a big chunk.

  30. I’ve said for years that there should be a two-tier DPI system. Spot-foul for egregious DPI and 15-yards for minor DPI.

    I recognize that there would be an incentive for DBs to just tackle receivers if the spot-foul were removed completely but something needs to be done to stop QBs like Flacco and Eli from throwing up prayers and hoping for DPI. I actually would like to look at Eli’s stats w/ and w/o DPI calls to see how much it would downgrade his overall stats.

  31. “let the mugging on deep passes begin”

    I seriously doubt it.

    A 15 yard penalty and an automatic first down is still a pretty undesirable outcome for a defense. If you think that DBs will just casually mug WRs downfield then you’re nuts.

    This will at least take away the ones in the endzone where they put the ball on the 1 yard line. You’re basically giving the team a TD on those. At least this way, if it’s 15 yards, or half the distance to the goal, the defense still has a chance.

  32. PLEASE let this rule change.

    I’m shocked to see so many fans WANT to keep PI as a spot foul. Changing it to 15 yards would be awesome.

    Nothing worse then when a team gains 60 yards because a defensive back slightly touched a WR’s arm when they were going after the ball.


  34. So essentially it would put an end to comebacks, If your team gets up by 3 TD’s then just let the fans watch one penalty after the other till game clock runs out.

  35. Bad idea. What needs to happen instead are rules with clearer explanations as to what pass interference is. What’s generating all the hype for this change are too many marginal PI calls being made, and going the way of the offense. I’d rather make it subject to instant replay review than change the penalty yardage.

    The only thing changing this to a 15 yard penalty will do is encourage more defensive pass interference, especially near the end of the half or the game.

  36. “So any DB can feel free to mug receivers more than 15 yards down the field?”

    Yeah, right. Because a 15 yard penalty that carries an automatic first down is exactly what defenses want.

  37. It’s easy. Anything flagrant is a spot foul while anything tricky tack is 15-yards. Yes it will be a judgement call, but if it can be reviewed that judgement can be made in concert with NFL officials in New York to get it right. PI changes games too much, and is too subjective to leave the rule as is.

  38. I think changing illegal contact to a 5 yard penalty but not an automatic first down is a more important rule change to be made. Too many offenses are getting easy first downs on 3rd and long because of this “soft” rule to begin with.

  39. This is a great idea. It already works in college. When was the last time there was a huge pass interference controversy over 15 yards in college??

    The thought that guys will just get tackled left and right is flawed. The DB will play the ball first always thinking he can make a play, otherwise why is he even out there. The rare circumstances where the WR is so far ahead that the CB would know 100% to tackle him he can’t catch him anyways.

    What happens more…. a DB getting so badly burned that he’d rather tackle the WR or the refs blowing a PI call of 40 yards? Definitely the latter.

  40. “Nothing worse then when a team gains 60 yards because a defensive back slightly touched a WR’s arm when they were going after the ball”

    The worst ones are when there’s a shady interference call in the endzone. You’re giving the offense a first and goal at the 1-yard line, which is basically handing them a TD.

  41. Quit screwing with the game! It’s bad enough now that nobody including the referees, coaches and players don’t understand the current rules but constantly dissecting the game and creating a situation where almost every play is stopped for review or for a flag (that is later determined to have been a mistake) is disrupting the flow and intensity of the competition. I’m getting so sick of this nonsense that I find I am enjoying soccer over the NFL because it’s more exciting competition.
    To think the NFL has committees who have nothing better to do than to dissect the golden goose is mind boggling… “Idol hands are the devil’s workshop”!

  42. What would make more sense is it should be both … and at the discretion of the referee who through the flag… There should be the obvious flagrant version that is a clear mugging to prevent a score that should be marked at the spot vs… everything else that should be the 15yrd variety…

    Like in Hockey with the penalty shot.

  43. Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll just saw this quote and started devising plans to instruct their defensive backs to tackle receivers on any well thrown pass over 40 yards. Better to take a 15 yard penalty than to give up a bomb.

    I know it’s the NCAA rule, but Tim Tebow and Vince Young were successful at that level, so is it really comparable?

    Make. It. Reviewable. The problem is the officials, not the rule.

  44. I liveth idea of a 15 yard penalty. Why not have a similar situation where team can go over the limit. Like basketball 🏀. After let’s say the 3rd foul it becomes a spot foul.

