Out of all of the NFL’s rules, which would Bill Belichick most like to change?
If it were up to the New England Patriots head coach, there wouldn’t be so many discrepancies between the NFL and college football rulebooks. For example, defensive pass interference penalties in college are only up to 15 yards while NFL pass interferences gift the offense a first down and the spot of the foul.
Belichick said during an interview on NBC Sports’ “Rich Eisen Show” that the pass interference rules, in particular, should be more consistent.
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“I think probably the one thing that is worth looking at is just the college pass interference rules,” Belichick said. “I know why it’s what it is, and I also know why it’s different in college, and you could argue both sides of it. But it’s a big penalty, and sometimes those are just tough calls. So I think that’s worth looking at,” Belichick told Eisen.
“I would say just in general, I would be in favor of the NCAA and the NFL trying to consolidate the rulebook to where we can have as many rules be the same as possible so that the fans, as well as the players who come from college, can make a clean transition into the same set of rules instead of different ones.
“So targeting’s targeting, holding’s holding, interference is interference, and so forth. As much as we could do that, I would be in favor of that just for the overall quality of the game. But I think the pass interference rule is not necessarily one I would change, but I would take a look at it, and I think it would be good if it was the same as the college rule — either they change it to ours or we change it to theirs, just from the standpoint of consistency.”
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) August 24, 2020
Belichick’s points definitely are valid. The NFL’s PI rule seems unnecessarily harsh, especially with so many borderline calls that can determine the outcome of a game. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have the same penalty be far less severe at the college level. There should be more consistency there one way or another.
Will the NFL ever consider Belichick’s rule change? Who knows. But it isn’t a bad idea from the six-time Super Bowl champion head coach.