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New NFL rules for 2008

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posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 02:27 PM
A number of 2008 playing-rules changes were adopted by NFL owners at the NFL Annual Meeting in late March. Following are the changes, with comments from NFL head coaches and executives:

» Defensive helmet radios: Teams will now be permitted to have one defensive player on the field with a radio in his helmet. This gives the defense the same ability to communicate its signals as the offense.

» Incidental facemasks: The foul for incidental grasp and release of the facemask has been eliminated. Twisting, turning or pulling the facemask will remain a 15-yard personal foul.

» Forceout rule: The forceout rule has been eliminated. A player who receives or intercepts a ball must land with both feet inbounds. This affords the receiver and defender equal opportunity to complete the play.

"We feel that with so many levels of judgment that go into the force-out call it creates a more consistent play when either you get your feet down for a complete pass or you do not," says co-chairman of the NFL Competition Committee Rick McKay.

» Reviewable plays: Instant replay will expand to include field-goal and extra-point attempts as well as illegal forward handoffs. This provides a mechanism for correcting an obvious onfield officiating error.

» Second half coin toss: Clubs will now have the option to defer the opportunity to kick or receive the kickoff to the second half.

"It now gives coaches a third option," says Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans head coach and co-chairman of the NFL Competition Committee.

» Muffed snap: It will now be a live ball when a direct snap from center to a player who is in position to receive a hand-to-hand snap goes untouched. It was previously called a false start, but now either team may recover and advance the untouched snap.

» There will be a point of emphasis on a rule this season (although the rule itself has not changed):

Grasping the facemask by all players, including offensive players, will continue to be strictly enforced. Specific attention is to be given to the runner who twists, turns, or pulls the facemask of the defender who is trying to make the tackle.

Runners and tacklers are to be treated identically when this occurs. This action is a personal foul and a 15-yard penalty.

» NFL'S "third-quarterback" rule -- sometimes misunderstood:

Seventeen years ago (1991) the third-quarterback rule was instituted to enable teams to have an emergency quarterback available who was not on the 45-man game-day active roster, since many teams, for strategic purposes, only carried two quarterbacks on their game-day roster.

Everybody thinks they understand the NFL's "third-quarterback" rule. But do they?

The rule states that if a third quarterback is inserted before the fourth quarter, a team's first two quarterbacks cannot be used in the game at any position.

Another aspect of the rule is sometimes misunderstood. It is a coach's decision as to whether a third quarterback will be used.

The active quarterbacks do not have to be injured for a team to use its third quarterback.

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 02:29 PM
Some interesting rule changes, such as no more forceout.

And the second half coin toss option is interesting as far as strategy.

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 03:36 PM
I don't completely understand that new Kick Off rule, could you explain it a little more, please.

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 07:43 PM
reply to post by ManBehindBlueEyes

In previous years in the NFL, if you won the coin toss you had the option to either kick the ball or receive. The new rule is that you have the option of whether or not to defer your choice of kicking or receiving the football until the 2nd half. Essentially, if you win and defer, you force the team that loss the coin toss to decide to kick or receive, giving your team the option to make that decision to start the second half. If, for example, you deferred and the other team elected to kick the ball to you (probably unlikely), you would have the opportunity to again have the ball kicked off to you at the start of the 2nd half.


The coin toss is just like college and high school now. Before the rule change, in the NFL, the team that won the toss could choose one of four options. They can choose to kick, receive, defend the north (or east) end, defend the south (or west) end. Then, the opposing team gets to choose from the remaining (e.g. Team1 chooses to receive, Team2 can choose which end to defend). Before the second half, Team2 had the same four choices and Team1 picked from what was left. Now, the team that wins the toss, gets a fifth choice. They can choose to defer their right to make the first choice until the second half. If they do this, Team2 gets to make the first choice in the first half, and Team1 chooses from the remaining options. This is done all the time in college, but was never an available option in the NFL.

On windy days, you could play for the 4th quarter wind at your back.??

That's my take; I'm still a little confused. This was the best explanation I could find. I got them from blogs...

[edit on 15-8-2008 by jsobecky]

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 07:53 PM
I sort of hate to see the new force out rule being implemented. Now safeties and corners will try even harder to nail a WR when he is going up close to the side line in order to force one foot out.

A lot of wide outs make really great high reaching grabs but get knocked out and only manage one foot down. To me that should be a catch.

I suppose they are making the NFL rules more similar to NCAA, I just hope they dont change the rule of a player not being down until touched. In college it is always sad to see a player with nobody near him fall and get called down without being

I cant wait until the season starts...this pre-season ball is making me anxious. Three more weeks!!

posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:18 PM
I'm ok with most of the rules but, I would have rather seen them eliminate all helmet radios and most of the other gizmos in use for that matter. No photos, nothing but one guy in the booth with binoculars and a telephone hard wired to the head coach. Sideline 'chalkboards' ok.

It will be interesting to see how the receivers/qb's deal with the force out rule. The obvious thing would seem that they have to catch high ones further in bounds

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