  45. But I’m not sure I’m buying the “DBs will just tackle anyone who gets behind them” for two reasons:

    1) Why wouldn’t they just do that NOW? If you are so worried that a person who has beaten you is assuredly going to SCORE, then why wouldn’t you tackle them even with a spot foul, as the CHANCE to stop them is better than a sure Touchdown, right?

    ^ THIS

    That is exactly what I said. Don’t they do that already now?

  46. This rule works beautifully in college. Contrary to what many here seem to think you really don’t see a ton of instances where defenders just tackle WRs when they’re beat. Maybe because in the heat of the moment the DB doesn’t realize he’s beat until it’s too late. Either way, it works great in college & I’d love to see it instituted in the NFL.

  47. great so now we can expect games decided by pass interference instead of with offense. why should the defense be rewarded for cheating? don’t let the guy beat and you won’t have to worry about giving up the big play. they can’t decide what a catch is even though everyone can see it was but they want the defense to mug the receiver every play? just the stupidest idea ever!

  48. Why stop there?

    Why not open up the NFL draft to WWE Superstars and the Oakland fanbase, so we can stock the free safety position with professional wrestlers and muggers?

  49. There should be the obvious flagrant version that is a clear mugging

    Except how do you judge what is flagrant and what isn’t?

    That kind of fuzzy judgement criteria brought us the tuck rule.

    Not that that was a bad thing 🙂

    Now cue the teary eyed Patriot haters with their thumbs downs. LOL.

  50. I’d add that there should be an automatic 15yd unsportsmanlike penalty for any player that lobbies for a flag.

  51. “Hmmm, didn’t Vincent play for the Patriots? I am shocked that he would propose a rule change that would benefit the Pats offense who cannot throw deep due to Brady losing arm strength.”

    Uh no, he was an Eagle IIRC but was never on the Pats. SMH

    And if you think Brady can’t throw downfield you haven’t watched him play very often the last few years and really know nothing about the Pats.

    Keep laughing though with comments like that. Pats fans will keep enjoying this year’s Lombardi Trophy and the fact we’re in the hunt every single year with Brady playing, which very few other teams can say. The Pats give us more and better entertainment than virtually every other franchise in the league.

    The joke is on you and whatever crappy team you’re a fan of though.

  52. What about having something similar to soccer…if a defensive player commits x amount of PI penalties that player has to sit for the rest of the series. If he comes back and commits another PI penalty he has to sit the quarter, commits another, out for the game, etc.

  53. So, 15 yards for defensive PI now? Big deal. Let’s make it so an offensive penalty that’s normally “half the distance to the goal” is instead tacked on to the “yards to go” and how a defensive penalty during play is an automatic first down. Situations such as a 1st-and-10 at the 2, the offense gets flagged for 10 yards and now it’s 1st-and-11 at the 1, and on 3rd-and-11 the defense will get some 5-yard penalty for illegal contact and suddenly it’s 1st-and-10 at the 6 for the offense unduly reward the offense and penalize the defense.

    Let’s also change the “touching the facemask” rule so that either no one can touch it, or everyone can. I hate how the defense can touch the ball carrier’s facemask and it’s a penalty, but the ball carrier can put his hand out and shove on the defender’s facemask and it’s totally legal.

  54. That would be the death of the most visually beautiful play in football – the long bomb.

    Coaches would instruct defensive players to take the penalty over the completed pass in any long situation. It would be annoying to even the casual fan.

    Just make everything reviewable, but with the same number of challenges. It’s not that hard!

  55. I remember the USFL had optional 15-yd pass interference penalties. The spot-of-foul-penalties were also an option but rarely seemed to be called at the right time.

    If The NFL does this, they will only be opening up another can of worms. Pass interference will almost be encouraged if they do this.

  56. How about this option? If the defensive player is trying to make a play on the ball, it’s a 15 yard foul, but if he’s is just trying to keep from getting burned, it’s a point of contact foul.
    That should help out & it seems pretty easy to make.

  57. I’m for the 2 tier approach. I’m less in favor of the replay, since there will always be some contact between the defender and receiver that will allow almost any subjective call to be made. I love the idea of “getting it right” but I worry about the results of the replay.

    What needs to be done is to change the interpretation from making ANY contact illegal to contact that interferes with the receiver’s ability to make a play.

    That would make the incidental contact, like when the DB touches the receivers chest to feel where he is. That doesn’t interfere with the receiver’s ability to catch the ball.

