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Hot Take: Eliminate the Neutral Zone Infraction Rule

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2 minutes ago, waterfish_21 said:

I watch Packers lineman jump and immediately point

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12 minutes ago, waterfish_21 said:

I get that, and there are many times when this happens, I watch Packers lineman jump and immediately point, I see it more around the league now too.  They have been coached to do it.  Getting rid of NZI would be a great way to de-incentivize this, imo.

i get mad when they do that.

ruin a free play

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31 minutes ago, waterfish_21 said:

If the center snaps the ball and there is nobody in the neutral zone that is on the center.  

That’s far from 0% risk. We see wide receivers and offensive linemen just forget the snap count sometimes and jump on the wrong cadence. Asking the center to see what happens inches from the LOS in both directions with 100% efficiency is far fetched. 

31 minutes ago, waterfish_21 said:

But a lot of times they can see it.

Find that very hard to believe.

31 minutes ago, waterfish_21 said:

As for Rodgers has a hard count, yes but they still snap the ball when someone enters the neutral zone quite often even when it isn't a hard count.  Those free plays are not 100% hard counts.  i've seen other centers do it too where the QB is looking around the defense and they snap to get a free play(not a hard count). 

You’re confusing neutral zone infraction with offsides.

Yeah, can’t really say in my years as a fan I can think of an example where the center takes it upon himself to snap the ball when someone goes offsides. 

31 minutes ago, waterfish_21 said:

I've also seen it happened where Matt Ryan gets a free play (unscheduled like this) and he spikes the ball.  Never understood why he does that.

Because NZI is a dead play, like false start or encroachment. 

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If the center snaps the ball and there is nobody in the neutral zone that is on the center.  

That’s far from 0% risk. We see wide receivers and offensive linemen just forget the snap count sometimes and jump on the wrong cadence. Asking the center to see what happens inches from the LOS in both directions with 100% efficiency is far fetched. 

 

If the offense forgets the count they are bad, it's on them.  

 

But a lot of times they can see it.

Find that very hard to believe.

 

Happens a lot when DT's jump, it's not hard to see.  

 

As for Rodgers has a hard count, yes but they still snap the ball when someone enters the neutral zone quite often even when it isn't a hard count.  Those free plays are not 100% hard counts.  i've seen other centers do it too where the QB is looking around the defense and they snap to get a free play(not a hard count). 

You’re confusing neutral zone infraction with offsides.

Yeah, can’t really say in my years as a fan I can think of an example where the center takes it upon himself to snap the ball when someone goes offsides. 

 

I see it all the time,(it's basically built into the Aaron Rodgers offense) and no I"m not confusing NZI with offsides.  Its offsides because the linemen doesn't jump leading to a free play.  OP made mentions of how OL was gaming this to gain an advantage by jumping and pointing to create th NZI.

 

I've also seen it happened where Matt Ryan gets a free play (unscheduled like this) and he spikes the ball.  Never understood why he does that.

Because NZI is a dead play, like false start or encroachment. 

 

I'm talking about plays where there is a player offsides and the ball is snapped, play is not dead because there was no NZI.  I've seen it happen more than once where he was looking somewhere else and wasn't ready for the snap.  Either the center forgot the snap count or was trying to catch someone offsides.  Instead of throwing it to Julio down the field he spikes it and takes the 5 yard offside penalty.

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@waterfish_21

Yes, if the offense forgets the count and commits a penalty, it’s on them. That is exactly the reason why 0% risk is hogwash. If the offense commits a false start penalty it’s a 5 yard hit and repeat of down. If a center snaps the ball thinking a guy is offsides, and he isn’t, that’s a situation where guys can get hurt and the ball is on the ground. Not worth coaching that in the slightest, nor do I actually believe centers can fully see if any of the defense jumps and breaks the neutral zone. 

Why do the offensive linemen jump instead of the center snapping the ball? Perhaps...because the centers can’t see if the wide-9 edge rusher breached the neutral zone as well as the tackle does??? Food for thought.

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If the issue you have with the penalty is that it incentivizes the offense reacting to draw the penalty, then just take that part out. Why should the defense legally be able to cross the LoS at all? I would argue the more logical change is to just make it so no one has to react at all. Just make the defense jumping across the line of scrimmage at all the offsides penalty.

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7 hours 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

For most of my football-viewing life that's exactly the way it worked. It was a frequent annoyance and fans were thrilled when the rule was changed to penalize the defense from instigating. I forget when this rule change was made. It must be further back than I realized because so far nobody has mentioned how bad it was beforehand.

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I'm with you. Just one more thing the offense gets in their favor. 

I think if the OL does the YMCA whilst the player is STILL in the zone, then fine. But if he's retreated then he's retreated. False start.

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3 hours ago, Jakuvious said:

If the issue you have with the penalty is that it incentivizes the offense reacting to draw the penalty, then just take that part out. Why should the defense legally be able to cross the LoS at all? I would argue the more logical change is to just make it so no one has to react at all. Just make the defense jumping across the line of scrimmage at all the offsides penalty.

yeah i guess that could accomplish the same goal. fine with this too

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4 hours ago, Awsi Dooger said:

For most of my football-viewing life that's exactly the way it worked. It was a frequent annoyance and fans were thrilled when the rule was changed to penalize the defense from instigating. I forget when this rule change was made. It must be further back than I realized because so far nobody has mentioned how bad it was beforehand.

It was TERRIBLE before this rule was made, prolly in the 1990's? 

In the old days the d-lineman could jump all the way across the line, in-between the offensive players, trying to get them to flinch, and the rules allowed it. Buncha BS really, that's why the neutral zone rule was made. 

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I'm also fine with just penalizing defenders who jump into the neutral zone at all, because I too think it's stupid when offensive lineman jump up and start pointing for no reason whatsoever. It's dumb and should be removed.

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Expecting the offensive line to not react when a 280 freak of nature who can bench 600 and runs a 4.7 40 leaps at you has never played offensive line in their life.  Want to make it a dead ball penalty on the defense regardless is a better suggestion, but I prefer the "free play" aspect of it now, to where a QB recognizes it and takes the deep shot.  Taking away those potential big plays would make the product worse.  Like said earlier, the QB should be pissed when the oline just jumps up and points.  5 free yards is nice.  A risk free shot at going to your best playmaker deep is better.

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9 hours ago, Jakuvious said:

If the issue you have with the penalty is that it incentivizes the offense reacting to draw the penalty, then just take that part out. Why should the defense legally be able to cross the LoS at all? I would argue the more logical change is to just make it so no one has to react at all. Just make the defense jumping across the line of scrimmage at all the offsides penalty.

So what happens on a okay where a DL gets an early jump but the play is snapped immediately? Do the refs blow it dead?

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All QB should have a word that means "snap it now" so they can take advantage of a defensive guy in neutral zone

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