2017 rule changes

New for 2017: No dawdling

Embed from Getty Images   The NFL, in trying to get all the commercials played yet get off the air in time for 60 Minutes, wants the officials and teams to hustle between the try for point or field goal and the ensuing kickoff and not to wait for TV if there is a replay challenge. In 2014, the average time of a NFL game was 3:06. It creeped up to 3:09 last year. For 2017, the NFL has new mechanics to move the game along. Hustle up After the extra point or successful field goal, the 40-second play clock starts. The officials and teams

5 things to watch as officials take the field in 2017

It's back. Another NFL season is here and I can't wait. The NFL officiating crews are ready too. As the season kicks off I'm watching for five things out of the officials. Meet the new boss The new senior vice president of officiating is Al Riveron. He has experience, having been Dean Blandino's assistant for several years.  How will he make his mark? What are his goals? Will he move to make an imprint on mechanics or staff?  Riveron has a good team helping him, and I have high hopes that he will succeed in this position. 10-second runoff impact This year, the NFL expanded the 10-second

Mechanics

Which comes first: Time out or delay of game?

Some times, the most frantic time on a football field is the last two seconds of the play clock. Sometimes the offense is milking the clock, other times the coach sees something and calls an audible. Sometimes the quarterback snaps the ball when the play clock hits zero or the coach calls timeout right as the clock hits zero. So, is it delay of game, a charged timeout or a legal snap? The NFL has a set of mechanics to cover the play clock. The back judge is in charge of the play clock. He is the sole authority of ruling on

Officiating Dept. Video

Officiating video: Out-of-bounds kickoff spots, Double/After enforcement, and reviewing nullified TDs

In the weekly officiating tape to the media, senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron addressed three plays from the past week (see below). Kickoff out of bounds with another foul. In the Lions-Giants Monday night game, an unsportsmanlike conduct foul was committed on a touchdown, with the assessment going to the kickoff as usual. The kickoff from the 20-yard line went out of bounds. Usually, an out-of-bounds kickoff is given to the receiving team at their own 40. However, the rule is that possession is awarded 25 yards downfield from the spot of the kick, giving the Lions the ball

NFL Week 1 officiating video: illegal kicks and more

  Senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron released the week 1 officiating video today (video below). Among the numerous items to discuss, Riveron first discussed the defenseless player rule. In this particular play from Monday night, Vikings' running back Dalvin Cook was attempting to catch a pass out of the backfield when he was hit helmet-to-helmet to by Saints' linebacker Alex Anzalone. This is an automatic 15-yard penalty and first down for the offense. Defenders cannot hit players in a defenseless posture in the head or neck area. Also from Monday night, a particular play was blown dead immediately when Broncos' quarterback

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