View Full Version : New life for wild cards? More info for the off season.

03-30-2008, 01:03 PM
NFL owners will decide at their annual meetings this week in Palm Beach whether to allow a wild-card team to host a playoff game if it has a better record than one of the division champions. That means the Jaguars wouldn't have to beat out the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC South title to host a playoff game, as long as the Jaguars have a better record than at least one of the division champions.

Under the current format, the four division champions host first-round playoff games, regardless of their records.
Twice in the past three years, that format has cost the Jaguars a chance to host a playoff game.
In 2005, they were 12-4 but played at 10-6 New England. Last season, they were 11-5 and visited 10-6 Pittsburgh.

Under the new format endorsed by the NFL competition committee, the two division champions with the best records in each conference still would receive first-round playoff byes. However, the third and fourth seeds would go to the teams with the best records, regardless or whether or not they won a division.

The impetus for the rule is that it's more likely to make teams have something at stake in the final regular-season game. Coaches probably wouldn't tank it by resting their starters if a home playoff berth is on the line.

Rich McKay, co-chairman of the NFL's competition committee, said the league doesn't want to pass rules to force coaches to play their starters.
"I think the committee has always taken the position that we don't want to be in the business of trying to dictate what coaches have to do late in the season with respect to the decisions they are going to make," McKay said in a conference call. "They've earned the right to make those decisions. We think that [changing the seeding] is a better solution than ever getting into the business of trying to legislate who a coach will play."

It could be debated that resting starters in the regular-season finale doesn't necessarily help teams, even though the idea is to avoid injuries. The New York Giants and the New England Patriots both played to win their 2007 finale, even though the only thing at stake was the Patriots' quest for a perfect regular season and the Giants' bid to stop it. Five weeks later, the two teams met in the Super Bowl.
There's no guarantee the rule change will pass. It takes 24 votes to pass the measure, and that's a high hurdle, especially because some teams might feel it devalues a division championship.

Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards shined a light on one of the league's dirty little secrets.
Even though teams aren't supposed to negotiate with players before the start of the free-agency signing period, there's no question that many of them do.
That's why there are so many signings in the first day or two of free agency.
Edwards blew the whistle last week when asked why the Chiefs weren't aggressive in pursuing center Jeff Faine and kicker Josh Brown. Edwards replied, according to the Kansas City (Mo.) Star: "There were probably some deals done before [the start of the league year]. We didn't cheat. We abided by the rules."
Faine signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Brown with the St. Louis Rams at the opening of free agency.
When asked if the Bucs were in contact with Faine before the start of free agency, Edwards said: "You'd have to ask Tampa. I don't know what Tampa did."
There's not much the league can do to stop the practice, so McKay said the competition committee proposed a five- to seven-day window before free agency starts in which agents could negotiate with teams but players couldn't visit. That would give all teams interested in a free agent time to bid.
When league vice president Ray Anderson, a former agent, was asked about the prevalence of agents negotiating before the start of free agency, he all but admitted it was business as usual.

"There was quite a bit of activity in the agent community, which necessarily means, frankly, [the agents] had to get some cooperation on the other end to accomplish those communications," Anderson said.
Big hair issue.

McKay confirmed an earlier report that the Chiefs have proposed a rule change banning players from having hair long enough to cover the names on the back of their uniforms. However, McKay said the proposal wouldn't force players to cut their hair.

"It means they have to keep their hair under their helmets," he said. "That's a big difference."
Don't look for the rule change to pass, though. NFLPA president and Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae said he's opposed to the idea, and the league doesn't need to be distracted by a hair fight when there are many labor issues looming on the horizon.

In other proposed changes, owners will discuss allowing a defensive player to wear a radio helmet, using instant replay on field goals, eliminating the 5-yard facemask penalty, eliminating the forceout unless a player is carried out of bounds, not just pushed, and increasing the size of training-camp rosters
Texans need three QBs
Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak said he didn't sign former Jaguar Quinn Gray as his No. 3 quarterback because he plans to trade backup Sage Rosenfels. Kubiak now believes he needs three quarterbacks.
"I've been a two-quarterback guy, but what happened to us last season scared the heck out of me, and I don't want to go through that again," he said, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Kubiak had to scramble for a backup last season when Matt Schaub was injured and Rosenfels was the only other quarterback on the roster.
"I think my philosophy has changed," Kubiak said. "I've become more of a three-quarterback guy."
Unless both Schaub and Rosenfels are injured, this probably means Gray will play only in the preseason.

"I cannot say ever, ever. But I can say they won't see me in one for the next three or four years."
- Titans cornerback Pacman Jones, in a radio interview with Michael Irvin, on visiting strip clubs.

03-30-2008, 01:41 PM
I like it. the only real chance we have of ever having a home playoff game in the next decade.

03-30-2008, 02:05 PM
I suppose with so many division champs it shouldn't be taken for granted that one of them is better than a wild card. The NBA did something similar for a bit.

03-30-2008, 02:27 PM
Eh, I'm not too fond with that. If you want to host a home game playoff game, you damn better win as much games as you possibly can.

Sorry, I'll pass.

03-30-2008, 02:28 PM
**** the Jaguars.

03-30-2008, 02:32 PM
I think they should do that, you shouldn't get an advantage for playing in a crappy division

03-30-2008, 04:19 PM
Can we host a playoff game if we just score a ****ing touchdown sometime next season?