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A Recap Of NFL Rules Changes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 29, 2012 – 6:45 am

The annual Spring NFL Owners’ Meetings have concluded, and one of the tasks at hand for the owners this past week was to consider rules changes proposed by the NFL Competition Committee. We broke down the many proposals brought forth by the Competition Committee earlier in the week, and now we’ll let you know which proposals the owners passed, which proposals were voted down and which proposals were “tabled” for further discussion when the owners get together again in May.

Approved Proposals
– Previously, any play that resulted in a score was subject to automatic review by the officials in the booth. Now, NFL owners have approved a proposal that makes any play that results in a turnover subject to automatic review by officials in the booth.

– The overtime rule, in which a game cannot end after a FG on the first possession of overtime, has been expanded to include the regular season as well. Previously, only postseason games were governed by that rule, but now the regular season shares the new overtime rule.

– Making it a dead ball foul if a team lines up with 12 men on offense, or if a team lines up with 12 men on defense and the snap is imminent. Previously, the play was allowed to proceed and a 5-yard penalty was assessed after the action. Now, however, officials will blow the play dead before the snap and a 5-yard penalty will be assessed.

– The “defenseless player” rule now includes defenders on “crackback” blocks from offensive players. It is now illegal for an offensive player to hit a defensive player in the head or neck area on a crackback block.

– The penalty for kicking a loose ball now also includes a loss of down.

– Roster rules for teams playing on Thanksgiving and Christmas have been modified.

Rejected Proposals
– Having replays viewed solely by the official in the booth, not the referee on the field.

– Modifying the horse-collar tackle rule to include quarterbacks in the pocket.

Tabled Proposals
– Moving the trade deadline from Week 6 to Week 8.

– Creating an “Injured Reserve exemption” to allow a player who was on the roster after Week 1 to return from the Reserve/Injured list at some point in that season.

– Allowing one roster exemption per week for a player who is listed with a concussion.

– Expanding the roster limit to 90 players for the offseason and training camp, and also including unsigned draft picks as counting toward that limit. The current limit is 80 players, with unsigned draft picks not counting against the limit.

– Moving this year’s final roster cutdown day to Friday night instead of Saturday.


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NFL’s Big Brass Discussing Big Business In Florida

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 25, 2012 – 6:02 pm

The annual League meetings have begun in Florida, with NFL owners, GMs and coaches gathering in the Palm Beach area to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the sport. From the Saints Bountygate scandal, to the weird salary cap situation involving the Cowboys and Redskins, to several proposed rules changes, there is big business for the NFL’s big brass to figure out.

We’ll leave the Bountygate and salary cap fiasco issues alone for now and instead focus on some of the proposed rules changes that will be up for discussion among the NFL’s owners this week. The NFL Competition Committee met last week and, after taking suggestions from teams, announced a series of proposed rules changes/alterations. Remember, in order for a proposal to be passed, 24 of the 32 teams must vote ‘yes.’

Here’s a basic look at some of the proposals…

– Having replays viewed solely by the official in the booth, not the referee on the field.

– Currently, any play resulting in a touchdown is subject to automatic review. One proposal calls for any play that results in a turnover also become subject to automatic review.

– Making the playoff overtime rules also apply during the regular season. It seems silly that this is not the case already, but keep in mind the playoff overtime rules are new. The new rules give one team possession in overtime should the team that had received the ball initially kick a FG on its first possession.

– Expanding the “defenseless player” definition to include defensive players on “crackback” blocks, making it illegal for an offensive player to execute a “crackback” block in the head or neck area against a defensive player.

– Modifying the horse-collar tackle rule to include quarterbacks in the pocket.

– Making the penalty for having too many men on the field a dead-ball foul, a suggestion that stems from this year’s Super Bowl in which the NY Giants were penalized for having too many men on the field. The Patriots ran a play and lost valuable time doing so, while the Giants were penalized just 5 yards. Under the proposal, the infraction still nets just 5 yards for the other team, but it will also be a dead-ball foul that will not result in lost time for the opposing offense.

– Moving the trade deadline from Week 6 to Week 8.

– Creating an “Injured Reserve exemption” to allow a player who was on the roster after Week 1 to return from the Reserve/Injured list at some point in that season.

– Allowing one roster exemption per week for a player who is listed with a concussion.

– Expanding the roster limit to 90 players for the offseason and training camp, and also including unsigned draft picks as counting toward that limit. The current limit is 80 players, with unsigned draft picks not counting against the limit.

– Moving this year’s final roster cutdown day to Friday night instead of Saturday.

– Modification of roster rules for teams who play on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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