The USFL makes a big rule change to speed up the game

The USFL expects to pick up pace in the third week of the inaugural season. Mike Pereira (the head of officiating at the USFL) announced this week that theThe league will use a running clock after incomplete passes during the first and third quarters. The new system will be in place starting Week 4 and will keep the games under 3 hours. 

“We believe this change will achieve the desired game length,” Pereira said, per CBS Sports, “while still providing the number of plays you’ve come to expect in a professional football game.”  The USFL features eight teams and they play all their games in Birmingham, Alabama. The Birmingham Stallions, who are undefeated at 3-0, lead the pack entering Week 4. The Pittsburgh Maulers are on the other end of the spectrum, and they have yet to win a single game (0-3). 

“We have a lot of leadership on this team,”Victor Bolden Jr., a Birmingham receiver who had six receptions for 70 yards, and one score, said, Fox Sports after the team’s win against the New Orleans Breakers. “A lot of older guys who’ve experienced tough games and close games before. So, we just continue to play the next play, and these guys keep stepping up.”   

The Maulers made headlines last month when Kirby Wilson, the coach of the team, fired De’VeonSmith for breaking team rules. This incident was shown on the docuseries United by FootballWilson was talking to Smith about ordering pizza from the team hotel instead of chicken salad, which led to Smith being fired. 

“I have a set of standards that we go by as a football team,” Wilson spoke at the time. “Those standards weren’t met. That individual knew that we had a prior agreement that led to a later misunderstanding. Once those incidents were brought to my attention, I addressed them immediately.   

“These are life lessons. These are life lessons that have nothing to do the football. You are trying to teach others how to respect each other, regardless of their views. He immediately apologized and vowed to make amends. We have moved on.  This was a very unfortunate story. But I’ve been doing this for too many years. … We are very proud of our football. It was not met. It must be addressed when a player steps out of line with our beliefs as a staff. “I didn’t hesitate to do it.”

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