The National Football Post reported that the NFL is considering a change to the Canadian Football League convention of a wider field in hopes of decreasing dangerous hits caused by a congestion of players in a smaller area. The logic behind such a change is up for debate, and while I believe that a wider field would likely reduce the chances of reckless collisions, the impact would be felt in other aspects of the game, as well. Wide receivers would have more room to work, and defenders would have a harder time keeping up with their opposing offensive players. This would translate to quarterbacks having more room to work, and the possibility of big plays in the passing game would increase as safeties would struggle to cover a wider field.
So would Josh Freeman benefit from such a change? Despite all the shortcomings and frustrations Bucs fans (myself included) rant about when it comes to our quarterback, his ability to get the ball down the field is definitely his biggest strength. Freeman has a fantastic arm with all the zip needed to make any throw, and as long as he throws off his front foot, he can deliver a longer pass with a decent degree of accuracy. According to ESPN.com, Freeman was at his best on passes thrown between 21 and 30 yards from the line of scrimmage, with an incredible 128.0 passer rating on such throws. He failed to throw any interceptions on throws of this particular distance, and while it is definitely a small sample size, it shows that Freeman is fully capable of making a longer throw, and is comfortable doing so. So imagine if the sidelines were pushed out, and Freeman was given more room to work?
The Buccaneers are committed to offense, spending more than their NFC South counterparts on that side of the ball. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are excellent receivers who can break a big play at a moments notice, and Doug Martin is a dynamic runner who is tough to bring down in the open field. So as Bucs fans, we should welcome talk of a wider field, because with our big play receivers and big armed quarterback, it would be an open invitation for yet another franchise record year on offense.