PHOENIX — George McCaskey figured he was being respectful.
After the rival Packers lost the NFC Championship Game when the Seahawks scored on the first possession of overtime, the Bears chairman suggested a rule change: both teams must have at least one extra-time possession.
Only three teams voted for it at Wednesday’s NFL Annual Meetings — and, no, the Packers weren’t one of them.
“So there wasn’t a lot of support for it at all,” McCaskey said. “It was just basically a show of respect for the Packers.”
He affirmed though, that the rival’s playoff loss “was a great result” for Bears fans.
As for the new rule allowing linebackers to wear numbers in the 40s, don’t look for the Bears to retire Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher’s jerseys as a result. They had avoided doing so in the past for fear of a numbers shortage.
McCaskey would prefer the NFL adopt the college game’s duplicate numbers.
“But no other team is in as difficult a spot as we are,” he said. “So there’s really not a lot we can do.”
He called changing extra points the “most significant debate” Wednesday. After an hourlong discussion, it was tabled until May, allowing the league to formulate proposals.
Popular suggestions include giving coaches the option of going for two from the 1 ½-yard line or kicking from the 15, and, like in college, allowing defenses to return blocks or turnovers.
“I think everybody agrees that something needs to be done,” McCaskey said. “There just isn’t agreement on precisely what to do.”