The NFL Officials are in the off-season and that means looking at new ways to improve football. In an attempt to make the league safer, the NFL is looking into expanding the football field from 160 feet to 195 feet from sideline-to-sideline. These are the same dimensions as the Canadian Football League (CFL) field which at one time was a place players went to continue to play once their career were done in the NFL. Now it seems that the NFL is looking at the CFL for its stats on hits and injuries. They must like the numbers they see to consider using the CFL field dimensions. There are pros and cons to this idea if it is voted and implemented.
Some of the pros would be less hard hits on the quarterback and running back. It’s already a force field around the quarterback as is, so this would be an added invisible padding in which there was more room for escape. With this year’s surge of throwing and running quarterback prototypes it would be havoc for defenses to stop them. Just the thought of giving San Francisco’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick or Seattle Seahawk’s Russell Wilson more room to run is scary.
The field expansion could also be a determining factor in drafting a quarterback. A coach may now only look at quarterbacks who can throw and run so they are able to exploit the extra space on the field. The ability to pass or have a stronger arm may come into play as well since there will be additional space to get a pass to the receiver. I forgot one more thing…safety, that’s what the league say they are trying to implement.
There are cons also to expanding the football field such as the defense becoming less effective. The defensive numbers for players and the team may decrease because of the additional ground needed to cover to make a tackle or cover a receiver. Sometimes things are easier said than done and playing defense is one of them. It will very difficult for defenses to cover great receivers like Calvin “Megatron” Johnson for the Detroit Lions, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants or Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers run. The expansion would also lead to what I predict is an additional 7-10 points per game. This is a good thing for some unless you play or like defense.
Regardless of what the pros and cons are, this is for certain; the NFL is looking to protect the shield from any further damage from head injuries of players. With former NFL players injury lawsuits mounting up against the league, this could be seen as a move for promoting safety for players just like moving the kickoff. After coming off of the most viewed Super Bowl, the NFL is focused more than ever on protecting itself from any additional negative press because in the end it’s not about the players today, it’s about the mothers’ of future players allowing their sons to play football in the first place. The reason why the NFL officials are looking to expand the field of play is because promoting a positive image for football is just as important promoting safety for the league.