It's been a slow news day around the NFL. Thankfully, today we learned about some possible new NFL rules that could take effect in the 2014 season.
Each year, the NFL's Compeitition Committee meets in the spring to decide on proposed rule changes to the sport. This year is no different, and the proposals for the rules changes were announced earlier today. The Committee Chairman, Atlanta Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay, announced the proposals on a conference call Wednesday afternoon.
- Move kickoffs to 40-yard line (proposed by Redskins)
- Make personal foul penalties reviewable (Redskins)
- No overtime in preseason games (Redskins)
- Extend goalposts five feet higher (Patriots)
- Move PAT line of scrimmage to 25-yard line (Patriots)
- Add cameras to goal lines to assist with instant replay (Patriots)
- Allow any referee's decision to be reviewable (Patriots)
- Include blocks from the side in "roll-up" block personal foul penalties (proposed by Committee)
- Allow replay communications between officials to include league representative at league office (Committee)
- Make the recovery of a loose ball a reviewable play and reorganize the replay section of the rules (Committee)
- Allow clock to run when quarterback is sacked at all times (Committee)
- Remove one-yard interference zone and enforce pass interference anywhere beyond line of scrimmage (Committee)
- Simplify penalty yardage enforcement on certain plays including change of possession (Committee)
Separately from the Patriots, the Committee also proposed moving the PAT line of scrimmage to 20-yard-line in one preseason game in 2014.
There are a few fascinating proposals here. Moving the kickoff to the 40 would effectively eliminate the play entirely, so at that point receiving teams had might as well just take the ball at the 20-yard line unless the kicking team is going to try an onside kick. Sportswriters will enjoy the proposal to eliminate overtime in preseason games, and I'm sure players will as well - I'm pretty sure preseason overtime games are the worst thing ever. The Navorro Bowman injury play from the NFC Championship Game rears its ugly head as well, with proposal number 10. That rule change would have allowed the 49ers to keep the ball on that play after review.
There were also some other proposals to the league's bylaws affecting roster transactions. One was to increase the number of players on the practice squad from 8 to 10 players. Another proposal asked to allow multiple players to return to the active roster from injured reserve instead of just one. A final proposal was put out by the Colts, and would allow home teams with retractable roof stadiums to open or close the roof at halftime. Currently, the roof position cannot be changed after the opening kickoff.
The Injured Reserve proposal would have allowed the Packers to put multiple players on IR last season and potentially bring them back. That would have been very helpful knowing that Aaron Rodgers' injury would have lasted around six weeks or more, as the team could have put him on IR despite Randall Cobb also being on that list (and being the one player designated for return). This type of IR would be more similar to baseball's Disabled List or the NBA/NHL's Injured Reserve.
One rule proposal that surprised me was number 11, which would allow the clock to keep running after a sack. I have to be honest, I had always assumed that the clock kept running on a sack, since it is a completed tackle of a ball carrier in bounds.
If you noticed something specific missing from these proposals, you are not alone. Nowhere is there a proposal to expand the number of playoff teams, so it appears that if the NFL is serious about going to a 14-team playoff, it would have to wait until 2015 or later.
Which of these rule proposals do you agree or disagree with? Let us know in the comments.