Mar 25, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; A general view outside of one of the rooms used for the NFL Annual Meetings. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Owners Make Some Rule Changes


After approving a new rule to allow refs to consult with NFL officiating heads in New York during replays and curtailing the dunking of footballs over goal posts the NFL owners weren’t done with their tweaking of the rule book for next season and beyond.

The NFL owners approved a few new rules, struck down a few proposals, and tabled some for future votes. Here’s a look at the rules that passed, according to nfl.com.

  • The goal posts will extend up from the cross bar 5 feed from 30 feet to 35 feet.
  • The game clock will continue to run after a quarterback sack outside of two minutes remaining in either half
  • The roster reduction to 53 players was extended from 4:00pm est. to 6:00 pm est. during the last Saturday of the preseason where no games are scheduled
  • The recovery of a loose ball in the field of play is now reviewable

The rules that failed included:

  • Expanding plays that can be reviewed to include either all plays or personal fouls
  • Moving the kick-off to the 40-yard line
  • Eliminate the training camp roster cutdown from 90 to 75 making the only cut from 90 to 53
  • Moving the extra point to the 25-yard line; the league apparently voted to experiment with moving it to the 20-yard line for preseason, making the extra point a 37-yard attempt
  • Allowing multiple players on injured reserve to return to the active roster during the season

The league tabled some issues to vote on at a later time. Those included:

  • Abolishing overtime for preseason games (YES PLEASE)
  • Expanding the practice squad from 8 to 10 members
  • Expanding the active roster for Thursday night games to 49
  • Allowing teams with retractable roofs in their stadiums to open the roof during halftime
  • Adding cameras to goal lines, sidelines, and endlines. (A proposal from the New England Patriots. Insert Patriots camera joke here)

I think that these are some good changes as far as improving some things on the field. Obviously including recovery of a loose ball as a reviewable play was a necessity and while I do think that the coaches should get more reviews I think that should come with more of an improvement to the whole system. I think that more emphasis needs to be placed on giving the refs on the field the tools needed to get the calls right the first time rather than improving it on the back end by increasing challenges, replays, etc. I’m glad the kickoff wasn’t moved to the 40-yard line because holy lots of touchbacks Batman! If they did that then there’s only a matter of time till they want to eliminate the kickoff entirely because it would turn into such a boring, automatic play like they’re saying the extra point is. I’d like to see the active gameday roster increased for all games, not just Thursday night.

What are your thoughts on the recent rule changes, Steeler Nation?

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Tags: Featured Nfl Competition Committee NFL Owners Meetings Pittsburgh Steelers Popular

  • [email protected]

    If I am not mistaken, at one point in time the kickoff WAS from the 40 yard line!!!
    Overall, since they have to have instant replay, they should utilize it as much as possible, why not? However, if I had my druthers I would not see another instance where 5 minutes of airtime and 20 repetitions shows that a runners knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line!! If a players momentum takes him into the end zone, call it a TD. Of course, the player can’t crawl forward after they hit the ground but this micromanagement of that call is irritating and really extends the length of the telecast/game IMO.
    Football survived without all this for quite a few decades, after all!!!

    • Kimmy

      You’re correct, the kickoff was moved from the 40-yard line to the 35-yard line back in 1974 to reduce touchbacks and promote more exciting returns. Of course now they view the kickoff return as one of the most dangerous injury-causing plays so somehow touchbacks aren’t so bad.
      I’m all for the game implementing new technology to enhance the quality, accuracy, and overall product but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the experience of watching it in person or at home. We don’t need more commercials while they review every play the coach doesn’t agree with. I sure think some coaches would be throwing that flag as much as they can if they were given the opportunity.