USA TODAY Sports' Lorenzo Reyes details Monday's biggest stories from the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. USA TODAY Sports
BOCA RATON, Fla. — The NFL competition committee has presented several rule change proposals to league ownership, with meetings to take place this week and voting to ratify and enact any alterations coming Wednesday morning.
The most significant proposals include the ban of the chop block, the possible ejection of players resulting from two personal fouls and potential changes to replay review.
Additionally, the committee is recommending that an eighth official be added to game days crews by the 2017 season.
During a press conference Monday at the league meetings, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino showed examples of plays that could become penalties if the proposals are passed. He was joined onstage by competition committee chairman Rich McKay, the president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons.
Among eligible infractions that could result in an ejection include throwing a punch, a forearm, or kicking; using abusive, threatening, or insulting language; and using baiting or taunting acts. But if a player is penalized twice for personal foul facemasks, or personal fouls for excessive celebration, he would not be subject to ejection.
“The committee initially looked at all personal fouls, but I think the committee felt more comfortable isolating the personal foul penalty in terms of things that are directed at officials or opponents,” Blandino said, adding that game officials will be given discretion to make judgment calls on whether certain in-game actions are flagrant.
Coaches are also subject to ejections for the same infractions, and Blandino added that any ejections could also prompt suspensions, depending on the disciplinary process.
Blandino also showed film to clarify the process of the catch, though there is no proposal on the docket during this week’s meetings to alter the language of what constitutes one.
“We’re looking for control and two feet (inbounds),” he said. “And we’re looking for the things that are going to make him completely be a runner. These are the ability to set your feet, the ability to turn your hips, and other things like that.”
There are several proposals on the table in terms of tweaking replay reviews, including one from the Buffalo Bills that would allow teams to challenge every decision an official makes, including penalties.
“We’ve never favored that,” McKay said. "As a committee, we’ve always been concerned that if you’re in the business of looking at penalties and looking at whether penalties are subject to review, then you’re going to rewrite the rule book. And the standards of officiating are going to change, and that has been a concern of ours.”
There are 19 proposals on the agenda that will be voted upon. For any rule changes to pass, it must receive at least 24 of 32 votes.
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