I'm assuming the teams asked for this rule change based on input from their quarterbacks.
But balls don't have to be new, just that they have to be like new.
Other approved changes to promote scoring and improve the flow of the game:
- Allowing quarterbacks for each team to use their own team supplied Wilson footballs, provided they have met the "new ball" quality standard established by the league.
Every quarterback is different with different preferences. Some like their balls, uh, more inflated than others. I'm guessing here, but I would sat that a lesser inflated ball would be easier to grip, but wouldn't give as tight a spiral as a more inflated ball. Maybe some quarterbacks prefer the laces to be slightly looser than others. And I'm sure there are ways to adjust the finish on the balls while still meeting the league's "'new ball' standard quality" criteria.
All footballs may look alike until you start throwing one for a living.
It used to hold that the home team would be responsible for supplying the balls used on offence and for kicking, which are different.
The process undertaken by Lions equipment manager Ken (Kato) Kasuya and assistant Andrew Dubiellak to scuff up two dozen balls with a warm cloth takes at least four hours per week.
"You'd really notice the difference playing in Miami," said former Dolphins pivot John Beck, now a Lion. "In the heat the dimples would stay there. In the cold they harden and flatten."
Anthony Calvillo ... would insist the footballs he would use for Montreal Alouettes home games came right out of the box and were not scuffed.
Apparently, balls used for games prior to this year weren't exactly new, but had been prepared by the home teams to their quarterbacks' and kickers' preference. Now the visiting teams get to prepare balls for their quarterbacks and kickers as well. I guess that's fair.