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Five rules changes get NFL owners’ approval at league meeting

Rich McCay AP

The NFL’s owners voted to change five NFL rules, while also voting down three proposals and tabling five proposals until next year. Here are the results of the votes on rules changes, bylaw changes and resolution changes brought forward by the NFL Competition Committee:

Rule change proposals:

1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line. FAILED

2. Expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties. FAILED

3. Eliminate overtime in the preseason. TABLED

4. Extend the uprights to make them five feet taller. PASSED

5. Move the line of scrimmage for one-point extra point kicks to the defensive team’s 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line. TABLED. (League will experiment with longer extra points in the preseason.)

6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews. TABLED

7. Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed. FAILED

8. Protect players from getting the sides of their legs rolled up on — the rule already says a blocker can’t hit an opponent in the back of the legs, this proposal will add “or side” to the rule. PASSED

9. Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play. PASSED

10. Re-organize the rules about what can be reviewed and what cannot be reviewed, including making the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play reviewable. (This is referred to as the NaVorro Bowman rule, after a controversial call in the NFC Championship Game.) PASSED

11. Don’t stop the clock on a sack. PASSED

12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage. TABLED

13. Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul. PASSED

Bylaw proposals:

1. Raise the number of active players on game day from 46 to 49 for regular-season games played on a day other than Sunday or Monday, excluding Week One. TABLED

2. Raise the practice squad limit from eight players to 10 players. TABLED

3. Permit clubs to trade players prior to the start of the league year. TABLED

4. Eliminate the cut-down to 75 players during training camp and instead just have one cut-down from 90 players to 53 players. FAILED

5. Permit more than one player to return to the active list from injured reserve so that any player on injured reserve could return after six weeks. FAILED

6. Permit each club to time and test up to 10 draft-eligible players at its facility, and allow any club that wishes to attend timing and testing at another team’s facility. TABLED

7. Adjust the time of the roster reduction from 53 after the fourth preseason game from 6 p.m. Eastern to 4 p.m. Eastern. All teams would have to have their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m. PASSED

Resolution proposal:

1. Permit a home team with a retractable roof to open or close its roof at halftime, instead of having to determine at the start of the game whether it is open or closed. TABLED

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68 Responses to “Five rules changes get NFL owners’ approval at league meeting”
  1. dickshotdogs says: Mar 26, 2014 10:15 AM

    Belichick wins!

  2. calhounlambeau says: Mar 26, 2014 10:16 AM

    Why can’t you review anything? It just gives the officials a way to change the game on calls that cannot be reviewed. It’s shady. I don’t like it.

  3. scottyhammer says: Mar 26, 2014 10:17 AM

    Have I been missing something all these years? I never knew the clock was being stopped on a sack!

  4. jimthebuilder27 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:17 AM

    Not bad, but they should make personal fouls reviewable. Too many wrong calls and that’ll impact the game sooner or later.

  5. blacknole08 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:18 AM

    9. Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play.

    ————————————————————

    I hope this passed. Just seems logical.

  6. josdin00 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:19 AM

    Rule Change #9 was passed, too, wasn’t it?

  7. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 26, 2014 10:19 AM

    So… now… it is finally illegal to steamroll knees?!?

  8. chawk12thman says: Mar 26, 2014 10:20 AM

    Rule change number nine passed, correct?

    Think overall that the NFL did a good job with the rule changes.

  9. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 26, 2014 10:20 AM

    I grade this report card with an E+.

    Couldn’t fathom going as high as a D-, and could have scored it worse but I’m trying really hard to be positive and encouraging.

  10. iplayforrexryan says: Mar 26, 2014 10:21 AM

    Sacks stopped the clock?

  11. zappa69 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:21 AM

    How many fake extra points did teams run last year? Not gonna fake from the 25.

  12. gpete1962 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:22 AM

    All personal fouls should be reviewable!

  13. lolatpatshaters says: Mar 26, 2014 10:22 AM

    12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage. TABLED

    ———-
    Disappointed this didn’t fail.

  14. 90lions81 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:23 AM

    Until they change #2 and 7 games will decided by the refs

  15. aircoryell says: Mar 26, 2014 10:23 AM

    I must not be understanding number 13 correctly. As I read it, if a personal foul is committed by the defense in the backfield and the resulting play goes for more than 15 yards, this will result in a declined penalty.

    What is stopping a defensive player in the backfield, upon noticing that a play has already been successful for more than 15 yards, from blasting a QB with a (very) late hit while the play is still in progress? If the penalty is 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, it would be declined as the result of the play would be for more yardage.

    Again, I must be missing something. I’m sure someone can help me out.

