SF 49ers: 3 executive orders for NFL rule changes
By Robert Smith
No. 1: Quarterback slide rule
I know. The NFL has already made the decision to go all-out in lowering concussion-inducing plays, especially with quarterbacks. But quarterbacks have found ways of stretching the parameters of the rule and getting a cheap 15-yard penalty against the opposition.
I know the old saying goes, “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t trying” or “you don’t break rules but you bend them as much as possible.”
But some of these erroneous penalties are game-changing.
Case in point, last November, the SF 49ers were playing the Seahawks in Seattle.
In the second half of the game, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson faked a slide in order to trick the pursuing defensive players. He moved his head right into the path of Niners defender Jimmie Ward, who appeared to be attempting to tackle him by the waist.
You can check out the play here.
As a result, Ward was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for hitting Wilson in the head.
I am all for protecting quarterbacks, because they are usually the big draw in the game and in marketing the game today, but the rule is open to way too much interpretation.
My executive order for this rule as the new “President” of the NFL would be would be a quarterback has to clearly give himself up on a slide play and go feet first. Should he fail to completely give himself up on the play or go head-first, he is considered a runner and therefore the rules apply to him as a runner and not a protected quarterback.