The NFL’s vice-president of officiating, Dean Blandino, has returned with his first officiating video of the year. The NFL’s preseason video focuses on rule changes and points of emphasis related to player safety.
Points mentioned in the video include:
- All two-man high-low blocks are now illegal. See our earlier post on the high-low block rule change.
- Illegal crackback blocks. Offensive backs and linemen more than two-yards outside the tackle are not permitted to block below the waist toward the original position of the ball.
- Defenseless player protections. The two cases pointed out in the video include punters, who receive defenseless player protections throughout the down where they kick the ball, and the targets of blindside blocks.
- Clearing the space around injured players. In order to ensure that medical staff can properly attended to injured players, the NFL wants the make sure other players are clear of the area and that any substitutes or assistant coaches remain off the field.
- Coaches off the field of play. With the exception of head coaches during injury timeouts, coaches are to stay off the field of play. Teams whose coaches stray risk a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after an initial warning.
- Illegal touching of a pass by receivers who go out-of-bounds. This was covered in our earlier post on out-of-bounds receivers, including when an such a player regains eligibility.
- Catch vs. no-catch. The rule remains the same, as Blandino explained at an officiating clinic earlier in the year.
- Kickoff out-of-bounds. On kickoffs, when the ball goes out-of-bounds un-recovered and the kicking team was the last to touch the ball, then they have committed a foul for a kickoff out-of-bounds. This applies regardless of whether the ball was previously touched by a receiving team player during the kick. The foul gives the receiving team the option of keeping the ball where it went out of play or taking possession of the ball 25 yards from where the ball was last kicked (30 yards for safety kicks).