  16. thehighhat says: Mar 26, 2014 10:29 AM

    8. Protect players from getting the sides of their legs rolled up on — the rule already says a blocker can’t hit an opponent in the back of the legs, this proposal will add “or side” to the rule. PASSED

    The Tom Cable/JR Sqeezey rule

  17. grogansheroes says: Mar 26, 2014 10:31 AM

    I see all the bylaw changes failed, save one. These would cost the owners money, so no surprise there. Also, for the extra point, no one has mentioned if you move it to the 25, what happens in Buffalo, or Green Bay in December? A lot different kicking a 32 yard xp in frigid temps as opposed to a dome, or Miami. Big competitive disadvantage for those teams in the northeast.

  18. ez4u2sa says: Mar 26, 2014 10:31 AM

    Seems like a lot of proposals were tabled. I would have hoped for more definitive responses to these ideas. Yes or no instead of just kicking the idea down the road.

  19. melikefootball says: Mar 26, 2014 10:39 AM

    Still would like to see rules for the defense side of the ball. Stop allowing the QB to throw away the ball when a defensive player has made a good play and gets nothing out of it. Where he throws the ball away is where ball is placed.

  20. redandgoldhitman52 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:40 AM

    sherman clapping like a girl after getting burnt for a deep td in the playoffs

  21. russellwilsonismymvp says: Mar 26, 2014 10:41 AM

    Personal fouls should be reviewable. The first guy to shove a face mask or push a guy over a pile ALWAYS gets away with it. Reviewing it would be fairer.

  22. lolatpatshaters says: Mar 26, 2014 10:42 AM

    I wonder where we can find out who voted yes or no on these

  23. scarletmacaw says: Mar 26, 2014 10:46 AM

    I’m surprised that eliminating overtime in preseason didn’t pass.

  24. newlydead says: Mar 26, 2014 10:47 AM

    aircoryell says:
    Mar 26, 2014 10:23 AM
    I must not be understanding number 13 correctly. As I read it, if a personal foul is committed by the defense in the backfield and the resulting play goes for more than 15 yards, this will result in a declined penalty.

    What is stopping a defensive player in the backfield, upon noticing that a play has already been successful for more than 15 yards, from blasting a QB with a (very) late hit while the play is still in progress? If the penalty is 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, it would be declined as the result of the play would be for more yardage.

    Again, I must be missing something. I’m sure someone can help me out.

    —————————
    what i get from the rule is ….. if there is a defensive foul (not just personal) in the behind the line of scrimmage the foul will be marked off from the original line of scrimmage and not where the foul occurred. for instance, the QB gets sacked but there is a face mask on the play. instead of marking off 15 yards from where the face mask/sack took place, they will now mark it off from the previous line of scrimmage.

  25. jetsmmt says: Mar 26, 2014 10:48 AM

    Lets just bring back the rules from ten years ago and play some real football. None of this pansy bs the NFL has turned into recently.

  26. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 26, 2014 10:53 AM

    These two Rule Change Proposals got tabled or failed, but they would have seemed to make sense if one is trying to get the calls (i.e., game results) to be fair/accurate/correct:

    6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews. TABLED

    7. Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed. FAILED

  27. jmblosser82 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:53 AM

    The ST-IR should allow 1 offensive and 1 defensive player to return.

    Defenseless receiver hits should be an automatic review.

  28. iamthorny says: Mar 26, 2014 10:55 AM

    Why would they move up, by two hours, the time in which teams have to cut down to 53 the day after the 4th pre-season game?

    Would’ve thought it would have been extended not shortened.

  29. hisslyness22 says: Mar 26, 2014 10:56 AM

    For #13: If the D’s foul happens 5 yds. behind the line of scrimmage, and the refs add 15 yds. from that spot, the offense is essentially only being awarded 10 yds., thus shorting the offense. Conversely, if the foul is committed 5 yds. upfield, and the refs add 15 from there, the offense is essentially awarded 20 yds., thus over-compensating the offense. So, no play yardage + penalty yardage. One or the other only.

  30. vikinganswer says: Mar 26, 2014 11:01 AM

    BECAUSE JUDGEMENT CALLS ARE JUST THAT.
    Here is an easy solution, STOP HOLDING!!!

    calhounlambeau says:Mar 26, 2014 10:16 AM

    Why can’t you review anything? It just gives the officials a way to change the game on calls that cannot be reviewed. It’s shady. I don’t like it.

  31. 2ruefan says: Mar 26, 2014 11:07 AM

    Two different circumstances of clock stoppage on Sacks guys:

    1) Before the two minute warning… Clock is stopped and restarted at Referee signal.

    2) AFTER two minute warning.. it is stopped only long enough to spot the ball at the new location.

    This is from the rule book.

  32. hisslyness22 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:12 AM

    Oops! Not “if the foul is committed 5 yds. upfield”. I meant if the foul is committed and the play ends 5 yds. upfield.

