Debate on low tackles resumes

A: That has happened to a certain degree. You have tight ends morphing into fullbacks. Corners are playing safety. Defensive linemen flop into linebacker roles in the 3-4. But there still has to be a starter. It would be hard to think that a nonkicker can develop into a kicker. Place-kickers have to be more than 80 percent accurate these days. Sacrificing quality for versatility would be a step back for a team. That would be the same for a punter. The league needs to expand the active roster. If that happens, it wouldn't be out of the question for a third quarterback to be available for special-teams duty.

Q: Does the NFL have an active anticorruption department? With the tens of millions of dollars that are bet on NFL games every week, I would believe that players, coaches and officials are approached by "undesirables" to influence the outcomes of games. I am just curious whether the NFL takes an active or dynamic approach and investigates "abnormalities" when they pop up.

Larry in San Diego

A: The NFL hires former FBI agents to work in security. If they found tips that suggested the presence of abnormalities, they would investigate. The credibility of the game is vital to the success of the NFL. This is something the league takes seriously. The problem is always finding those issues. The league is always looking.

Q: What are the odds that we could see the elimination of intentional grounding? I think the quarterback should be able to spike the ball at any time, making him "down" where he threw it (if it doesn't make it past the line of scrimmage). If he takes this option, then the defense is credited with a sack. This would allow us to know the difference between a passing QB and a running QB. Also, we would eliminate unnecessary hits on a QB. Am I dreaming or do you think it is possible that we can see this one day?

Eric in Milwaukee

A: You might not be dreaming. Anything that would further protect the quarterback is always on the table in the NFL. I don't see it happening soon. A quarterback has the ability to spike the ball and just have the incompletion. Grounding prevents him from having the best of both worlds. If a quarterback is still attempting to throw and make a completion, he should have some guidelines that reward the defense. To be called for grounding, the quarterback has to be within the tackle box and he has to get the ball to the line of scrimmage. It would be grossly unfair if the quarterback faked a spike, allowed the defensive player to slow down, and then fired a pass.

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