Sportress of Blogitude

Report: NFL Competition Committee against 15-yard P.I. rule change

NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent said this week that the league is considering changing all instances of pass interference to only a 15-yard infraction.

That said, NFL.com’s Judy Batista reports that the competition committee is not in favor of a change at this point.

Vincent previously stated, however, how a change was being considered.

“It has some momentum,” Vincent said, via ESPN. “That has some momentum. We had good discussion in the room. It will be interesting when we get with the coaches. … I don’t want to get ahead of it, but I can tell you this: It had momentum in the room among the competition committee.”

Altering how pass interference penalties are assessed in such a manner — as opposed to how it’s now treated as a spot foul — would of course align the NFL with college football’s method of dealing with the infraction.

As noted by Kevin Siefert in his report, there are concerns among some teams that limiting P.I. penalties to a 15-yard infraction would inspire defensive players to be “incentivized” to commit obvious fouls downfield to prevent the potential of a catch. That said, quarterbacks now will simply chuck the ball downfield in an attempt to amass a big chunk of yards on an otherwise unlikely completion.

While the biggest and most noteworthy issue confronting the NFL Competition Committee is the debate over much-needed changes to the much-maligned catch rule, Vincent noting how the committee is even examining such a substantial change to pass interference penalties merits close attention.

“It will get healthy discussion, and you just never know what will happen on the [voting] floor,” Vincent said of the potential to the rule change, originally proposed by the New York Jets, coming to fruition.