August 7, 2011

Broncos Report: NFL Rule Changes, Other News

I take it there was no practice today, I haven't heard if there was so till then just some little news.

The NFL announced today changes that will be made starting this season.

First off, is kickoffs will now start at the 35-yard line instead of the 30 - the team cannot line up more than 5 yards behind the 35. The result of this is to hopefully cut back on player injuries - reasoning is most kickers will try to put in the endzone or out of bounds with the hopeful result of less players trying to catch the ball and run for extra yards out of the endzone.

This next rule is one I REALLY disagree with, BIG TIME.

#2: Coaches can now NO longer challenge scoring plays, this includes touchdowns, field goals, safeties & point after a TD). So for instance, say we are playing the Raiders and their receiver catches the ball but it looks like he didn't have both feet in bounds, or full possession of the ball - the coaches can't challenge the call. Rather, every scoring play will be reviewed in the replay booth and the ref gets to make the call, the coaches get no input. Absurd.

The NFL's reasoning for this - to make the game more fair. Fair?? They call that fair? I may be overreacting but I think the coach should get a say, if necessary.

Straight from DB, here's how they word it. I find this explanation kind of confusing. "Immediately following all scoring plays, the referee will hold action until he receives a message of ‘confirmed’ or ‘under review’ on his pager. If the score is under review, the procedure will mirror the current review process where the referee and replay official will work together to determine the correct call."

And now the icing on the cake for this rule - if a coach even tries to challenge the ref's call, that team gets a 15-YARD PENALTY!

Am I the only one who thinks that is just uncalled for??

Rule #3:

Another rule that will probably end up controversial. I see plenty of incidents happening with this. The rule is that contact with the quarterback's head will no longer be penalized, unless it is a 'forcible blow'. If it's incidental, it's basically excused. Referees won't throw a flag for 'roughing the passer' if a defender grazes the QB's helmet. No penalty will be enforced unless it is an obvious, intentional hit to the head.

Rule #4:

This one is for the comic books. Ahem... "Playing surface must be a league-approved shade of green" - to preserve the uniform appearance of the NFL. (Enter laughter)

Rule #5:

The definition of 'launching' has been updated. There will be a 15-yard, unnecessary roughness penalty & possible ejection from the game if any player "leaves both feet to spring upward & forward to deliver a hit".

Rule #6:

The definition of a 'defenseless player' has been updated. There will be a 15-yard, unnecessary roughness penalty for players deemed 'defenseless', which now includes the "QB right after he throws a pass, a player who has not had time to protect himself after attempting to make a catch, a runner who's forward progress has been stopped, a player on the ground at the end of a play, a kicker or punter who is not engaged, a kick or punt returner fielding a kick in the air & players who receiver blindside blocks".

Rule #7:

I thought there was a penalty for this already but maybe it wasn't this steep before? Horsecollar tackles will draw a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Starting this season, horsecollar tackles will continue to be illegal & will be flagged, regardless if the player is taken down to the ground or not.

Rule #8:

"Runners and tacklers will be penalized equally for grasping and twisting an opponent’s facemask". This will draw a 15-yard facemask penalty, on runners & tacklers not just defenders.

Bronco News:

LT Ryan Clady has confirmed his knee is back to 100% after injuring it last season. Some good news. Our O-line really needs him.

Just for grins:

Last night's Hall of Fame Enshrinement for Shannon Sharpe not only got HOF QB John Elway to be in attendance but reunited several players from the Broncos '97 & '98 Super Bowl teams, as well as former GM John Beake & current owner since '84, Pat Bowlen. The former players in attendance included: Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey, HOF brother Gary Zimmerman, Tony Jones, Mark Schlereth, Terrell Davis, Alfred Williams, Ray Crockett, Steve Atwater, Keith Burns & Dwayne Cars, among many others.

So nice to see that former teammates came out to support Shannon on such a big night and witness that great moment for him. Just had to mention this.

And that's all folks!


  1. Yes princess no practice today, I wasn't going to put anything up today, there is like no news but I did see these rule changes. Not sure what to make of them.

  2. I don't mind 2# but instead of the referee waiting for a review if they are unsure it is a td they should make the call to send it upstairs. I think the penalty is unnecessary but it will stop coaches trying. It shouldn't be a coaches decision it has to be on the refs.

    3# is ok, that is for players going for the pat down on the qb then touching the helmet.

    7# is an existing rule but before you had to drag the player to the ground to be penalized, now it is just if you grab that area.

    8# may mean no more stiff arms to the face cage.