NFL Owners approve rule changes

A full list of rule changes was presented to all 32 teams at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix, Arizona, and from the early look of things those that promote player safety are getting the thumbs up.

The first rule that was passed bans the 'leap' block on field goal and extra point plays.

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, a member the NFL's Competition Committee, is a strong proponent of rules that promote player safety and was in favor of this rule passing.

"I think that the player safety ones, leaping, are important," said Tomlin. "The video indicates that. If there is one I had to put at the tip-top, I would probably say leaping.

"I think that's a player safety emphasis. When we watched the video, there were a lot of guys landing on their head. We don't want to sit back and be reactionary and wait for someone to get hurt seriously, before we do something in that regard. That's why we are for it."

A look at other rules that were approved:

Approved playing rules proposals:

  • By Competition Committee; Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.
  • By Competition Committee; Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only.
  • By Competition Committee; Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection.
  • By Competition Committee; Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped.
  • By Competition Committee; Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews.
  • By Competition Committee; Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock.
  • By Competition Committee; Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.

Approved bylaw proposals:

  • By Competition Committee; Liberalizes rules for timing, testing and administering physical examinations to draft-eligible players at a club's facility for one year only.
    • By Competition Committee; Changes the procedures for returning a player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness to the Active List to be similar to those for returning a player that was Designated for Return.
  • By Competition Committee; The League office will transmit a Personnel Notice to clubs on Sundays during training camp and preseason.

Approved resolution proposal:

  • By Competition Committee: Permits a contract or non-contract non-football employee to interview with and be hired by another club during the playing season, provided the employer club has consented.
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