Bill Parcells on NFL: ‘We’ve done a lot to complicate the jobs of the officials’

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Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells thinks the NFL has made officials' jobs tougher by adding too many rules over the past few years, he told SI's Greg Bishop and Michael McKnight for their special report “Football in America.”

As Bishop and McKnight sought to capture the state of the union of the NFL, they canvassed 30 states and spoke to more than 500 people about their feelings on the league. One of the common responses to why the NFL's ratings have been down by 11% this season was that too many rules have made the game too complex. 

Parcells agreed with that sentiment.

“We’ve created a situation with too many variables now,” Parcells said. “We’ve done a lot to complicate the jobs of the officials. Personally, I don’t like that. Simpler is better.”

Earlier in the piece, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell notes that the NFL has made 42 rule changes in the last 14 years in hopes of making the game safer for players.

Parcells was the head coach of the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys over 19 years from 1983 to 2006. He led the Giants to Super Bowl championships in 1986 and 1990. 

The full story, which seeks to understand how America really feels about football, is the longest and most comprehensive football piece ever published by Sports Illustrated. 

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