Four Downs Advocated.
"The season will certainly give rise to a very considerable discussion of the present rules, and a party that advocates an increased number of downs--four instead of three all over the field, or at least within the 25-yard line--will gain many adherents. The rules forbidding tackling below the knees and decreeing that the ball is dead when any part of a man except his feet touches the ground when in the grasp of an opponent should either be modified or enforced.
"In advocating four downs instead of three in which to gain the necessary ten yards, there is that which should always apply to rule makers, namely, a further extension of a principle we know something about rather than a plunge into the dark. Perhaps some football Napoleon could, even with the present three downs, so vary the play of his team as to thrust it along the field for a touchdown. I believe that would be quite possible, but the Napoleon would have too many other things to do--like tackling, passing, punting and getting into interference. Hence the Napoleons are too few to make the matter of any practical interest or value, and herefore we should find a modification which will enable the average quarterback to get some results out of his team, if that team has reasonably good plays.
Other Changes Suggested.
"As to other changes, we should-check the present continuous string of substitutions, allow no coaches to walk up and down the side lines or speak to the officials, and we should simplify the rules which require so much watching of five-yard and twenty-yard spaces, even though doing so may affect the forward pass and onside kick.
"If there be any additions or alterations, such as perhaps cutting out the kick-off or some special legislation relating to tackling that will still further lessen the liability to injuries, such suggestions should have the fullest consideration. But simplicity should be aimed at.