    I’d also extend the contact area from 5 to 8 yds. But on the other hand I’d make pick plays legal. What would remain illegal, like in basketball, would be moving picks. Something for everyone.

  58. All you have to do is show up for the meeting and its a done deal! “Honest” Troy Vincent.

  59. Does anyone else notice that every time Troy Vincent is in the news, it’s usually something embarrassing (Peterson case) or sounds like a bad idea (15 yards for DPI)? Will the NFL use him to float questionable ideas to the media/public and then use the stupidity to can his ass?

  60. Ha, I was going to write how there goes 50% of the Ravens offense but why beat a dead horse. I like the 2 tier. One for when PI occurs and the db is attempting to legitimately cover the receiver, the spot foul when the db commits it to keep from getting burned.

  61. Brady was contemplating retirement upon this news, as half his offense would be gone. But then he realized it was just a rule, the Pats will find a way to overcome.

  62. I’m OK either way they choose. But please, please, please do away with every post snap penalty against the defense is an automatic first down.

    3rd and 23 and an incomplete pass, but wait….a DB touched a receiver 6 yards from the line of scrimmage: 5 yd penalty and an automatic first down!

    My biggest pet peeve in pro wrestling, er I mean football.

  63. Don’t confuse defensive holding with DPI. Holding is still 5 yards.

    This rule change sounds like it will lead to the NFL version of “hack a Shaq”.

    People are saying they hate seeing a 50 yard penalty because the defender barely touched the receiver’s arm. Have you ever tried to catch a football in a full speed run? It doesn’t take much contact to prevent you from making a catch.

    How about if the DPI call results in less than a 15 yard gain, then NO review. If it is over 15 yards, then a review is allowed. Except in the last 2 mins of the half where any DPI can be reviewed.

  64. The current rule assumes that the receiver would have caught the ball were it not for the PI. If that was truly the case, then the penalty for offensive pass interference should be a turnover.

  65. All of you who think if it was only a 15 yard penalty that the defenders would just tackle receivers on any deep pass are wrong. We already have evidence that this system works in college football.

    1) Not every deep pass is completed, a defender does not always have time to determine whether it’s the right decision to intentionally take the DPI or not. And defenders ALREADY DO TACKLE/GRAB RECEIVERS under the current rules. So the amount of times it’ll happen will not increase significantly.

    2) It takes the game out of the hands of the refs in determining what is or isn’t PI. How often do we see hail mary’s at the end of the half or game get a PI call? Never. This makes the call less game changing and takes the power away from the ref.

    3) College football already uses this system and it works. Deep passes are completed often. Defenders still try to play the ball, and if a guy beats you deep, you don’t have the ability to just tackle him because – guess what- HE’S BEATEN YOU. You can’t grab a guy who is 5 yards ahead of you.

    4) Why should pass interference have a different outcome when it’s an offensive player vs a defensive player committing the exact same foul?

    5) Remember when we had the “force out” rule and when the NFL decided to take it away, people argued that DBs would then start pushing receivers out of bounds near the sidelines on every pass. Guess what? That doesn’t happen any more or less than it did prior to the force out rule existing. Just like anything else, if you think a DB is going to be able to make a split second decision to grab a receiver in the middle of running a route, when the DB doesn’t know for sure if he can make a play on the ball or not, you’re gonna find the defensive players do not all of the sudden go crazy about committing penalties just on the off chance that a deep pass MIGHT be completed. Yes, sometimes it’s the right thing for a DB to just take the penalty rather than give up a sure touchdown, but the cases where that happens are rare. I’d rather the DB play the ball and TRY to knock it down/pick it off instead of giving the offense a guaranteed 15 yards and a first down and STILL potentially make the catch.

    I swear that people who argue against a 15 yard penalty for DPI have never seen a college football game before because it has none of the issues that people are bringing up.

  66. Make it reviewable and make it the lesser of the spot of the foul and 15 yards (effectively capping the penalty at fifteen yards while making sure a poorly-timed chip inside the five “contact-allowed” yards doesn’t become a back-breaking penalty)

  67. Good. Spot of foul for PI just assumes that the receiver will actually catch the ball. And defensive holding should / illegal contact should not be automatic first downs. That’s incredibly generous and stupid.

  68. Why do I envision this evolving into pass interference calls for 15 yards and flagrant pass interference calls which will be a spot foul?

    The more they try to simplify things the more complicated they become.

