10 Changes the NFL Needs To Make

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer INovember 21, 2009

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks at his wrist band for a play prior to the snap of the ball behind center during their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on November 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bengals defeated the Steelers 18-12. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

With the NFL's collective bargaining agreement set to expire after this season, here are 10 things that both the owners and players need to agree on prior to signing a new contract.

Some people stress player safety and others stress revenue. Not me. Those things will work themselves out. I am here to take on the more important issues.

Now, some of these things will go into the safety issues and others will touch the revenue issues. But make no mistake about it, these things are more important than those.


Issue 1: Cheerleaders.  What in professional sports is more important than cheerleaders? The team that doesn't have them, Pittsburgh, needs to get them. Those that have them and play in the cold weather need to stop this covering-up business.


Issue 2: Food at the stadium. Everyone agrees that food experience at the stadium is important. How often is the stadium food as good as the food at the tailgate parties? Never. Upgrade the food to be as good as we get outside, or it is free.


Issue 3: Unsportsmanlike penalties on the QB (We will call this the Brady Quinn rule). When a QB hits a defender low, instead of fines or penalties, we turn things around. The next time the QB drops back to pass, the defense gets a free shot at him. No roughing the passer will be called and whoever from the defense gets to him first gets the free shot.


Issue 4: Player fines. Start at the beginning of a player's career. The first time a player does anything that warrants a fine, it is $5,000. The next fine is $10,000. And it doubles every time the player does something fine-worthy.


Issue 5: Pass Interference. When a DB is flagged for pass interference, the penalty is at the spot of the ball. This can translate into a penalty of 50 yards or more. It's ridiculous. If a player is flagged on one play, they should have to play with their hands tied behind their back. When an offensive player is flagged, they're blindfolded for a play.


Issue 6: Holding on the offensive line. It is said that there is holding on every single play in the NFL. Then why even have the rule? Holding is a joke of a rule, so it is gone. The more important penalties, such as clipping, chop block, illegal hands to the face, should carry 15-yard penalties with fines.


Issue 7: Pre snap penalties—GONE. If there is a penalty on the offense before the play, the whistle is blown and the play is dead. That is wrong. If the defense is offsides, the offense gets a free play. Plays will continue on offensive pre-snap penalties. The defense is the one that will get the free play.


Issue 8: Fighting. In the NHL, fighting is a proud practice. In MLB, you see bench-clearing brawls all the time. In the NFL, the group that is the most protected by padding, no one can fight because of fines and suspensions. If two players start going at it, LET THEM GO! What is the big deal about these mountains of men wanting to throw down? Provided it is not a QB against a defensive lineman, let them go.


Issue 9: Show-boat penalties. The NFL is being called the No Fun League because every time a player does something that people at home find funny, there are resulting penalties and fines. Players should be able to celebrate, taunt and have fun. To those of you that say it is unsportsmanlike, then the defense needs to stop it from happening.


Issue 10: Offensive coordinators—GONE! Let's be honest. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger don't NEED an offensive coordinator. All coordinators do is take extra money being spent on an unnecessary position. Teams can have someone to help, but eliminate the position.