Thanks to our friends over at Acme Packing Company, we know the full list of proposed rule changes being discussed this week. Have a look.
- Move kickoffs to 40-yard line (proposed by Redskins)
- Make personal foul penalties reviewable (Redskins)
- No overtime in preseason games (Redskins)
- Extend goalposts five feet higher (Patriots)
- Move PAT line of scrimmage to 25-yard line (Patriots)
- Add cameras to goal lines to assist with instant replay (Patriots)
- Allow any referee's decision to be reviewable (Patriots)
- Include blocks from the side in "roll-up" block personal foul penalties (proposed by Committee)
- Allow replay communications between officials to include league representative at league office (Committee)
- Make the recovery of a loose ball a reviewable play and reorganize the replay section of the rules (Committee)
- Allow clock to run when quarterback is sacked at all times (Committee)
- Remove one-yard interference zone and enforce pass interference anywhere beyond line of scrimmage (Committee)
- Simplify penalty yardage enforcement on certain plays including change of possession (Committee)
Moving kickoffs to the 40-yard line would effectively destroy the kick return specialist. Some savvy special teams coaches might experiment with possibly trying to pin the return team inside the 20 somehow, but otherwise all we'd see are touchbacks and the occasional onside kick. Boring.
It's funny that after the Texans finally ejected Joe Marciano, a significant portion of his job description could be eliminated. Go figure.
Making personal fouls reviewable would be very interesting and would provide a check against the flag-happy referees that are charged to protect quarterbacks and defenseless wide receivers. Too often we saw players get flagged for making contact with the quarterbacks helmet or defenders leading with their helmet when they actually didn't after watching the replay. 15-yard penalties are significant enough to warrant a review, in my opinion.
APC also listed proposed changes to the NFL bylaws regarding rosters.
One was to increase the number of players on the practice squad from 8 to 10 players. Another proposal asked to allow multiple players to return to the active roster from injured reserve instead of just one. A final proposal was put out by the Colts, and would allow home teams with retractable roof stadiums to open or close the roof at halftime. Currently, the roof position cannot be changed after the opening kickoff.
Increased roster flexibility is only a good thing given the heightened attention to player safety and injuries. This could be a precursor to a future proposal to increase the season to 18 games. That roof position rule would obviously be interesting to Bob McNair and his seldom-used retractable roof. It wouldn't change much here in Houston, but other stadiums could drastically change the conditions of the game if they opened or closed their roof at halftime. Interesting possibilities there.
For more, check out Jeff Gray's full breakdown of the proposed rule changes on SBNation NFL.
These are just a few of my thoughts, but we're interested in hearing your thoughts down below. We'll be keeping an eye on the happenings and will post any news that trickles out, but feel free to post any relevant tweets that might be tweeted regarding the meetings.