Over the years, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has had to learn and then deal with the rules of the game.
Now he has a chance to shape them.
Tuesday, Whisenhunt was added by commissioner Roger Goodell to the NFL’s Competition Committee, the group that discusses and ultimately recommends rules changes to NFL teams every year.
“It’s an honor, obviously,” said Whisenhunt, who was invited by Goodell by phone Friday. “The integrity of play in the NFL as well as the quality of play is always extremely important to us, to fans, coaches and players. One of the main priorities of the committee is to see that stays at a high level.
“I am flattered. It’s a privilege and certainly comes with a great deal of responsibility.”
The committee also added new Rams coach Jeff Fisher – who had been a long-time member while head coach of the Titans – and Packers CEO Mark Murphy, a former player. Fisher spent last season, while out of the NFL, in a non-voting advisory role. Falcons president Rich McKay is the committee’s chairman.
The rest of the committee is comprised of Giants owner John Mara, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Texans general manager Rick Smith, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and Cowboys COO Stephen Jones.
“As a player in the league and a coach, you are aware of the Competition Committee and what its contribution is to the NFL,” Whisenhunt said.
The NFL every year puts out a survey to coaches asking for input on current rules and asks for ideas for improvements. The Competition Committee takes that into account. Whisenhunt, however, laughed off the idea he had a certain rule he’d want to deal with first.
“I’m sure there will be plenty that come up,” he said.
Whisenhunt will continue to serve on the coaches’ subcommittee, which presents ideas to the competition committee.
“The coaches’ subcommittee has been a great experience for me because of the input you can have,” Whisenhunt said.
Cardinals general manager Rod Graves serves on the league’s General Managers Advisory Committee and works on the subcommittee on college relations. Team president Michael Bidwill is chairman of the NFL’s Stadium Security and Fan Behavior committee and serves on three other groups: Business Ventures, Stadium, and Advisory Committee on NFL Giving.