On Wednesday the NFL spring meeting came to an end in Orlando, Florida with ownership voting for several rules changes, while they tabled other proposals and voted down several ideas.
It was a rule already on the books that got the most attention during the final hours of discussion â taunting. Last season, stopping taunting by players was a point of emphasis with the officials. That factor helped push the number of taunting penalties from nine (2012) to 34 calls last season.
“We are going to clean the game up on the field between the players, in-your-face taunting, those types of things,” said Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher, a member of the league’s competition committee. “It’s all in the book; it’s all under unsportsmanlike conduct. There is no change in the rule. We are going to enforce the current rule.
“We agreed that we are going to get it under control as soon as we possibly can. We are going to effect change immediately and that change will be effected as early as the OTAs when players come back. We’ve got to change our conduct on the field. We’ve got to bring the element of respect in its highest level back to our game.”
Last season the Chiefs were flagged for just one taunting penalty. That came in the December 22nd game at Arrowhead Stadium against Indianapolis when nose tackle Dontari Poe was flagged.
The league owners voted yes on a handful of proposals, no on others and they set aside a few more for future discussion.
- Extend uprights five feet to 35-feet tall.
- Allow replay review of any recovery of a loose ball on the field of play.
- A sack will no longer stop the game clock.
- Defensive penalties behind the line of scrimmage will be walked off from the previous spot instead of at the end of the play or spot of the foul.
- The deadline for the roster reduction from 75 to 53 players at the end of the pre-season will now be at 3 p.m. CDT instead of 5 p.m.
Failed in voting
- Moving kickoff point from 35 to 40-yard line.
- Allowing a coach to challenge any official’s decision.
- Making personal foul penalties reviewable by replay.
- Elimination of the roster cut to 75 in the pre-season.
- Allow more than one player to return from the injured-reserve list in the regular season.
Tabled for future consideration
- Elimination of overtime in pre-season games.
- Move of the PAT line of scrimmage to the 25-yard line.
- Addition of six TV cameras on the sideline, goal line and end line for replay review purposes.
- Increase from 46 to 49 active players for games on Thursday and Saturday.
- Increase practice squad from eight to 10 players.
- Allow teams to trade players before the start of the league year.
- Permit teams to physically work out and test up to 10 draft eligible players at its own facility.