The XFL is determined to separate themselves from the National Football League and that includes adding things that nobody has ever thought of before.
At the XFL Summer Showcase at Raymond James Stadium over the weekend, the XFL commissioner was asked how the league would be different than the NFL and what he replied with seemed to be something extremely exciting for fans.
Here are three of the innovations the league plans to install when it kicks off in 2020:
1. Multiple forward passes
NFL offenses lined up in the shotgun about two-thirds of the time in 2018, twice as often as a decade ago — traditional laterals have become rare, Luck said.
“If I’m in the shotgun as a quarterback, I’m 5 yards back, I can’t throw a lateral to a receiver because he’d have to be 7 yards back,” he said. “You might as well hold a sign, ‘We’re going to throw a trick play right now.’ So we said, all right, if a team’s in the shotgun, that shouldn’t prevent the double forward pass.”
“So I can be in the shotgun, 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, whip the ball out to the wide receiver, who is just a yard from the line of scrimmage and he can throw it,” Luck said.
A drop of any pass behind the line of scrimmage will be ruled an incomplete pass, not a fumble. The XFL wants to encourage coaches to try such plays, so by ruling drops behind the line of scrimmage as incompletions, it has reduced some of the potential risk.
2. Three-point conversions
There will be kickoffs, field goals and punts in the XFL, but there won’t be extra point kicks. They’re far too automatic, Luck said.
“We think that the extra point kick is becoming a relatively meaningless play,” he said. “Even after the NFL moved it back, (the conversion rate) is still very very high. It’s why you go get a sandwich, right?”
After scoring a touchdown, teams will have three options. A conversion on a scrimmage play from the 2-yard line will be worth one point, a conversion from the 5-yard line will be worth two points and a conversion from the 10-yard line will be worth three points.
3. “The Comeback Period”
In the NFL, the game clock stops with two minutes left in the second quarter, two minutes left in the fourth quarter, after an incomplete pass, when a player runs out of bounds or when a team calls a timeout. In the XFL, the clock will stop after every play during the final two minutes of each half.
“We didn’t want a team to be able to have three downs where they just kneel it and burn off 1:40,” Luck said. “A kneel-down — as a quarterback I loved it (he played for the Houston Oilers from 1982 to 1986) — but it’s also a nothing play.”
He calls the final two minutes “The Comeback Period” because we should see a bunch more drives than we’re used to.
If any of this works out, you can expect league officials in the NFL to at least talk about implementing it into the league sometime into the future.