  69. Make 2 penaltes

    1) normal DPI for obvious penalties
    2) spot foul for DPA where the WR got behind the DB and the DB just mauled him to prevent a TD.

  70. Or, if DPI is egregious enough to warrant a spot-of-foul ball mark, why not make it a 20 yard penalty. Who says it has to be 5, 10, or 15? There are other numbers from which to choose.

  71. Watch a CFB game, defenders never commit PI on purpose. They are trained to play the game, not tackle receivers when they get beat.
    Two tiers probably works best, no under throw ball can result in a spot foul.

  72. End of game. Why let a team throw a deep pass if all you have to do is DPI and kill clock? Let them have 15 yards if it kills a massive chunk of the remaining time in a game.
    Something like this would only run off 10 seconds. The pass is incomplete, and there’s a penalty, so the clock is stopped.

  73. Totally disagree with this BS, the rule for defensive pass interference should stay the same BUTT if it’s offensive PI why the hell isn’t it a 15 YARD PENALTY? on the offense, you can gain 40-50 yards on a Deff. PI but can only lose 10 if it’s offensive PI, BS make it 15 and lose of down.

  74. Maybe the league/refs should focus in calling games like the refs did in the last SB. Come regular season the flags fly everywhere at minimum contact. if they let players play maybe 15 yards or the spot of the foul won’t make a difference.

  75. Quite frankly I’ve grown tired of seeing entire outcomes of games change because of a deep ball PI call on the defense.
    Make it a straight 15 yard penalty like they do in NCAAF (that everyone praises) and fair will be fair.
    There shouldn’t be any single penalty more than 15 yards.

  76. If this rule change is taken, the one person it will benefit most is Patrick Peterson.

    The number of TDs he gets burned on every year would likely be cut in half.

  77. why cant they just make this call eligible for review? i feel if you are going to easily complete a 55 yard pass and the db just plows the guy over for 15 yards, it really takes the challenge out of playing db. you will never get beat deep. id foul everytime i thought it would be complete deep. plus it takes the suspense out of the hail mary. cmon man. who doesnt love the hail mary play?

  78. I agree the concern of a DB tackling any WR who get behind them is remote but I do think there is a concern with the DB play in the end zone becoming more physical. I’m not saying that is necessarily bad. But hear me out.

    I always assumed the reason a PI in the end zone resulted in the ball at the 1 was because they assumed without the PI the offense would have scored and placing the ball at the 1 was as close to giving the offense a score as you could without just giving the offense points automatically. So if we effectively kill the ball at the 1 for PI in the end zone and make it 15 yards or half the distance I could see where on plays inside the 15 the DBs COULD get out of hand on open WR in the end zone. Worst case, they get flagged and the offense gets 7.5 yards and a new set of downs. If the TE or WR is getting past a DB on a post or seam route with no safety help why not trip him? Or with the ball at the 10 and throwing a jump ball to Dez, Megatron, or ODB, why not tackle the WR. At that point its 5 yards instead of a pretty good chance at giving up 6. Of course, it would also be an automatic first so maybe its fine.

  79. They make a rule to help the offense everyone complains. They make a rule to help the D everyone complains. Stop whining this wont drastically change the game one way or another.

    And for every TD lost in theory I bet it will equal out as refs would throw more flags on deep passes as a bad call against the D wouldnt be a complete disaster any more.

  80. The spot foul is ridiculous, especially because the refs blow the call so many times. I love the 15 yard penalty instead like college.

  81. Another rule change they desperately need, is personal fouls should be assessed after the play is over and all other penalties have been completed. I hate when there’s like an offside penalty on the offense and then a player on the defense can hit the QB late or in the head and all that happens is the penalties off set.

  82. Pass interference should not change a game. I grew up a Steeler fan
    but the interference call against the Cowboys for ” tripping ”
    Swann changed the game. Unless the call is blatant in that a DB
    tackles a receiver 15 yards is more than enough.The way the game is evolving gives the offenses more than enough advantage.
    Change the penalty to 15 yards!

  83. Just let coaches challenge any play, and if they want to use one of their two challenges on a questionable pass interference they should be able to.

  84. Any chance we’ll ever have FEWER rules in this game?

    Throw the ball, catch the ball, tackle the guy with the ball.

    Chrissakes the NFL rule book is beginning to read like the Federal Tax Code.

  85. Bill Polian Archie Manning & Peyton Manning will not stand for this.

    The only way Peyton has a ring is because of BOGUS PI calls in 2006 AFC champ Game.

