NFL Meetings Wrap Up With More Changes

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 – 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.

7 Responses to “NFL Meetings Wrap Up With More Changes”

  • March 27, 2014  - milkman says:

    With the new rules, Neil Smith would have drawn his coach’s ire if he would have done his home run swing after every sack because he would be eating up clock by doing so.
    It sure seems that the owners are dead set on taking all emotions out of an emotional game. Even though I get upset every time I see a celebration from an opposing team, isn’t that the point? It’s what sets the NFL above all the other major sports. The emotions and loyalty of the team I watch are what keeps me coming back. Why would they want to mess with a good thing?
    I just hope they don’t tinker with it so much that it’s not fun to watch.

  • March 27, 2014  - Petey says:

    I find it very ironic that Jeff Fisher of all people is leading the charge on this. He lead the Titans for years who did nothing but talk trash and start stuff (see Cortland Finnegan), and has brought that to him with the Rams. Maybe he should clean up his own house.

    Guy is a hypocrite.

  • March 27, 2014  - R W says:

    Good points made by Milkman and Petey, above and I’m in accord. If you can find a classic NFL game from the 60s, watch it, and you’ll see things that defy your own eyes: Crackback blocks, clothesline tackles, head slaps, body slams, taunting, end zone celebrations, among its many features, as the game hooked millions of fans with its primal nature.

    Now we have the safer, thinking man’s game and while still good, not nearly as compelling as the old school NFL. I get the concussion protocols when a guy gets his bell rung. Imagine if they brought that rule to the sport of boxing? There would be no sport.

    My point: Athletes know what they’re signing up for, willing to endure the violent nature of the game and suffer the consequences of short and longterm injuries. Let them sign a legal release before suiting up that will not allow them to file a lawsuit against the league for said injuries or something along those lines.

    The NFL game continues to evolve and change. A lot of those changes continue to water down the product. There. I said my piece.

  • March 27, 2014  - Ernie Barney says:

    Agree. The NFL is so high profile and want to point out to the press “see what we are doing”. It seems to be political correctness run amok. More of the “save our kids” mentality. I say record the tauntings and replay on the stadium loudspeakers so fans can hear all the BS. Kind of like instant replays or booth reviews. Now, Mr. Poe, what would your mother think? That being said, instead of raising the goal posts by 5 feet how about giving the referring crew eyeglasses to improve their vision.

  • March 27, 2014  - Greg says:

    It does seem like the league is treading a very fine line between “sportsmanlike conduct” and taking all the emotion out of the game. As a fan, I want to see my team get pissed off sometimes, it shows they care. Look at the team that won it all last year; the foul-mouthed, cocky, physically beat you up Seahawks. I don’t necessarily think they were the most talented team, but Pete Carroll got them to care.

  • March 27, 2014  - cychief24 says:

    They could have done the right thing and expand the active roster on Thursdays and Saturdays. Player safety my a$$

  • March 29, 2014  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Greg, I think you’re right. Football and basketball are both emotional sports. Juice flows, words come out, tempers flare.

    I remember in the fourth grade I got hit on my nose during the opening kick off and, with blood coming out, I never before or since was so jacked up.

    That, despite it happening, so many years ago, is probably why I love football.

    In high school I was a 135 pound offensive guard and defensive linebacker.

    Why can’t we say that football is violent, mean, full of jerks that talk too much, physical, filled with great players and so much fun to watch.

    Hell, works for me and stop trying to take the fun out of it.

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