Another idea for improving player behavior

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On Friday, Commissioner Roger Goodell proposed a soccer-style approach to ejections, with personal fouls becoming essentially yellow cards and two of them getting a player removed from the game. His comments prompted some to go back and research the situations involving players getting multiple personal fouls, calculating the increase in ejections that would have occurred in 2015.

But that assumes the officials would have thrown a second personal-foul penalty on a guy who already had one. For the same reason that officials are reluctant to eject players now, officials will be reluctant to give a player a second personal foul.

Goodell’s proposed formula also would require the league to take another look at the classification of penalties as personal fouls. Should a player be sent to the showers, for example, after a pair of dumb-luck inadvertent facemask grabs?

Another approach, borrowing not from soccer but from hockey, would entail putting the player in a de facto penalty box for a set period of time based on certain safety- or sportsmanship-related infractions. Illegal hit to the head or neck of a defenseless player?  Taunting? Pushing and/or shoving and/or throwing a punch? The player exits for 10 or 15 minutes of clock time.

Whatever gets proposed to the Competition Committee, it won’t be easy to get 24 votes. Teams have been reluctant in the past to support aggressive efforts to remove players from the field.

Then there’s the question of whether the league really cares. Based on the way it marketed highlights of the Steelers-Bengals brouhaha on NFL Network, the league likes to have its consternation and flaunt it, too.

26 responses to “Another idea for improving player behavior

  1. I like the penalty box idea. I also like this for injuries. They stop play due to injury, the player would have to sit out until a change of possession occurs.

  2. Impossible to do, as long as teams like the patriots put with up with guys like hernandez and sign guys like haynesworth and talib and the cowboys are willingmto sign a scum bag like hardy and the broncos give talib more money than the patriots it comes down to if you can play you stay. I howl when clueless fans try to make their team out to be morally superior than other teams. Find me one .

  3. The penalty box fosters the existence of NFL goons. If Goodell wants teams to dress practice squad guys on game day and use them as hitmen a penalty box will get the job done.

  4. The Truth…

    Read the article. Nothing you said is relevant to the article as it discusses ON FIELD BEHAVIOR while your post is about OFF FIELD BEHAVIOR.

  5. It would be like 2 technicals in the NBA so it seems sensible to me. Just make sure officials know it’s OK to call them

  6. This would only work if the “penalties” are reviewed like touchdowns and turnovers. And by qualified personnel. Which leaves out Dean Blandino and 75% of the buffoon officials that throw a flag because of how the player reacts to a legal hit rather than what actually transpired.

  7. This is going to be a tough spot whike I like the idea of the 2 personal fouls it can be tricky to determine intent… so say someone gets flagged for a defenseless WR even 5ho ugh it was unavoidable. .. then the next drive the player is coming on a blitz gets his arms up to knock down a pass and comes in contact wi5h the QBS helmet and he’s out?

    I understand what Beckham did vs. CAR. Should not be tolerated, nor should diving into a pile late… but there are not so flagrant personal fouls like a face mask or minor contact to an opposing QB that shouldn’t qualify as harshly

  8. I agree with the idea of ejecting a player after multiple personal fouls, but not EVERY personal foul should count. Hitting a defenseless receiver or crown of the helmet rule, fine — not face mask penalties or running into the kicker.

  9. Looking at two specific games in 2015, players should have been ejected without pause were Odell Beckham and Votaze Burfict. I mention these two because for those particular games they were way across the line, repeat offenders, clearly not giving any heed to warning or officials. Put simply they were out of control, and as a result injuries occurred.

    Not picking on teams, but specific players who exhibit behavior that – although it makes awesome clickbait and generates buzz – makes the game (and therefore the league) look like a bunch of “stupid football players.”

    Until the league chooses to come down on guys like this, we’re all forced to assume they prefer profit over professionalism.

    If my son was out there and injured by some idiot that the league/officials wouldn’t keep under control, I’d take the league to court. That behavior is simply not defensible, even in a ‘gladiator sport’ like football; that’s just reckless endangerment.

    It’s one thing for two players to collide during a play; and totally different for the same player to cause multiple injuries to others in the same game (while taunting and starting fights). In one season, Vontaze Burfict knocked out (literally in one case) the starting RB, starting QB and starting WR, all from the same team! Insane.

    And speaking of that same team, think about what happened to James Harrison a couple years ago – he had a couple games in a row where he blasted receivers coming across the middle (and didn’t he jack up a scrambling QB?)… Not only did he get fined, and bigtime fined, but he eventually got suspended.

    Should be expecting something similar or worse in Burfict’s future. Or at least we should, right?

  10. A ‘penalty box’ makes way too much sense, never happen….I doubt they’d even vote for 2 strikes and you’re out, although the Refs are such dufus’ they’d never call the 2nd one anyway.

  11. The only hit Burfict had this year that was illegal against the Steelers was the hit on Brown. It should have been and was penalized. No worse than any other late hit coming across the middle.

  12. They also run the risk of ejecting players who never actually committed a penalty. In that same infamous Steeler-Bengal game, Shawn Williams was called for a hit to the head, a call the NFL later admitted was in error. An incorrect call like that happens at least once per weekend. Consistant refereeing, especially in high profile games, would do more to effect the game than throwing out the players.

  13. Penalty box? Like it! Would a short handed touchdown be worth 9 points? Throw in an icing rule while we’re at it…..

  14. It is difficult enough to get 24 votes for good ideas. Dumb ideas borrowed from other sports – not so much. If players are ever removed from a game for penalties, it would change the basic game of football. It would also encourage more taunting between players attempting to get the others disqualified. Penalties are an essential part of the violent, frustrating game that football is.

  15. This could also be extended to include 2 game ejections within a season, the player is suspended for the remainder of the season without pay and is not eligible to attend ANY team related activities until the league new year.

    That would absolutely get the attention of players like Pac-Man Jones and Votaze Burfict.

  16. Don’t make any changes on the field that game. Review games afterwards and assess punishment to the player (fines and/or certain number of quarters suspended for).

    Try and avoid affecting the immediate game for the wrongs/bad luck of one player. Let that player get the punishment not the team or its fans.

    Refs should have the right to eject players (if they don’t already) if one is out of control and a danger to others.

  17. When a defensive player spears another player and that defensive player doesn’t get up and walk ever again, then — maybe – the league will do something about player safety.

  18. I don’t like this. So send out your B lister to generate and provoke the opponent’s A lister to give you an advantage once that player gets ejected. Watch out when the back up takes to the field.

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