Plenty of changes proposed

The 2016 NFL Owners Meetings begin on Sunday in Boca Raton, Florida, and there will be a full agenda in place with 19 playing rule proposals up for consideration.

Five of the proposals came from the NFL's competition committee, which Coach Mike Tomlin is a part of, and include the following:

  • Permanently moves the line of scrimmage for Try kicks to the defensive team's 15-yard line, and allows the defense to return any missed Try.
  • Permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaches' booth.
  • Makes all chop blocks illegal.
  • Disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.
  • Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line.

Steelers President Art Rooney II said that the Steelers would support making all chop blocks illegal, a rule that has evolved over the years.

The competition committee feels that with as much as the rule has changed it evolved, that it's time to completely eliminate the chop block.

"I think that we've talked about this rule almost every year and in some ways we tweaked it, so there's a lot of changes," said Rich McKay, the Falcons president/CEO and chairman of the competition committee. "There are a lot of rules. You used to be able to chop for nonadjacent players, meaning that the tackle and the center could engage and then the tackle could come over and block low. We eliminated that a number of years ago. The same was true of the tight end and the guard. So we had this non-adjacency that we got rid of.

"There have been numerous changes to this rule such that we found this rule to be really confusing and the officials in their comments on rule enforcement when asked what rule gives you the most pause in enforcing, this always ends up at the top and this year it really ended up at the top and so we have over the years chipped away. We think it's time to change the rule."

Individual teams can also submit playing rules proposals, and some of those include:

  • By Baltimore: (Instant Replay) to provide each team with three challenges and expand reviewable plays.
  • By Buffalo: (Instant Replay) to permit a coach to challenge any official's decision except scoring plays and turnovers.
  • By Washington: (Coaches' Challenge) to eliminate the requirement that a team be successful on each of its first two Instant Replay challenges in order to be awarded a third challenge.
  • By Kansas City: (Legal Forward Pass) to prohibit quarterbacks from falling to the ground, getting up, and throwing a forward pass.
  • By Washington: (Overtime procedures) to eliminate overtime periods in preseason games.

The NFL's competition committee will meet on Sunday morning before the NFL Owners Meetings get underway, so there could be adjustments or changes to the proposals.

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