NFL Owners have been sequestered in meetings this week to discuss the state of affairs in the NFL - rules, scheduling, compensatory picks, the NFL Draft, free agency, bylaws - you name it. The owners are expected to announce their decisions on the proposed rules changes on Wednesday at some point, and in case you were wondering, per ProFootballTalk, the rules changes being discussed this week are the following:
1. Giving the authority to determine replay reviews to the replay official in the booth, not the referee on the field.
2. Modifying the horse-collar tackle rule to remove the exception for quarterbacks in the pocket, so that a quarterback in the pocket may not be yanked down by the back of his shoulder pads or inside collar of his jersey.
3. Changing overtime so that the postseason rule will be used in the regular season as well, and no regular-season games will be ended on a field goal on the first possession of overtime.
4. Adding a loss of down to the penalty for kicking a loose ball, as is the case in college football.
5. Adopting the college rule for too many men on the field, which is a dead-ball foul if a team lines up on offense for more than three seconds, or if a team on defense lines up with too many men and the snap is imminent. In those cases, the officials will blow the play dead and assess a five-yard penalty. This change wouldn't affect the rulings on players running off the field who don't get off in time.
6. Expanding the defenseless player rule to protect defensive players on crackback blocks, making it illegal to hit them in the head or neck area.
7. Automatically reviewing turnovers via instant replay, just as scoring plays are automatically reviewed.
The league is also considering altering or adding a few bylaws, which can be seen at that PFW article, and have to do with roster size and the injured reserve.
Also, another point of contention came up on Tuesday night, and it looks like the league may be looking to make a change to scheduling, particularly as it pertains to Thursday night games.
NFL owners considering rule that would prohibit road teams from more than 1 time zone away playing in Thursday night games.— Paul Domowitch (@pdomo) March 27, 2012
This makes a lot of sense, as teams that play Thursday night games already lose two full days of practice, and in some cases, more. Last season, the 49ers went into Baltimore on a Thursday night Thanksgiving game on basically two days of practice and lost, 16-6. This rule would help mitigate that hardship for teams playing distant opponents.
It will be interesting to see what they decide. Stay with us today as we update this stream when the news hits.