If Bill Belichick had the almighty power to snap his fingers and make some changes to the NFL rulebook, the Patriots head coach would make football look a bit more consistent from Saturday to Sunday. During an interview on NBC Sports’ the “Rich Eisen Show” earlier this week, Belichick noted that he hopes to see a bit more consistency between the NCAA rulebook and how the NFL dictates play on the field. Specifically, Belichick highlighted pass-interference. In college, defensive pass interference caps out as a 15-yard penalty. In the pros, it’s a spot foul and an automatic first down. 

“I think probably the one thing that is worth looking at is just the college pass interference rules,” Belichick said. “I know why it’s what it is, and I also know why it’s different in college, and you could argue both sides of it. But it’s a big penalty, and sometimes those are just tough calls. So I think that’s worth looking at.”

Of course, college football and the NFL are largely very similar, but there are some exceptions. On the offensive side of the ball, college receivers only have to get one foot down to record a catch, while in the NFL, both feet in bounds are required for a reception. Getting those types of things on a more uniform level would, in Belichick’s eyes, not only help players take an easier step from college to the pros, but also be good for fans. 

“I would say just in general, I would be in favor of the NCAA and the NFL trying to consolidate the rulebook where we can have as many rules be the same as possible so that the fans, as well as the players who come from college, can make a clean transition into the same set of rules instead of different ones,” Belichick said.

“So targeting’s targeting, holding’s holding, interference is interference, and so forth. As much as we could do that, I would be in favor of that just for the overall quality of the game. I think the pass interference rule is not necessarily one I would change, but I would take a look at it, and I think it would be good if it was the same as the college rule — either they change it to ours or we change it to theirs, just from the standpoint of consistency.”

It remains to be seen if Belichick will one day get his wish of seeing the NFL and NCAA’s style of play become more consistent, but it’s at the very least intriguing to hear the eight-time Super Bowl-winning coach’s ideas for the game of football. 


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