  33. drbjr320 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:18 AM

    grogansheroes says:
    Mar 26, 2014 10:31 AM
    no one has mentioned if you move it to the 25, what happens in Buffalo, or Green Bay in December? A lot different kicking a 32 yard xp in frigid temps as opposed to a dome, or Miami. Big competitive disadvantage for those teams in the northeast.

    of course there’s a difference, but what does it matter? it’s the same for both teams on that day.

  34. bennyb82 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:23 AM

    Clearly the most important of these rules is allowing a retractable roof to be opened at halftime.

  35. floriosbigtoe says: Mar 26, 2014 11:26 AM

    YES!!! – Goal post maker.

  36. xman05 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:40 AM

    6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews. TABLED

    How has this one not yet been passed?

  37. ratsfoiledagain says: Mar 26, 2014 11:40 AM

    redandgoldhitman52 says:

    Mar 26, 2014 10:40 AM
    sherman clapping like a girl after getting burnt for a deep td in the playoffs
    *******
    At least Atlanta can score a TD on Sherman, on a busted play. San Fran….no so much.

  38. liquidchaoss says: Mar 26, 2014 11:43 AM

    I wish they change how they call pass interference. Rather it be a 15 yard penalty instead of a spot foul. So if a QB throws a 50 yard bomb and they call a pass interference its not a 50 yard penalty, rather a 15 yard penalty. Those change the dynamics of the game so much IMO, especially if the call is questionable.

  39. klutch14u says: Mar 26, 2014 11:47 AM

    I would like to see them change it so plays that COULD have possibly been a scoring play to be automatically reviewed. Right now it’s only if it was RULED a score. I think any play that has a real possibility of having been a score but not ruled that way be reviewed as well (like goal line stands, etc)

  40. jgel717 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:49 AM

    1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line. FAILED

    GOOD!

    5. Move the line of scrimmage for one-point extra point kicks to the defensive team’s 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line. TABLED. (League will experiment with longer extra points in the preseason.)

    NOT GOOD!

    12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage. TABLED

    ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE!!!

  41. jgel717 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:50 AM

    STOP RUINING THE GAME!

  42. ariani1985 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:56 AM

    Even with the changes green bay can only lose in the first round of the playoffs once right?

  43. steel420 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:13 PM

    What’s the difference between tabled and failed?

  44. mogogo1 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:29 PM

    The camera one seems like a no-brainer if they’re serious about getting replays right. Odd that it wouldn’t have passed. Can’t imagine it would have even been all that expensive.

  45. mrman0063 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:59 PM

    grogansheroes says:
    Mar 26, 2014 10:31 AM
    no one has mentioned if you move it to the 25, what happens in Buffalo, or Green Bay in December? A lot different kicking a 32 yard xp in frigid temps as opposed to a dome, or Miami. Big competitive disadvantage for those teams in the northeast.
    _____

    Disagree, gives adv to the cold weather teams. They play in those conditions much more often then warm weather teams, so should be better.

  46. mrman0063 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:05 PM

    “NaVorro Bowman rule”

    Still all this discussion and action about a play that had zero effect on the game (other than the horrific injury to Bowman). Instead of getting the ball on their own half yard line they got the ball on the very next play at their 15. Which would you prefer, your half yard line or your 15? Thought so.

  47. bubba2014 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:23 PM

    So I guess the goalpost anti dunk rule isn’t necessary if they raise the crossbar 5ft? lol

  48. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Mar 26, 2014 1:37 PM

    Why not go ahead and can OT for preseason games? On what basis did that need to be tabled? Glad #11 passed. May speed up games.

  49. clssylssy says: Mar 26, 2014 1:44 PM

    Doesn’t look like much was done which is typical of these convension type “business meetings”which are really just a tax dodge write-off for the owners getting together to eat, drink, and get away. Much ado about nothing!

  50. udontknowjaq says: Mar 26, 2014 1:47 PM

    6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews. TABLED

    7. Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed. FAILED

    #6 at 1st I wondered why not to see it all to get everything right but then i thought its Tabled so the owners must have to come up with a way to get those by the field.. IMO there has to be a lot to go into that before you can just start that for the 2014 season. so I can understand why that might be tabled.
    #7 Sounds nice but coaches would challenge to much and slow the game down. I mean you could have a coach challenge just to slow a fast tempo team down on BS and what happens when a coach challenges 3 calls in a row. Get #6 right & 3 will be enough IMO

  51. zimmel639 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:52 PM

    So……to make sure I understand correctly…there was a push to make the extra point more difficult to add excitement to a boring play…and therefore create more collisions during a contested long kick. At the same time there is a push to all but eliminate the kickoff….arguably the most exciting play in the game…because the collisions cause injury.

