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NFL meetings day 3: The rules changes

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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GATE D2, FT. LAUDERADLE (International Airport), Fla. — One last blog post from the NFL annual meetings while waiting for my flight out of South Florida … The Packers voted in favor of all the rules that passed at today’s NFL annual meeting except the one that made the crack-back block a foul a on a defenseless player, which now makes it a 15-yard penalty. Packers president Mark Murphy, who is in his first year on the competition committee, said the Packers voted against it. That makes sense considering the Packers employ the zone-blocking scheme on offense which uses cut-back blocks. “I still think the block will be able to be made,” Murphy said. “But the target is from the knees up to the shoulder.” The other rules that passed were: * Extending the overtime rules for the postseason to regular-season games, meaning that both teams will have a chance to possess the ball unless the first team to do so scores a touchdown. Murphy said 27 of the last 32 overtime games meet that requirement anyway. * Using replay to automatically review all turnover plays, meaning coaches wouldn’t have to challenge them. It’s an expansion of the review of all scoring plays, which was implemented last season. * Making it a loss of down if a team illegally kicks a loose ball. * Having too many men on the field became a dead-ball foul unless the extra player(s) is trying to get off the field. Voted down were a proposal to make all replay rulings the responsibility of the official in the booth rather than the on-field referee and extending the horse-collar rule to quarterbacks in the pocket. Two major by-law proposals were tabled — both involving extra roster spots. The proposals were to create a new injured reserve category for one player per team per season in which that player could return later in the year, and adding a weekly roster exemption for a player with a concussion. Those are expected to be discussed again at the next league meeting in May. “The issue there is it needs to be discussed with the (players) union,” Murphy said.  

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