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Competition Committee aims at Tuck Rule, 3 player-safety initiatives



The NFL Competition Committee, chaired by Falcons general manager
Rich McKay, announced their proposed rule changes for 2013. All
proposals require a two-thirds vote of the ownership at next week’s
annual meeting.

1a. For instant replay, the red-flag challenge rule would be
removed. Any coach who throws a red flag would be assessed a timeout,
and would only get the timeout back if a challenge is successful. By
challenging when a coach is not permitted to do so would forfeit the
timeout, but the play could still be reviewed by the replay official.
A team that is out of timeouts is assessed a 15-yard penalty.

1b. Incomplete passes can be overturned to a fumble with a
defensive recovery. Previously, this was considered two separate acts
and not allowable for review. The new rule proposal matches the ruling
if the quarterback botches a pass and is ruled incomplete, but
overturned to fumble and recovery.

2. Field goal and extra-point formations would be no more than six
defensive players lined up on either side of the snapper. The snapper
is also considered to be in a defenseless posture.

3. Proposed removal of the Tuck Rule. The act of tucking ends the
initiation of a pass.

4. Tight ends and H-backs would be allowed to wear numbers 40-49,
alleviating the crunch for numbers in the 80s.

5. The “peel-back” block exceptions for players inside the tackle
box would be removed.

6. A runner who leads with the crown of the helmet when outside the
tackle box would be subject to a 15-yard penalty. This could be
offsetting fouls if the defense also leads with the crown.

More on these proposals with the exact rewording of the rules will
be posted later tonight.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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