    I have a suggestion….how about we leave the exciting play IN the game, and not look for ways to make a boring play slightly less boring?

    Some consistency would be nice, Mr Goodell…

  52. rob471773 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:54 PM

    FINALLY, they’ve decided to extend the field goal posts by 5 feet!

    No more games decided by the referee’s just guessing whether or not a kick is good.

  53. htown1035 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:56 PM

    7. Adjust the time of the roster reduction from 53 after the fourth preseason game from 6 p.m. Eastern to 4 p.m. Eastern. All teams would have to have their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m. PASSED

    I was losing sleep over this one…

  54. psly2124 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:58 PM

    You have to love owners voting on rule changes that affect players in the field when 90% of them never put on a helmet or pads

  55. icebowler says: Mar 26, 2014 2:02 PM

    I wonder how long the sacker can lay on the QB before they call delay of game? Or will he get off the QB asap to squeeze in a sack dance?

  56. dctb1 says: Mar 26, 2014 2:26 PM

    Rule change proposal #12 is the stupidest thing I ever heard in my life! Who would want that?

    If anything they should be extending the 5 yard range at which you can use your hands and body to gain leverage/separation to 10 yards.

    No more touch football …. please!

  57. pftbro says: Mar 26, 2014 2:28 PM

    I didn’t see the proposal to reduce ticket prices for preseason games. Gonna go back over the list….

  58. phinagain says: Mar 26, 2014 2:37 PM

    I don’t see where personal fouls were a big problem. Pass interference is the only penalty that should be challenged. It can make such an impact on the game – you can have a 68 yard penalty on one play. Either allow a challenge to make sure it’s correct or set a max yardage, like 15 or 20.

    A face mask that could break a guy’s neck gets 15 yards, but touch a receiver’s shoulder 0.2 seconds too early and it could cost you 40 yards?

    Clearly, increasing the odds for a spectacular catch is of more value than preventing life-threatening injuries.

  59. fringetastic says: Mar 26, 2014 2:40 PM

    I’m surprised “Eliminate overtime in the preseason” was not passed. We considered this one a no-brainer, so what does that say about the owners?

  60. jgedgar70 says: Mar 26, 2014 3:08 PM

    11. Don’t stop the clock on a sack. PASSED
    ______
    Unintended consequence: Seahawks lead 49ers 17-13 with 1:15 to play, 49ers ball at the Seahawks 25, 49ers out of timeouts. Kaepernick goes back to pass and is sacked by Bandon Mebane. It mysteriously takes Mebane 30 seconds to get off the QB, and he slowly takes himself and his jiggling belly back to the huddle. 49ers end up 1 play short of scoring. After the game, Mebane plays innocent, saying his legs were tangled with the QB’s and he couldn’t extricate himself.

    Tell me you can’t see that happening.

  61. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Mar 26, 2014 3:25 PM

    For practical purposes, OT in preseason is already rare. Since winning or losing doesn’t matter, coaches make choices (such as going for 2 on the extra point near the end of the game, or going for the TD on 4th down instead of a tying field goal) to minimize the chance of OT. Coaches want the games over as soon as possible to minimize the risk of injuries.

  62. t500000t says: Mar 26, 2014 3:43 PM

    I realize many will disagree, but #3 should have failed. If a team does not want to go into overtime, they can play to avoid it. The worst that can happen is the kickoff team just allows a runback for a TD. Overtime is over in less the 30 ticks

    There are teams who need or want the extra time for evaluation purposes.

  63. damcmp says: Mar 26, 2014 4:19 PM

    why have OT in preseason? Never made any sense, most should be called at halftime….

  64. zatko says: Mar 26, 2014 9:23 PM

    What ever happened to good ‘ole tackling? If the NFL focused on technique rather than the violent collision, much of this wouldn’t be necessary. Sportsmanship in the NFL is dead. I’m afraid the NFL has or is close to “jumping the shark”.

  65. pc1976 says: Mar 27, 2014 6:39 AM

    I kind of like the no clock stopping after a sack rule. The only thing that grates is that it doesn’t mean the game is shorter, it means the adverts are longer

  66. footballtalk1 says: Mar 27, 2014 10:20 PM

    Seahawks fans are glad that coaches can’t challenge blind referees poor calls. Now they have a chance at playoffs again this year. Super Bowl win comes with an asterisk

  67. vietnambob2473 says: Mar 29, 2014 10:16 PM

    Udontknowjaq,

    What are you talking about on 7? Coaches would still only be able to challenge a max of 3 times. They dont get unlimited challenges under that proposal. Read before responding next time.

  68. wclark22 says: Apr 9, 2014 1:12 PM

    Too many clean defensive hits being flagged and not reviewed. Fix that!

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