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Owners Table Several Rule Changes, Pass Others

The NFL owners’ competition committee held their annual meeting in Palm Beach, FL and were reviewing several possible rules-changes for this season, one of which was the team seeding for the playoffs.  While this proposition was tabled until a later date, some others were agreed upon and will take place in the ’08 season.  The controversial “long hair” rule proposed by the Chiefs was already tabled prior to the final meeting.

Here’s a list of the changes that were passed:

1.  Elimination of the force-out call on pass plays.  Receivers must get both feet down in-bounds to complete a catch unless he is physically carried out-of-bounds by the defender.

2.  Field goals can be reviewed by instant replay.  Due to several controversial kicks last season, mainly Phil Dawson’s kick that bounced off the support beam over the cross bar and back onto the field.  Previously unreviewable.

3.  Deferrment of the coin toss.  It will be possible, like the college rule, for teams to choose to receive/kick opening the second half now.

4.  Elimination of the 5-yard facemask call, only the personal foul 15-yard penalty now available.

5.  Untouched direct snap is a live ball as opposed to a false start.  To clarify, this is when the ball is snapped backwards anytime now whereas previously, only if the ball was snapped on the QB snapcount it was a fumble and if before, a false start. 

Andre Gurode had best get his act together, he made several bad snaps over the head of Romo last season!   

The most approved of all of the proposals was the coin toss deferrment which passed on a 30-2 vote.  Overall, the changes will be beneficial to the game and help improve officiating by making it more consistent.   I agree that the current playoff seeding is most favorable to everyone since winning your division should always be rewarded. 


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