New NFL Rule Changes

The NFL has added, removed, and changed some rules that will make a big impact next season. As expected, all of these will attempt to improve player safety, something heavily talked about last season. “Launching” at players (leaving feet prior to contact) will now be penalized/fined. Also, The defenseless receiver rule has been redefined. Now, the referee must judge whether or not the ball carrier has the ability to avoid contact. If they are unable to and the player is still hit, there will be an unnecessary roughness penalty as well as possible fines. Before, a player with control of the ball and both feet on the ground was considered no longer defenseless. The last rule change is one that many people were waiting for. Now, simply grazing the quarterbacks helmet will not result in a penalty as it used to. If it is unintentional than it will not be called.

(More after the jump)

NFL Total Access discussed the changes and what else they can do to increase player safety. Because of so many situations being unpredictable, I agree with having the referees make more judgements rather than following a rule book verbatim. Many of the controversial hits last year were either penalized when they shouldn’t have been or weren’t called when they actually were illegal. With refs given more freedom to call it as it is, penalties should become more logical and less erroneous. Hopefully these rule changes will maximize player safety without butchering the game as we know and love it.

Have your own thoughts? Please share them in the comments below.

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Tags: Defenseless Receiver NFL Network NFL Rule Changes Rich Eisen

  • david chapman

    This game has forever been destroyed. 35 yrs ago, at the age of 6, I became a cowboys fan. I have never looked back. win or lose, they are my team. However, they are an example of the type of people being allowed in the game and, indeed, a crcross secton of society itself. The need for rule changes is because of the change in the players who have become moree brbrutal, hateful, selfish, ambitious and less human than ever before. They come on to the field full of rage, an over inflated sense of self, rich, spoiled boys playing games. i say, you reduce the outragoues sums of money they make (while children starve), reduce their importance in a society that promotes work as a viable interest in each of its citizens (doctors should have cheerleaders, not football players!) and tax them for their behavior and personality disorders, instead of their antics. i am now 41 yrs old, and i am ashamed of my boys, but money is the main thing, aint it?!!! SAD!

  • scotty d

    I agree most oof the players are obnoxious spoiled celebrities, who care more about making highlight reels than winning games. I also think many of these rule changes are complete BS. I played football all through middle school and high school, and was hit helmet to helmet, hit as a defenseless receiver, and hit many defenseless receivers. Most of the time nobody was hurt. This defenseless receiver rule is terrible, so defenders have to let the receiver catch the ball and take a few steps before they can hit them? Qbs can just start making receivers jump for every ball and get a completion on every pass, absolutely ruining the game. Rugby players are making more fun of us than ever.