Glazer: League discussed making field larger

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The ongoing discussions regarding player safety have led to a wide range of creative ideas for minimizing major impacts on the playing field. Last month, a new possibility landed on the table: Making the playing field larger.

Jay Glazer explains in his weekly Q&A for TheAthletic.com that the prospect of lengthening and widening the field “was brought up in player safety discussion this year at the owners meetings.”

“It was brought up, the players have gotten bigger, faster, stronger, and the field hasn’t gotten any bigger,” Glazer writes. “I don’t see anything changing but this is the first year I actually heard about that.”

From high school on up (and at some lower levels of the sport), the field remains 100 by 53 yards. But the players at the highest level of football indeed continue to get bigger, faster, stronger.

Making the field larger could be problematic in stadiums where the current playing surface barely fits as it is, and it likewise could make for awkward transitions in stadiums that also host college and high-school football games, like Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. It also could reduce scoring, requiring longer drives before a team gets into the end zone or field-goal range.

Here’s a possibility suggested by MDS for, as a practical matter, making the field a little larger: Change the requirement that a receiver get two feet inbounds to one foot, like the college and high-school rule. Bringing back the force-out rule would have a similar effect, allowing passes to be regarded as complete if the player would have gotten two feet (or one foot) down but for a shove from a defender.

31 responses to “Glazer: League discussed making field larger

  1. That’s a dumb idea. Players would still be in close proximity because they would still be around the line of scrimmage. And from a historical perspective, it would skew all the records, so you would basically have to start a whole new record book, especially if the field is longer.

  2. Don’t see how making the field larger makes it safer. Players aren’t colliding because it’s too crowded.

  3. Wouldn’t making the field larger give safeties and other DBs more of a running start to collide with a WR? Almost like making every pass play similar to kickoff coverage? Also more space would mean a better advantage to an already overpowered offense since everyone is spread out one on one?

  4. Play your home games in Canada or just move there permanent. Another dumb ideal from a total idiot owner!

  5. A Canadian football field is 110 yards × 65 yards. 150 yards total. The end zones are 20 yards long.

    Just one of many reasons no one watches the CFL.

  6. Hey, just turn the NFL into a soccer league and they will be playing the world’s most popular sport.

    And America will sleep! It’s a great game. Keep it as close to the way it is as possible.

  7. One foot for a catch does nothing for player safety. All it does is give another advantage to the offense. If you want to reduce collisions, eliminate receivers crossing routes within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.

  8. Owners need to stick to cashing checks and leave the football ideas to the professionals. Eventually the fans need to push back otherwise more bad ideas will stick.

  9. Widening the hash marks would allow a bigger window on the weak side of the line. This would open op weak side plays for the faster smaller teams. But the bigger/stronger teams will then just run their plays to the strong side anyway. So THOSE plays would have MORE heavy collision plays.

    No matter how you do the math, if the rules allow running blocking & tackling… with all these big mean men – they gonna get hurt.

  10. I say we make the field bigger, make it harder for the defense to defend by introducing even more rules, create a force field around the QB, keep changing rules to encourage more scoring, allow in seat gambling with portable urinals in the seats, 3 hotdog minimum purchase, way more commercials and just keep the game clock running the whole time so it’s like a highschool freshman B team game so we can fit the whole thing in during a 3hr window.

  11. “Here’s a possibility suggested by MDS for, as a practical matter, making the field a little larger: Change the requirement that a receiver get two feet inbounds to one foot, like the college and high-school rule. ”

    There’s a freaking terrible idea. The beauty of an NFL level receiver going up at the sidelines and having the athleticism to tap both feet just inbounds as he’s coming down flying out of bounds is one of the great plays in the game.

  12. just another gimmick to put up more points in the passing game for the fantasy fans. i can see belichick rolling his eyes and mumbling some choice comments at that meeting.

  13. Or…leave the fields as they are and all the rules as they are and go down to 10 players. Simple fix – if it’s even necessary. Players union wouldn’t be in favor, of course, but the practice squad could be increased 1 or 2 players to compensate.

  14. “It was brought up, the players have gotten bigger, faster, stronger
    =================================================

    Because they know exactly when they will have to be tested for PED’s.

  15. I feel like this would increase injuries. Players race for the sidelines or the corner of the endzone to avoid taking a big hit. Making all those farther away means more big hits with more of a running start. Anyway there is no way 3/4 of teams would approve this, because it obviously benefits specific teams with the right players to take advantage like strong armed QBs, elusive running backs, and receivers who draw double coverage.

  16. Making the field wider more likely will increase scoring, not decrease it. OCs don’t constantly try to get players into less open space.
    Most stadiums easily accommodate soccer games & the field size they play on (bigger, don’t know by how much).
    Also, international hockey plays on larger ice surface & has shown it lessens the high impact collision.

  17. “From high school on up (and at some lower levels of the sport), the field remains 100 by 53 yards.”

    Please don’t understate the field size. It is actually 53 1/3 yards wide. Plenty of room!

    It was drilled into us by our coach in high school as was “run North and South”. However, our local university indoor field runs East and West.

  18. The real solution is to just tell all of us who will win the game and to invent stats to coordinate with the hand-picked chosen ones and to not play the game at all.

  19. Open up the game by widening the hash marks, using one foot rule and/or reinstating the force out rule, then start series with firs and 12 as something needs to be given back to defense–a critical need as widening the hash marks will provide a big time advantage to teams who are in great running the ball form. One additional thought as to widening hash marks, they do not need to go back to where they were years back, the widening distance should be well thought out and experimented with.

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