NFL Rule Changes

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There were a lot of proposals put forth for rule and bylaw changes for the upcoming 2014 season. Of the 21 changes, 7 were passed, while 5 failed and the other 9 were tabled for later discussion. Here are the 7 changes that were passed. Keep reading to see my thoughts.

Rule Changes:

  • Extend the uprights to make them five feet taller. PASSED
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Don’t stop the clock on a sack. PASSED
  • 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 Changes:

  • 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 believe these are necessary changes for today's game. While extending the uprights and roster reduction will not affect game play much, the others will make some differences.  Football is always becoming faster and more complex, so the rules need to be updated to reflect the current state of the game. 

    The most important change, in my opinion, is protecting players from getting hit in the legs from the side. We continue to see nasty collisions and unfortunate injuries caused by these types of tackles. Football is a physical and fast-paced game so there will always be injuries when big guys are going after each other at a high rate of pace. However we need to keep the safety of our players as a top priority. Although nobody goes out there with the intention of hurting someone, these things do happen. Guys are getting bigger, stronger, and faster every year with the help of advancements in training, conditioning, and health, but our ligaments are still what they are. No one wants to see players go down in horrible tackles and serious injuries.

    This rule change will help in protecting our players from season-ending or even career-ending tackles. Hitting someone in the side of the chest is a lot less dangerous than hitting him in the side of the knee. I don't think it will give any advantage to the runner if the defense has to go for the body instead of the legs at this angle. Hopefully this will provide more protection for our players and help prevent unnecessary injuries.

    I'm curious to see what your thoughts are on the new rule changes. Be sure to comment below. Go here to see the full list of rule changes including the proposals that did not get passed or were tabled for further discussion. 



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