If you could change one NFL rule, what would it be? The stars of the Panthers and Broncos weighed in at Super Bowl 50 Opening Night.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — This week, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino suggested that the NFL’s controversial and utterly confusing catch rule would not be tweaked. The Dez Bryant-Calvin Johnson rule receives the greatest scrutiny yet it is only a sliver of the NFL’s ever-growing, somewhat subjectively applied rule book that is often met with disdain by those inside and outside the league.
No rules will be changed in the lead-up to Super Bowl 50, but we asked the biggest stars from the Panthers and Broncos to pick out the one rule they would most like to see altered in the future.
Peyton Manning, Broncos QB: “I don’t understand if you’re on the one-yard line about to score and we jump offsides, we go back five yards. On the very next play, I draw them off and we only go half the distance. Why don’t we get to go back all five yards? That would be a good rule to change.”
Chris Harris Jr., Broncos CB: “Pass interference, every day. As a cornerback, of course you would take that out.”
T.J. Ward, Broncos S: “I’d say the uniform rules because I like to be stylish and be an individual.”
Owen Daniels, Broncos TE: “The celebration rule. I feel like you should be able to celebrate with your teammates. It’s almost counterintuitive. This is a team sport. You can celebrate by yourself, but not as a team.”
Aqib Talib, Broncos CB: “Pass interference. We’d just be able to wrestle with receivers all day long.”
Brandon Marshall, Broncos LB: “Defenseless receiver. I understand trying to make the game safer, that’s important. But it needs to be tweaked because sometimes you hit a guy and it’s not that bad, it’s just a shoulder.”
Cam Newton, Panthers QB: “I would let the players, at least one game, where whatever color cleats they want to wear. [What color cleats would you wear for the Super Bowl?] Gold, obviously.”
Josh Norman, Panthers CB: “Personal fouls, oh my gosh! The crazy part about it is we get hit over the head so it’s just like … geez. Give us a break. I can’t even ride my horse no more without getting a personal foul.”
Luke Kuechly, Panthers LB: “There’s a rule in college—I think it’s still there—where you can hit receivers anywhere on the field as long as the ball wasn’t in the air. I’d like to see that come back so us guys on defense could play a little more physical.”
Charles Johnson, Panthers DE: “It would have to be the catch rule. There have been many times this year where it’s not defined what a catch is and is not. There’s been big games where it’s had an effect.”
Kawann Short, Panthers DT: “Intentional grounding—I’d cut it out. You feel like you’ve got him as a defensive lineman and are about to take the quarterback down, and he can throw it away for a 15-yard penalty instead of a sack.”