NFL owners elected to approve five rule changes on Wednesday, the final day of the annual meetings in Palm Beach. None of the new changes will be met with the sort of vitriol that previous modifications were met with, but they’re worth taking note of nevertheless.
As reported by ProFootballTalk, here are the five rule changes that ultimately ended up passing:
1. The postseason overtime (OT) rule will now be used during the regular season. Basically, teams can’t win games on field goals that are kicked on the OT’s first possession anymore.
2. Kicking a loose ball will now result in a loss of down.
3. In the event that there are too many men on the field, a dead-ball foul will be called. (That is, if a team lines up with too many men for more than three seconds and the snap is “imminent.”) When officials see this happening, they will now blow the play dead and hand down a five-yard penalty.
4. Defensive players will now be protected on crack-back blocks.
5. Turnovers will be reviewed automatically via instant replay, just like scoring plays have been.
While those five changes passed, these two ultimately failed:
1. Allowing replay officials in the booth, not the referee on the field determine replay reviews.
2. Changing the horse-collar tackle rule to remove the exception for quarterbacks who are in the pocket.
Again, there is nothing particularly controversial amongst any these rule changes. In fact, the OT alteration has been something folks have wanted to see for a long time. We give the powers that be a hard time when they (seemingly always) screw this process up, so now we have to be fair and give them credit for a job well done.
Kudos, rich folks.