Competition Committee Discussing Re-Seeding Proposal
INDIANAPOLIS--Members of the league's competition committee have begun discussions about a proposal to change the way the NFL seeds teams for the playoffs.
The league is attempting to reduce the number of games at the end of the regular season that have no bearing on playoff seedings. One proposal is to seed teams for the playoffs strictly by their records, with no consideration given to whether a club won its division or not. Currently, the four division winners in each conference get the top four postseason seeds, and the two wild-card teams in each conference get the fifth and sixth seeds.
It's not yet clear whether the competition committee will recommend such a change to the team owners next month in Palm Beach, Fla., at the annual league meeting.
"We have discussed it," said Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, a co-chairman of the competition committee. "I don't think there's any consensus yet."
The proposal would need to be ratified by at least 24 of the 32 owners to be enacted.
The competition committee has been meeting this week here, the site of the annual scouting combine.
Tennessee Titans Coach Jeff Fisher, the other co-chairman of the committee, said the committee won't recommend a rule change barring a coach from calling a last-second timeout from the sideline just before the ball is snapped on a field goal attempt.
There were calls for such a rule change after coaches used the ploy successfully several times during the just-completed season. But Fisher said he knew the maneuver would fall into disfavor once it backfired once or twice, as it did later in the season. And it's too difficult, he said, to find the proper wording of a rule to prohibit a timeout aimed at icing the opposing kicker while allowing one if, for example, a team has too many players on the field.
"You just can't do it," Fisher said. "There's too many factors involved if you try to legislate timeouts."
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