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Thread: NFL talks hits, potential rules changes

      
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    Default NFL talks hits, potential rules changes

    NFL talks hits, potential rules changesEmail Print Comments599 Associated Press

    The NFL will be more aggressive in suspending players next season for illegal hits, and also could make changes to instant replay and kickoffs.


    Highlights of NFL conference call
    ILLEGAL HITS
    NFL to be more aggressive with suspensions for illegal hits next season. Rules defining defenseless players expanded to eight categories:

    QB in act of throwing
    Receiver trying to catch pass
    Runner in grasp with forward progress stopped
    Player fielding punt or kickoff
    Kicker or punter during kick
    QB after change of possession
    Receiver who receives blind-side block
    Player already on ground

    KICKOFF CHANGES?
    Competition committee will propose moving kickoff to 35-yard line, and bringing touchback out to 25. No changes for touchbacks on any other plays, with ball coming out to 20.
    No player other than kicker would be allowed to line up more than 5 yards behind ball.
    Outlawing wedge on kickoffs; all blocking wedges were reduced to two players in 2009.

    REPLAY CHANGES?
    Committee will propose making all scoring plays reviewable. Replay official would order replays on any touchdowns, field goals, safeties and extra points without the coaches needing to challenge. Similar to current system for final two minutes of each half and overtime.
    Eliminating third coach's challenge if he is successful on first two.

    NFL SCHEDULE
    NFL plans to release regular-season schedule in mid-April, despite current work stoppage.

    ESPN.com NFL bloggers' reactions

    Ray Anderson, the league's chief disciplinarian, said Wednesday in a conference call that repeat offenders or players committing flagrant illegal hits will have a much greater chance of being suspended during the 2011 season.

    No suspensions were handed down in 2010 even after the NFL's crackdown on such hits, in part because "we were operating under the principle unless you have given sufficient advance notice of what the results could be, you need to be more lenient," Anderson said.

    "Frankly, now that the notice has been given, players and coaches and clubs are very aware of what the emphasis is and we won't have that hesitation," Anderson said. "Everyone will be very clearly on notice now that a suspension is very viable for us and we will exercise it ... when it comes to illegal hits to the head and neck area and to defenseless players."

    The NFL increased the amount on its fines for such hits last year after a series of fouls on one October weekend. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison was fined $75,000 for one such tackle, while Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson and New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather were docked $50,000 for hits to defenseless opponents that weekend.

    Many more fines were implemented throughout the remainder of last season but no player was suspended, even though suspensions were considered, Anderson said.

    "We want to be much more clear on what can be a suspendable incident," Anderson said. "The emphasis is on head and neck hits and what a defenseless player is. And we will work hard that people understand what is a repeat offender and what is a flagrant foul."

    The league looks at two years worth of plays to determined repeat offenders.

    Rules defining a defenseless player will be expanded and now will include eight categories:

    A quarterback in the act of throwing;

    A receiver trying to catch a pass;

    A runner already in the grasp of tacklers and having his forward progress stopped;

    A player fielding a punt or a kickoff;

    A kicker or punter during the kick;

    A quarterback at any time after change of possession;

    A receiver who receives a blind-side block;

    A player already on the ground.


    At next week's owners meetings in New Orleans, the competition committee will propose moving the kickoff up to the 35-yard line, and bringing a touchback out to the 25. There would be no changes for touchbacks on any other plays, with the ball coming out to the 20.

    No player other than the kicker would be allowed to line up more than 5 yards behind the ball, and the committee will suggest outlawing the wedge on kickoffs; all blocking wedges were reduced to two players in 2009.



    Everyone will be very clearly on notice now that a suspension is very viable for us and we will exercise it ... when it comes to illegal hits to the head and neck area and to defenseless players.


    -- Ray Anderson

    "The injury rate on kickoffs remains a real concern for us and the players and the coaches' subcommittee," said Falcons president Rich McKay, the chairman of the competition committee. "This is a pretty major change."

