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The NFL Future
Everyone has probably seen the commercials of Jon Gruden’s football camp where they show footage of linemen blocking each other and the wide receiver’s view as he catches an incoming pass over the head of a safety. To me it seems unlikely that GoPro won’t make newer and better versions of their already incredible camera, and it would not surprise me if these cameras became increasingly smaller over the next few years. But could they make one small enough to attach to the inside of a player’s helmet?
Will we be able to see helmet camera views of the players making the plays on the field?
Imagine seeing what the defensive end sees when he’s left unblocked coming in on a blindside blitz. Imagine seeing the corner or the safety look up from their man to see the ball hit them in the chest for an interception. See what the running back sees as he breaks through a hole in the line for a twelve yard gain, and stiff arms a linebacker in the process. See what the quarterback sees as he looks off a safety and throws a bomb down field. Watch the kick return man break one, untouched up the middle, with only the kicker to beat. You see what I mean, it would be pretty cool to see what they see, right?
Of course, the NFL would never broadcast such a luxurious view for free, would they? More than likely the answer would be no, and that the footage would be saved and used for their own private endeavors with NFL Films. Similar with what they do when they put microphones on the players during games.
Who Will Excel?
Will we get to see another player like Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders? Will Andrew Luck and RG3 become the quarterbacks they were drafted to be? Who will have a better career, Russel Wilson, or Colin Kaepernick? How long can a mobile quarterback play before his body is too torn up from being hit by players bigger than them?
All it takes is a collar bone or a knee and you’re done for weeks. I’d like to see a team experiment with two different running quarterbacks so that even if one gets hurt, they still have a threat at quarterback. Less opportunity for your quarterback to get injured, and more confusing for the defense as play options become more vast. Cam Newton and JaMarcus Russel splitting snaps. RG3 and Michael Vick (early career) splitting snaps. Now, for obvious reasons, personality wise, this would never work. I’d still like to see a team try something like that out, like the wild cat. As ineffective as it was, it added another element to the game.
"Hall of Fame"
How long before they redefine what makes a Hall of Fame player? Nowadays, it seems like almost everyone is a “destined to be Hall of Famer”. I can’t stand when an announcer says that. Here’s my take, let the guy play out the rest of his career first, and at the end of it, make those kinds of comments if he truly deserves the credit. And another thing about the announcers, can they be any more one sided? Every game I see, the away team never gets any credit and the home team makes all the plays. Let’s put one announcer to side with one team and the other announcer to side with the other team. Or even better, get rid of the announcers, I know just as much about what is happening on the field as they do, and sometimes see things before they do anyway. After all, we are watching the same replays. If I want a bunch of random stats that don’t pertain to anything that’s happening on the field, I can look them up on my phone. Let me hear what the people on the field are yelling at each other. I would, however, like to give credit to Mike Mayock, as he actually does know exactly what he’s talking about.
I saw Welker wearing a space helmet near the end of the season, thing looked industrial padded. Can we invent safer helmets that can withstand bigger impact hits to reduce concussions or will we just eliminate those plays from the game? They’ve already moved the kickoff up five yards and you can clearly see how that affected the amount of times a touchback occurs. Think about it, “No more pass plays over the middle. Too many players got hurt last year going over the middle.” Weak. How long before they eliminate punt returns and tell the players they have to fair catch or let it go. I liked the XFL’s rule where you’re not allowed to call fair catch. I wouldn’t say I’m against making the game safer, however I am against taking away such an important element from the game. You know, the one where being tougher and more physical than your opponent rewards you.
Will the defense even be allowed to tackle the quarterback now that teams are investing millions of dollars a year in their quarterbacks? Some of these guys are making more than a million dollars and hour, relative to their salary over amount of game time played. At what point does the coach realize that when his rookie left tackle can’t stop the DE from getting through, he’s potentially risking millions of dollars lost on the field.
This is from the rulebook in relation to Roughing the Passer, that players will be flagged for, “lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the passer’s body.” A player may not use, “helmet and/or facemask to hit the passer, or use hands, arms, or other parts of the body to hit the passer forcibly in the head or neck area.” Let’s recap; I cannot lower my helmet into the quarterback, no matter where contact is made, and if I try to hit the ball with my arms and hit his shoulder pads or his helmet in the process, I am roughing the passer. What can I do? Maybe I should just give him a shove around the stomach and hope he falls over.
How many more players are going to be found guilty of crimes? The instances don’t seem to be letting up, as there are at least a few players every year getting involved in things that one might not associate with a professional athlete.
1. Murder and assault
2. Bringing guns into a club or an airport
3. At least eight instances of drunk driving (the teams have drivers for the players)
4. Drug use, just to name a few.
Name and Origin
Will any teams have moved or changed names?
The Redskins might have to change their name soon. Its happened many times before, the most recent one being The Houston Oilers who moved to Nashville in 1998, and changed their name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999. Before that in 1995, the L.A Raiders moved to Oakland and the L.A Rams moved to St. Louis. The St. Louis Cardinals moved to Phoenix in 1988 and later became the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. I won’t go into detail about these moves, but it’s interesting to know that there were four teams that either changed their team name or location entirely between 1994 and 1999. For the past fifteen years, the teams have remained the same.
How will pass interference and roughing penalties be enforced during the regular season? Will they make an adjustment so that the defensive player has less of a disadvantage? Will the integrity of the game be upheld, or will safety outweigh the entertainment value of a hard-hitting football game?
The Goal Post
Can we please just make the goal posts higher?
Now that kickers are actually kicking that high, it may be beneficial to raise the height of the goal post to eliminate a “non-reviewable play” that results only in a judgment call by the official. The way this is being ruled as of now is that if any part of the ball looks to be outside the post its no good. This allows a ball that would normally hit the goal post, to be ruled a make. It wouldn’t be the first time they modified the goal post, (Traditional H goal post in the front of the end zone to the modern “Slingshot” Goal Post in the back) so why not?
The Red Flag
Will coaches even need to challenge anything?
Maybe the NFL will hire a team of review specialists to sit in a booth in New York all Sunday and buzz the officials when they made a mistake on a call during a game. (I say New York because that is where the National Football League office is located.) Missed calls as well as just plain bad calls change the outcome of games in the regular season and throughout the playoffs. Sometimes these bad calls are responsible for sending teams to the playoffs and sometimes they keep teams out of the playoffs. But I guess it’s just something we have to get accustom to. What? Why? Find a way to have the correct call made every time.
Will Cheerleaders wear anything? Who knows?
I believe that because of technology, the game of football will progress more and more, just as it has for almost one hundred years. New camera angles, new equipment, and new strategies await.
In Fifteen years, I wonder what the NFL will be like and what will be different/new.