Owners Unanimously Pass Rules Regarding Player Safety

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 24, 2011 – 10:05 am

The NFL’s labor situation has put most non-courtroom football news to rest for the past few months, but today we actually have some on-field football news to report, thanks to the NFL Owners’ meetings that are going on this week in Indianapolis.

According to this article by Albert Breer of, NFL owners approved unanimously on Tuesday rules changes that regard player safety. We’ll do our best to breakdown the new rules changes right here but we also expect more clarification to come out in the hours and days ahead. None of these changes are necessarily drastic in terms of how they’ll impact the product on the field, but they are significant changes in that they protect players from harm.

The first change expands the definition of “defenseless player” in the “unnecessary contact” rules, Breer writes. The following types of players will now be considered defenseless: a receiver who “has not clearly become a runner,” a kicker or punter during a return, a QB following a change of possession, as well as a player who takes a blindside block from an opponent “moving toward his own endline” and approaches from the back or side.

The second change relates to the NFL’s “launching” rules, which will now include players who leave both “prior to contact to spring forward and upward,” and a player who “uses any part of his helmet.”

The third change is one I think both defensive players and coaches as well as fans will appreciate. It adjusts the rules prohibiting blows to the head of the QB, specifically making accidental “grazing” a judgment call for officials, rather than an automatic foul.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Owners Unanimously Pass Rules Regarding Player Safety”

  1. By DRS on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    This is from

    The Legislature now has 34 days before the State of Minnesota will see its 2011 fiscal year end and the state government potentially shut down. What has taken four months to get nowhere will now have one month to get done. The question many will be asking now is this: Will the stadium issue get heard at all when a special session is inevitably called?

  2. By DRS on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    This is from

    “Rulewise, I think the competition committee is clear that we are not trying to change rules, but change the emphasis, and that message has been delivered loud and clear to the players,” said committee co-chairman Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons. “I was encouraged as a committee member who watched all the video at the end of last year to look at injuries, and I thought the players did a good job of understanding the message and adapting to it.”

    Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

  3. By Parody on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    There doesn’t seem to be much difference from those rule changes outside of the judgement call on contact to the QB’s head. What I’m understanding from it though is that defenders have to wait until a receiver has clean posession of the football before making contact. That seems extreme, but the way it was written leaves me to believe it will allow a lot of room for judgement calls from the refs as well. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see how the “new” rules are actually written.

  4. By DRS on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    I think that the Owners have the health and welfare of the players at hart; for one basic reason, that is they, the Owners, pay large amounts of money for the players to play a game. The players are a big investment, May be too big of an investment; and now they want more Money for something they did not build themselves. Question is how much is an employee entitled to what an employer has worked hard to make happen? How much can an employer expect before it is over the line of being greed. That has been the question for unknown years.

    Everyone have a great day.

  5. By DRS on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Get the CBA done and get back to playing football! Both sides!

    God bless you all.

  6. By Frederick Jones on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Don McNabb to Sid Rice.


    But “Where’s the Beef?”

  7. By Frederick Jones on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    There hasn’t been a blog here since 6:30 p.m. It’s now after 9 p.m.

  8. By echo on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    Rules are made to protect the player in a better way and will be modified accordingly. That will not be bad, hope everything goes well.

  9. By mcgeeale on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    what!? does that mean no more hits on a reciever to make sure he drops the ball? Am I the only one who thinks that this will drastically and even fundamentally change the way corners and safeties play?

  10. By Cpt. Cool on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    No im means they will not be allowed to “launch” or make a hit described in the “second change” on a defensless player.

  11. By CA Norwegian on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    I am not sure about the attack on the defenders. I wonder if this is a way for taxing the players to make someone else comfortablle. The mentality of defense should not be attacked. It should rather be the constitution of the field, footing and surface that should be looked at. Many of the worst concusions are when they hit the ground with their heads. If softer more forgiving surfaces are used it could make a difference. Slow the game down a little with shorter cleats if you want to lessen the injuries. If the helmets were changed back toward something that is not a weapon, then they will not be used as guided missles. It is likely they can make something protect the face, the eyes, nose and mouth, and go back toward some moden material that is softer, so the chest barrel and arms are used more, and the head less.
    More bruises, fewer concussions!

  12. By renda extra on Jun 1, 2011 | Reply

    I liked the site

    Mary Kate

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