Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mike Nolan: PI=Death Penalty

49ers coach Mike Nolan apparently does not have a cousin on death row.

"You can maim someone, and it's 15 yards," he said. "You can end someone's career, and it's 15 yards. Pass interference -- it's not a reflection of the severity of the crime. It's like getting the death penalty for going 75 mph in a 55 zone."

You can make a great case for the rules regarding the enforcement of pass interference to be changed. I could make a better one designed to better structure the way it's called. And Nolan has a right to challenge the integrity of a rule.

But in most cases, pass interference occurs as a last ditch means of stopping a completed pass. It's never supposed to be called as an accidental foul. PI--by nature--is intentional. So by lowering the consequences for it, it will often become a statistically smart move to interfere with the receiver.

Pro Football is already a game where the better team is going to lose 38% of the time. Changing rules to benefit teams with worse pass defenses is counterproductive. Not surprisingly, the 49ers ranked 29th against the pass last year posting an 18.1% DVOA below the league average.

And the death penalty!! WTF?

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