The league’s owners will vote next week on a proposal to shorten pass interference penalties to 15 yards. But the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations — who just happens to be a former NFL cornerback — sounds skeptical.
Troy Vincent said today that while limiting pass interference penalties to 15 yards works in college, in the NFL defensive backs would be able to exploit the rule to prevent open receivers from making big plays.
“The professional defensive backs were too skilled, too smart and could play the play so they could be strategic about it,” Vincent said. “You don’t want the defensive back being able to strategically grab a guy.”
The proposal put forward would limit most pass interference penalties to 15 yards, as is the case in college. It would, however, have an exception that “intentional and egregious” pass interference would remain as is, with the offense getting the ball at the spot of the foul.
That could have its own problems, as officials might have a hard time determining what constitutes “intentional and egregious.” It’s easy to see why Vincent sounds skeptical — and why most observers don’t expect the owners to adopt the proposed rule change.