2014 NFL Owners Meetings: Rule change roundup
A bunch of different rules were passed, weren't passed or were tabled for future voting at the 2014 NFL owners' meetings. This is the full list and a breakdown.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The 2014 NFL owners meetings wrapped up Wednesday with relatively little fanfare. When the Competition Committee heads (Jeff Fisher, Rich McKay) and Roger Goodell addressed the media, there was relatively little to discuss.
Some new rules were added, some proposals were shot down and a bunch of proposals were tabled until an April 8 meeting. None of these are "game changers" per se, but it's worth running through the list anyway.
New Rules/Proposals Passed/Updates
- Goalposts extended five feet higher in the air. Designed to eliminate controversial situations like the <player idref=er kick that put the Ravens over the Patriots in 2012 and make field goals easier to judge. A no-brainer that passed with a 32-0 vote.
- Recovery of a loose ball in the field of play is now a reviewable play. Known as the NaVorro Bowman Rule because of his recovery -- and the ensuing lack of replay which led to Seattle keeping the ball -- during the Seahawks-49ers NFC Championship Game, this is another no-brainer. There's nothing worse than plays that aren't reviewable.
- During replay review, the referee will consult (via audio we presume) with members of the NFL's Officiating Department in New York. Conspiracy theorists might be up in arms, but you need an objective set of eyes (or six objective sets) making sure the right call is made. "We expect it to speed up the process and be more efficient for us," VP of Officiating Dean Blandino said.
- Outside of two minutes, the game clock will continue following a quarterback sacks. Makes sense and will speed up games.
- Roll-up block protection was increased to include the side.
Rules Tabled for Future Vote
- Cameras on the goal lines, sidelines and end lines. There will be discussions with broadcast partners about the cameras, meaning how can we install them and who will pay for them? Bill Belichick wants this to happen and is willing to wash cars if the NFL doesn't have enough cash. Or make cupcakes.
- No overtime in preseason games. How on earth did this vote not get passed? Overtime in the preseason is nothing but an opportunity to get injured. Should've been a slam dunk.
- The Colts proposal to let teams open their roofs at halftime was tabled on Tuesday. Seems insane to let people alter the playing environment in the middle of a game.
- Roster expansion for the Thursday night games was tabled (the idea is to allow more players on the short week) and practice squad expansion was tabled as well.
Rules Proposals Voted Down
- Moving the extra point to the 25-yard line. The Patriots want this -- Belichick thinks the current extra point play lacks "competition." And he's right. But the Competition Committee did agree to test out extra points from the 20-yard line for the first two weeks of the preseason. Spicy!
- An unlimited number of players allowed to be placed on injured reserve and then return didn't come close to passing. "It would be a dramatic change in the system and wasn’t one that had any support," Rich McKay said.
- The Redskins wanted to move the kickoff to the 40-yard line but didn't get much traction on it.
- The Redskins also got shot down on their proposal to get rid of the cutdown to 75 players during training camp.
- "Less than 50 percent" of the coaches were in favor of increasing the number of plays that could be reviewed. There was a proposal to make all plays reviewable and a proposal to make personal fouls reviewable. Both would be smart moves, I think, but you won't conservative units like NFL coaches dive headfirst into that sort of thing.
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