    So would be making all scoring plays reviewable, another proposal the committee will bring to the owners on Monday. This change would empower the replay official to order replays on any touchdowns, field goals, safeties and extra points without the coaches needing to challenge. It would be similar to the current system for the final two minutes of each half and for overtime. It also would mirror what colleges do on scoring plays for entire games.

    Eliminating a third coach's challenge if he is successful on the first two also will be proposed; McKay said the third challenge rarely was used.

    There will be no "Calvin Johnson rule" proposal on what is a catch. Johnson seemingly made a touchdown reception late in the Lions' season opener last September, but had it ruled incomplete because, with the ball still in his hand, it touched the ground as he raced off to celebrate. McKay's committee is only recommending a further clarification of the rules on such receptions.

    "We confirmed a rule that has been there for more than 70 years which basically says there are three elements to a catch," McKay said. "Secure the ball in your hands; maintain control when have you two feet down or any body part other than the hands [are down]; and we will write it into the rules that you must control the ball long enough after 'A' and 'B' [to] enable you to perform any act common to the game. That doesn't mean you have to perform the act, but must have the ability to.

    "Would Calvin Johnson's be a catch under 2011 rules? Our answer would be no."

    NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league plans to release the regular-season schedule in mid-April, despite the current work stoppage.

    "A specific date is not set," Aiello said. "We plan to do what we normally do."
    http://http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl...ory?id=6223700
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    Default Re: NFL talks hits, potential rules changes

    Wow...

    first off... Here's my main problem with all of this.

    NOWHERE did I see mentioned any guidelines for fine amounts and suspensions. nothing. There was nothing mentioned that said "first offense equals X-amount". "Second offense equals x-amount". At what point do you get suspended and for how long?

    The same issues that were prominent during the season still exist. All disiplinary results and actions are up the the NFL and roger Goodell to determine. Why the **** can't they put this stuff into print? How hard would it be to say "first offense for this illegal hit" equals this amount for a fine?? The only reason you don't put this into print is so you have control to dictate whatever increments you want. It's nothing more than power and it was the biggest complaint I had last year when James Harrison was being victimized by the NFL and Roger Goodell. There was no guidelines for the disciplinary action. There still isn't

    • QB in act of throwing
    • Receiver trying to catch pass
    • Runner in grasp with forward progress stopped
    • Player fielding punt or kickoff
    • Kicker or punter during kick
    • QB after change of possession
    • Receiver who receives blind-side block
    • Player already on ground
    Let's tear this apart because these rules clearly will make the NFL into a pansy league and unless College adopts these rules, there's going to be a tough adjustment period for players.

    • QB in act of throwing

    So now you can't disrupt a pass being made? A lot of incompletions, interceptions and QB play is thrown off because a Defenseman hits a QB while in the process of throwing. This really IMO waters the league down and will make it more difficult for Defenders and make throwing the ball more of a premium in the NFL.

    • Receiver trying to catch pass

    No complaint here. A WR should be given the chance to catch the ball without some defender plowing into them. there's a fine line between 2 players going for the ball and defensing passes, and a player just plowing shoulders first into a guy that is focused on the ball.

    • Runner in grasp with forward progress stopped

    This is bull****. Now, players have to make a "guess" of what is stopped forward progress? This goes against everything a player is taught in football. You're taught to play until the whistle. This is a dumb rule. Forward progress is stopped when the whistle blows not before hand.

    • Player fielding punt or kickoff

    Isn't this already a penalty that you have to allow a player the chance to field a kick or punt first whether it's a fair catch or not?

    • Kicker or punter during kick

    Same thing as above? Anytime a kicker/punter is touched it's a penalty. Been this way for years.

    • QB after change of possession

    Huh? Are we saying that you aren't allowed to block/hit a QB on a turnover? bull****. If this is the case then you better make it where the Quarterback isn't allowed to have any involvement in the play or it's at least an automatic half the distance and a first down. You have to make these rules fair and competitive for the everyone.

    • Receiver who receives blind-side block

    Doesn't this fall inline with all blind side blocks being illegal?

    • Player already on ground

    Hell, Ray Lewis might as well retire now. It's going to be illegal for him to obtain half of his tackles
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