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Report: NFL considered widening the field

The SportsXchange

The NFL's competition committee considered widening the field a year ago as a means to make the game safer, and the league may look at the possibility again,Dan Pompei of the National Football Post reported.

The committee is scheduled to meet later this month, and former committee member Bill Polian, an ESPN analyst who was named the NFL's executive of the year six times, told Pompei the NFL should consider widening the field, based on his experience in the Canadian Football League, which plays its games on a field that is 35 feet wider than the NFL field.

"It's a radical idea, but I think it's worth thinking about," said Polian, who built Grey Cup winners in the CFL with Montreal and Winnipeg. "You would have more space and perhaps a safer game. I say that based on my CFL experience. There are less collisions of that type in the Canadian game."

Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith told Pompei a wider field might give defenders more space to build speed, leading to more violent collisions.

But Polian disagreed.

"The farther a player has to run in terms of contact, the less ferocious the contact is going to be," Polian said. "We know the most ferocious hits come from guys who are 10 yards apart and lay each other out. You have fewer higher power collisions in the Canadian League than here."
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