NFL Approves Rule Changes All Green Bay Packers All the Time
NFL Owners meeting
NFL Owners voted to approve rule changes at this week’s meetings

With the NFL owner’s meetings taking place this week, one of the major topics of concern are the proposed rule changes.  I’ll delve into some of those shortly.  There have already reportedly been three rule changes that have been approved to take effect immediately starting in 2014.

The first has to do with the process of instant replay.  NFL owners voted to allow referees to communicate with the officiating command center in New York during on-field reviews.  Previously, referees were afforded several angles of a play under review and then had to make a final ruling.

Now, the command center in New York will closely monitor and begin reviewing potential reviewable plays right away.

When the official contacts them, they will likely have already viewed the play and can help guide to the correct ruling.  The final call is still the referee’s to make, but the command center will ensure that all aspects of the review and play are correctly assessed.

The next is the elimination of a “roll up block” to the side of a player’s leg.  This was a modification of a previous rule that banned roll up blocks from behind.  The biggest beneficiaries of this rule are likely to be defensive players.  Many knee injuries had occurred to players who couldn’t see such a block coming.  After many rule changes that have seemingly favored the offense, the defense scores one here.

The last is the elimination of the “slam dunk” touchdown celebration.  While the exact reasoning for the rule change hasn’t been explained, it would likely be due to the few instances where the contact with the goal posts caused them to become altered or uneven.  The process to correct this is a quick one, but I think we can all live with a little added protection to the integrity of something that affects a score.

The most famous user of this touchdown celebration ironically may have just played his last down this past season: Tony Gonzalez.  When told about the rule change, Gonzalez tweeted that he is glad he got out when he did.  Another tight end who will be coming up with a new scoring celebration is Jimmy Graham.  Graham is currently negotiating with the New Orleans Saints on a long-term contract.

There were additional rules and bylaw changes that are being proposed and will be voted on later this week.  Below is a list.

Proposed rule changes

1. Move kickoffs to 40
2. Allow personal fouls to be reviewable
3. No OT in preseason
4. Extend goalposts 5 ft higher
5. Move the line of scrimmage for extra-point kicks to the 25. (Run/pass conversions from the 2)
6. Add 6 cameras to boundary lines to supplement TV network for replay
7. Allow a coach to challenge any official’s decision
8. Extend roll-up blocks from behind to include such blocks from the side (adding “and from the side” to existing rule)
9. Connect the officiating command center to the field-to-booth communication relay
10. Recovery of a loose ball reviewable; also reorganize Article 4 & 5 to enhance understanding
11. Allow the clock to run after a quarterback sack
12. Pass interference can occur at or beyond the line of scrimmage, eliminating the 1-yard “pick” zone
13. Simplify enforcement points (no specifics, but generally complex situations like a defensive foul on a net-loss, fouls on change of possession)

Bylaw proposals

1. Increase active roster from 46 to 49 for teams playing Thurs-Fri-Sat games
2. Increase practice squad from 8 to 10
3. Trade players prior to the start of the league year
4. Eliminate the preseason cutdown to 75, just have one cutdown to 53
5. Increase injured reserve/designated for return to more than 1 player
6. Expand teams’ ability to do testing and timing at regional combines
7. Shift the roster cutdown to 53 to be 4pm ET instead of 6pm ET

Allowing a coach to challenge any official’s ruling could stand to increase the length of the game quite a bit.  However, in that added time, just think about how many highlight-worthy meltdowns a coach like San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh would have?

The other is the extension of the field goal posts an additional five feet.  Other than making the goal posts look a bit more “monstrous”, I would be all for doing so and helping to further ensure the accuracy of a scoring play.

There will be more to come on this as the week moves along but there are some interesting proposals here.



Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on

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5 thoughts on “NFL Approves Rule Changes

  1. It would also be nice to have fewer preseason games and half price tickets for those preseason games that remain. However, don’t hold your breath since that would reduce revenue. No beer after halftime may curtail some of the violence in the stands; now, I did say “may”.

    Side note: If the kickoffs are moved to the 40 yard line, they may as well just eliminate them as a waste of time. About half or better aren’t returned with them kicking from the 35.

    1. If they move kickoffs to the forty will we see more onsides kicks? I think we’d see a few extra, which is probably an advantage to us because Crosby is one of the best onside kickers I’ve seen.

      1. Your going to see McCarthy asking Crosby to do that pouch KO a lot. He’ll have him pop up the KO really high, so it comes down at the Goal line or just over to entice the returner to bring it out. Betting that the coverage being 5 yds closer will allow them to bring the returner down inside the 20 yd line.

  2. Sorry about the blank post.

    Bylaw 5: increase IR/designated for return to more than 1 player. This change makes so much sense it should pass easily. Roster spots currently are so valuable that only a few players, like AR, are kept on the 53 in hopes of return. A change could increase the level of play late season league wide.

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