    The Refs had to throw BOGUS Offensive PI calls in that game to help Peyton win.

    Peyton Manning only sees two colors in his rainbow – Yellow on Green.

  86. It was like this in the 60’s – 70’s! They changed it because it killed the offenses. Why does the NFL repeat the same gaffes over and over? zaphod424242, you’re absolutely correct!!

  87. Use some common sense people.

    I’m guessing the NFL would make the 15-yard penalty as an OPTION FOR THE REF, as a way to lessen some of the ticky-tack PI calls that change the course of a game.

    Such as, if it’s incidental and accidental, and didn’t definitively change the play, the ref would be able to make it only a 15 yd penalty.

    But if the defender was beat and then tackled the WR to break up the pass, or grabbed his arm so he couldn’t catch it, then it would be spot of the foul.

  88. 15-yards for all PI calls and automatically-reviewable spot fouls for anything beyond 30 yards of the line of scrimmage.

  89. The penalty needs to reflect what the attempted yardage was – a pass interference penalty on a play trying to gain 40 yards needs to reflect the fact of trying to gain 40 yards. This is why the penalty needs to remain a spot foul.

  90. Finally, the Redskins are going to be able to stop other teams from burning us for 80 yard pass plays. Goodbye, First and Goal … Hello, First and 10 on the opponent’s 35!

  91. No, the CFL has it sort of right, and if you’re going to cite that rule, you should probably understand and explain it correctly.

    In the CFL, teams may challenge both called and uncalled offensive and defensive pass interference. Even worse, when the ref talks with the command center in Toronto, and they both agree that another non-called penalty occurred on the play, that penalty can be called as well.

    This isn’t “got it right.” This is one part right and two parts wrong.

    The right part is the ability to challenge a called Pass Interference penalty.
    The wrong part is the ability to challenge a non called Pass Interference penalty.
    The double wrong part is the ability of the command center and the referee to, after review, call a penalty that has nothing to do with what was challenged to begin with. (CFL replays, like NHL replays, are centrally managed and, inside of three minutes, reviewed from the league office in Toronto).

    Also, your poll question is wrong. PI should be 15 yards for incidental contact and a spot foul for flagrant contact. Phrase your poll question that way, which is what the article mentioned, and you’d get a lot more favorable response than you have.

  92. Rules that need to change in the NFL:

    DPI = 15 yards, not spot of foul (works in college)

    Defensive Holding = 5 yards, NO automatic 1st down

    Spiking the Ball to Stop the Clock = 5 yard penalty for intentional grounding (it is the very definition of intentional grounding)

    The ENTIRE ball must enter the end zone for it to be a touchdown (in hockey the puck must cross all the way over the line to count as a score… same in soccer) How is the nose of the ball barely crossing the front of the line “getting in to the end zone?”

    Get rid of the “Half the distance to the goal line” crap. It’s hardly a penalty if you’re on your own 1 yard line, commit a holding and are backed up a whopping foot and a half. Like someone said above, move the sticks farther away so you apply the correct amount of yardage to the penalty.

    Increase roster limit to 60 players… ALL of which can be dressed and eligible for play.

    ALL penalties are review-able (Each team still limited to 2 challenges with a 3rd added if you win the first challenge the way it is now)

    No more black tarp over the referees challenge screen. We see what they see. And can they please put that thing on wheels already so it travels with the drive. Better yet, get rid of it altogether and just let those odd site guys look at it. But we still get to see what they’re looking at.

    I’m sure there’s more, I just can’t think of them at the moment. That’s what my league would look like anyway.

  93. olatpatshaters says: Feb 24, 2015 3:15 PM
    ^ THIS

    That is exactly what I said. Don’t they do that already now?

    No, it’s not what you said. At least it’s now what I said. I said, why WOULDN’T they do it now. Meaning.. they don’t. Because.. the don’t “do it now”. I think I’ve maybe seen it happen 4 or 5 times in my 50 years of watching football.

    Ridiculous statement.

  94. So what if making DPI a 15 yard penalty somehow ‘encourages’ fouling in lieu of getting beat deep.

    In Basketball, NBA players are lauded for fouling players driving to the hoop instead of simply letting them get an easy basket because they were the better player or made the better move.

    Just like you gotta make your free throws… You gotta take your 15 yards and first down and make something of it. You think it’s not good enough? Then go and get another pass interference call. It still gets you the untimed down and goal-line reset that it did before.

