The XFL isn’t revolutionizing football as much as it is reimagining it. And part of that reimagination may include a redefinition of a forward pass.
Appearing earlier this week on the #PFTPM podcast, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said the league is currently “toying with the idea” of allowing multiple forward passes on a given play. The new line of demarcation would be not whether the ball goes forward or backward but whether it passes the line of scrimmage.
So, for example, the quarterback could throw a forward bubble screen to a receiver who catches the ball behind the line of scrimmage. The receiver could then throw a forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage — if the XFL adopts that rule.
Luck pointed out that this would make it easier for the officials, who would simply have to determine whether the initial throw passes the line of scrimmage, not whether it moves forward or backward.
This rule presumably also would allow a quarterback who has a ball batted back to him to throw the ball again. (In the NFL, the quarterback’s only allowable option at that point is to run with the ball.) In theory, it also would allow three or more total throws on a given play, as long as the ball remains behind the line of scrimmage until the final throw.
Standing alone, that won’t be enough to make the XFL appointment viewing. But with enough changes like that, maybe the XFL will draw more interest than the AAF did.