Belichick Made Bold Demand About Practice Time Limit At NFL Annual Meeting

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a key role in the argument for replay reform at the NFL Annual Meeting. He also made a special demand regarding the NFL’s rule book.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported that Belichick is actually asking for more offseason practice time.

“As for how the topic surfaced at last week’s annual meeting, it was described to me that the context of Belichick’s remarks came as coaches, general managers and others were being briefed on the successes of the league as it enters its 100th season,” Reiss wrote. “Belichick then passionately chimed in, and essentially said something along the lines of: While it is nice to hear good things, the focus should be on how it can be even better. One of the ways to do that, he said, was giving coaches more time with players.”

The 2011 CBA limited the time teams spend on practice before and during the regular season. The agreement reduced the length of the offseason program from 14 weeks to nine, and allowed for 14 padded sessions during the regular season as an addition to many other restriction. The length of practices was also under their knife.

Coaches say these regulations aren’t enough for the development of young players, especially offensive linemen.

“I’m in total support of (Belichick’s) position,” Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told Reiss. “There’s so much down time for these guys. I think there was a time when older players were bargaining for these breaks when they thought less was better. But these guys (today) love the game and want to be part of it. And we love coaching and helping them.

“The game would just be better if we were able to do that, and if we were in connection with them more, they would be healthier as well — we could monitor their well-being. You don’t even have to mandate that. Just give them the option.”

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera supported Belichick, saying his words carry “a tremendous amount of weight.”

Belichick and many others had success in passing a rule to make pass interference reviewable, but there will be no changes in the practice structure until the next CBA negotiations in 2021.

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