In some cases, it takes NFL players some time to adapt to rule changes. In other cases, they adapt quickly.
For this year’s biggest rule change, the adjustment has been seamless. So far.
NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino explained during Thursday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN that there were no penalties called for using the crown of the helmet against opposing players during the 2013 preseason.
The rule applies to offensive and defensive players, and it prohibits only the use of the top of the helmet in a forceful manner.
Blandino, who was named to the position earlier this year and is starting his 20th season as a league employee, said that a flag was thrown once for illegal use of the top of the helmet, but that after consultation among officials a penalty was not called.
It doesn’t mean there will be no violations in Week One (indeed, the first Sunday of the 2012 season included Trent Richardson’s Rock-Em-Sock-Em-Robots hit on Kurt Coleman), but it’s a good sign that the league’s players made it through 65 preseason games with no penalties.