  95. A rule that actually helps the defense? Kill it with fire! In all seriousness this would be a welcome rule change and it would also hurt certain teams that rely on drawing pass interference calls cough* Ravens.

  96. It should be a 15 yard penalty only if the foul occurs 15+ yards down the field. Otherwise, it should be a spot foul if it occurs less than 15 yards down field.

  97. Better yet, get rid of it altogether and just let those *odd site guys look at it.

    *off site

  98. It doesn’t matter which way the league goes on this topic, the nfl & it’s keystone cops ( officials) will screw it up royally.

  99. There should be 2 tiers to this penalty. Flagrant and Non-flagrant.

    Flagrant = spot foul

    Non-flagrant = 15 yards or 10 yards or 5 yards and a automatic 1st down

  100. The yardages need to be the same for DPI and OPI. Spot foul for DPI is just another pro-offense rule of today’s NFLOL.

  101. But Mike the problem with replay for PI is that the PI rule is so subjective, PI = when a DB “significantly hinders” the progress of the receiver to have an opportunity to catch the ball. The list of examples isn’t much better. Replay isn’t going to make that much difference in making that judgment. It could make it worse b/c things in slow motion sometimes look worse than they really are.

  102. honestly the people saying it should be up to the refs to decide are spot on. Make it like the nba clear path foul. If its deemed intentional then spot foul. Otherwise 15 yards play ball.

  103. They need to adjust offensive PI too. If a QB males a bad throw, the receiver shouldn’t be able to mug and body slam him to stop the interception. Make it a 15 yard penalty with loss of down.

  104. maverick2560 says: Feb 24, 2015 5:24 PM

    Pass interference should not change a game. I grew up a Steeler fan
    but the interference call against the Cowboys for ” tripping ”
    Swann changed the game. Unless the call is blatant in that a DB
    tackles a receiver 15 yards is more than enough.The way the game is evolving gives the offenses more than enough advantage.
    Change the penalty to 15 yards!


    It takes a good Steelers fan to admit that. Much respect from a long time Cowboys fan who knows exactly which play you are talking about.

  105. Matt Schaub reportedly excited and very much in favor of reducing all offenses to dink and dunk.

  106. I’m OK with either, as long as it’s consistent. I don’t like the spot foul for defensive penalties, but flat 15yd for offensive PI penalties. 15yds is a bargain to mug a DB to save an interception. If def. is spot, make offensive the same in the other direction. Or make it a flat 15 yd for both. Consistency, what a concept…

    While on the topic of penalties, I’d also like to see the “half the distance from the goal” removed inside the 20. Mark the penalty the full distance for the offense. If that takes you from the 19 to the 4, deal with it. If it takes you into the end-zone, mark it on the 1/2 yd line..

  107. Defensive holding is a pretty cheap penalty right now, relatively easy to get away with, and a lot of teams are systematically using holding as receivers release to keep deep routes from developing. So, step one is make defensive holding a 10 yard penalty instead of 5 yards.

    Pass interference penalties and refereeing seems to be in a good place right now, especially compared to the last fifteen years. Plenty of defenses are still having success defending the deep pass, but the threat of the big penalty and the limitations on contact are forcing them to play the ball more, which is great, and allows excellent receivers to show off their skills, which is also great.

    What is a “ticky-tacky” pass interference? A lower tier PI would be terrible for the game and just encourage defenders to be more aggressive with the lower-level fouls. On the other end great possession passing offenses like New England would love it, getting fifteen yards for minor defensive penalties on short routes.

  108. Making it 15 yards would only encourage beat defenders to commit PI instead of give up that 60 yard pass for a TD.

    What would a beat defender rather give up?

    15 yards?

    or 60?

    This is an idea so bad that it should have never even been mentioned. Unless of course you actually like the idea of unnecessarily increasing penalties and slowing down the game even more.

  109. 1buckeye76 says:
    Feb 24, 2015 2:44 PM

    They should review the Illegal Contact pat 5 yards penalty. Keep it 5 yards, but not an automatic first down. Too many cheap first downs are granted due to iffy calls.

    BINGO !!!!!!!!!!!! I saw a game where it was 3rd & 30 (after a offensive holding call and 2 sacks). On the 3rd down play illegal contact was called for 5 yards and automatic first down. The call was iffy, but a 5 yard penalty should NOT be an automatic first down, it should just be 5 yards.

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