Rule Changes: NFL At It Again

Dena CrutcherCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2009

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 4:  NFL referee Ed Hochuli directs play as the Miami Dolphins host the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL Wildcard Playoff Game at Dolphins Stadium on January 4, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

This past week the NFL has made some rule changes and additions. Let's take a look at a few of them.

  • Video replay can be used to determine if a loose ball stayed in bounds or hit the sideline.

Could we not have saved trouble by just telling the officials to not rule a ball out of bounds unless they had actually seen it go out of bounds? I think this is more or less a "common sense" rule on the referees part.

  • The draft order has been reworked to reflect playoff results, not regular-season results

I'm not so sure about this one. This stems mainly from the 2008 playoff incident where the San Diego Chargers (8-8) beat out the Indianapolis Colts (12-4) and made it farther into the playoffs. 

Obviously with the previous draft order the Colts would have picked farther down the line than the Chargers. Now, this order will be determined by how well a team does in the playoffs. 

How exactly does this help? I don't feel that it does. It's an "any given Sunday" scenario. It just depends on who is better prepared, better coached, and who makes the fewest mistakes during that particular game. For Indianapolis it just so happened that San Diego had the right mix of winning components. 

  • A blindside block cannot be delivered with a helmet, shoulder or forearm to an opponent's head or neck. That'll be a 15-yard penalty.

We need our head and necks, they're rather important wouldn't you think? I think we can file this one under "common sense."

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  • Contact to the head of a defenseless receiver will also draw a 15-yard penalty.

I thought this was already a rule, or maybe I was just using "common sense" when it came to seeing those hits. Regardless, this should be heavily enforced and I look for that to happen in the upcoming season.

  • A defensive player on the ground may no longer lunge or dive at the quarterback's lower legs

Also known as the "Brady rule" due in large part to Kansas City Chiefs player Bernard Pollard's season ending injury on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

At the time, the hit on Brady was legal and now it isn't. 

I have a problem with this rule, being a Chiefs fan has nothing to do with it. My problem is that it gets its "nickname" due to the Brady hit. There have been other quarterbacks who have sustained hits like this and Tom Brady I'm sure will not be the last.

Now if they want to sack a quarterback, they just have to do it standing up. 

I know the NFL is just trying to make the game safer for all involved, but sometimes it just seems as if they're taking all of the fun out of watching football.

I love the [legal] hits, a good solid defense, and an overall great game. I never want to see any player, no matter what team they play for, carted off the field or having to retire, as Priest Holmes did, due to a hit sustained on a football field. 

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