BOCA RATON, Fla. — The NFL Competition Committee voted on Wednesday to pass a rule proposed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that would automatically eject a player after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Saints head coach Sean Payton isn’t sure it was the right move.
“I don’t like the idea of two and you’re out, because I just think it gives the impression, it’s late in the third quarter, fourth quarter, we’re up 20, and I can use one,” Payton said.
Drafted in part after the wild feud between Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, the rule would have applied only once this season: when Titans pass rusher Brian Orakpo melted down after a roughing-the-passer call against a teammate during Tennessee’s win over the Saints.
Payton isn’t sure this something the NFL should try to legislate at all.
If the Saints had players acting in a similar manner — and Payton referenced a Roman Harper penalty from the past — he’d be embarrassed by the situation and take care of it himself.
“I don’t know that we need a proposal,” Payton said. “I think we need to change the behavior, but I don’t think we need a proposal specifically to do that, I think we can do it at the club level.”
The NFL also changed another rule that could have affected a Saints game last season, assessing teams a penalty for delay of game if they call a timeout after already using the three allotted per half.
Detroit was granted an extra stoppage of play against New Orleans this season. Under the NFL’s rule, the penalty would be incurred only if the timeout is granted; Payton would like to see the decision be a little more simple.
“I think we’ve got to keep finding ways to make it easier for officials so they’re better at what they do,” Payton said. “That’s where you say, call timeout, boom, the clock stops, you enforce the penalty, so the official doesn’t have to tie a rubber band around three fingers.'”
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