Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Turnobili

Hot Take: Eliminate the Neutral Zone Infraction Rule

Recommended Posts

This has been a peeve of mine for a while now, wanted to see if I'm completely insane and missing something obvious, but I think this is a bad rule that can be removed without harming the game at all. To be clear, I have zero issue with the false start, offsides, and encroachment penalties... it is just the neutral zone infraction (NZI).

My problem with the NZI rule is that it incentivizes offensive linemen to jump up and point. If the defensive player enters the neutral zone and retreats before the snap, there's no harm no foul. But if the defensive player enters the neutral zone and retreats before the snap, and then 1.5 seconds later an offensive lineman starts jumping and pointing, it's the defense that gets penalized. It's completely absurd. The defensive player should not be penalized based solely on the reaction of the offensive player.

I somewhat understand the rationale behind the rule, because otherwise the defensive players can try jumping offsides to bait offensive linemen into twitching for a false start call. To this I say tough luck. The offensive players have the decided advantage of knowing the snap count. If I know that we are snapping on 2, and I for whatever reason flinch because a defensive player jumped on 1, then that's just on me. 

If the offensive line still wants to have the ability to "react" to create a penalty, then that burden should just be limited to the center deciding to prematurely snap the ball to "catch" somebody who jumped offisdes, rather than allowing any linemen to delay for a second or two to think about it, and then start doing jumping jacks and pointing to draw a flag.

tl;dr: offensive linemen know the snap count. if you flinch as a result of a defender's antics, that's on you (espeically when defensive players emulating QB calls is already unsportsmanlike conduct). if you're a defensive player who jumps offsides, you risk getting "caught" if they snap the ball, either because the QB is alert like rodgers, or maybe if the center has the wherewithall to snap it anyway just to catch you. but if you retreat before the snap, no harm no foul.

What am I missing? I just hate the OL antics and feel it's cheap.

Edited by Turnobili
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Turnobili said:

The defensive player should not be penalized based solely on the reaction of the offensive player.

They’re not, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Yin-Yang said:

They’re not, though.

They are, though. If they get back behind the line before the snap, no flag. But if they get back behind the line before the snap, and then an OL does the ymca, there's a flag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Turnobili said:

They are, though. If they get back behind the line before the snap, no flag. But if they get back behind the line before the snap, and then an OL does the ymca, there's a flag.

So what happens if they never enter the neutral zone and the offensive linemen flinches?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting rid of it open doors for D Lineman to purposely jump to invite a reaction causing a false start. It's a simple rule, D Lineman watch the ball

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eagles23 said:

Getting rid of it open doors for D Lineman to purposely jump to invite a reaction causing a false start. It's a simple rule, D Lineman watch the ball

Easier point for the OL, go on the snap.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Yin-Yang said:

So what happens if they never enter the neutral zone and the offensive linemen flinches?

I always hated this rule, if that happens than false start.  If you are smart, which seemingly most NFL QBs/centers are not, you snap the ball and catch them offsides.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The neutral zone infraction rule is put in place to stop offensive players from getting flagged strictly for just naturally reacting to a defender making a move. Expecting them to just be poker faced when a defender makes a move towards them is simply not realistic.  

If you take away NZI then your essentially allowing the DL to jump whenever they want just as long as the get set before the snap and/or not touch a player, and that would start a terrible chain of events. I.e If both outside rushers jump and the slot WR, TE,  and OT naturally react then it's going to be called on the offense.  Defenses would start abusing this by lining up in the 9 spots just to get the offense to jump.  

 

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, waterfish_21 said:

I always hated this rule, if that happens than false start.  If you are smart, which seemingly most NFL QBs/centers are not, you snap the ball and catch them offsides.  

I never played center (or any offensive line position) but I have to imagine it’s sort of hard to be responsible for setting the line and then seeing ~7 yards in each direction, lol. God forbid you’re wrong (like the defender jumps but doesn’t enter the neutral zone) and snap the ball to an offense that isn’t at all ready. Seems like a dangerous and risky practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, JAF-N72EX said:

The neutral zone infraction rule is put in place to stop offensive players from getting flagged strictly for just naturally reacting to a defender making a move. Expecting them to just be poker faced when a defender makes a move towards them is simply not realistic.  

If you take away NZI then your essentially allowing the DL to jump whenever they want just as long as the get set before the snap and/or not touch a player, and that would start a terrible chain of events. I.e If both outside rushers jump and the slot WR, TE,  and OT naturally react then it's going to be called on the offense.  Defenses would start abusing this by lining up in the 9 spots just to get the offense to jump.  

 

 

I still don't get why you would jump?  Tell me one reason in the world why you would ever jump.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Yin-Yang said:

I never played center (or any offensive line position) but I have to imagine it’s sort of hard to be responsible for setting the line and then seeing ~7 yards in each direction, lol. God forbid you’re wrong (like the defender jumps but doesn’t enter the neutral zone) and snap the ball to an offense that isn’t at all ready. Seems like a dangerous and risky practice.

There is almost 0% risk.  The only risk is if the refs see it.  If the QB isn't ready, in shotgun looking around, if it is a timing play ( end around with a WR), it doesn't matter at all!  If you snap the ball while the Defense is in the neutral zone, you lose 0% of the time because it is a free play.  I still don't understand how Aaron Rodgers is the only person in the NFL that understands this.  Some teams might not want to lose an opportunity for a big play, but a free play is a free play.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...