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Need to Know: Five NFL rule changes that should be approved without debate

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Need to Know: Five NFL rule changes that should be approved without debate

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 21, 17 days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.

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Here are five of the proposed NFL rule changes that should pass with no debate:

Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed—I was scoffed at by some when I suggested in this space a couple of months ago that a coach should be able to use his two challenges on anything he thinks should be reviewed. If there’s no indisputable video evidence, the coach loses the challenge and the timeout. Well, now no less than Bill Belichick agrees with me as this is a Patriots proposal.

Re-organize the rules about what can be reviewed and what cannot be reviewed, including making the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play reviewable—OK, if you don’t want to open up offside calls to review how about the big, obvious things like the fumble that Bowman recovered in the NFC title game while being injured?

Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play—Can you tell I don’t like the replay process? This would let officials in New York do quality control over the review process and they could get a head start on the process while the referee is talking to the coach, making the announcement of the challenge, jogging to the replay booth, and getting the headset on. Better replay calls in less time? Sign me up.

Extend the goal posts an additional five feet above the cross bar—If it increases the accuracy of calls—and this clearly would—just do it and move on. Surprised this needs a three-fourths vote of the owners to get changed. It’s common sense.

Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul—This makes perfect sense. If a team tackles the quarterback by the facemask deep in the pocket, it could only end being penalized five yards past the previous spot. A personal foul penalty should hurt. But if they do this, they need to mark off offensive personal fouls on the offense that are behind the line from the spot of the foul. If there’s a chop block five yards behind the line, enforce it from there.

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Timeline

—It’s been 82 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 170 days until they play another one.

—Days until: Offseason workouts start 17; NFL Draft 48; Training camp starts 124

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - How freaked out should Redskins fans be after Arizona loss?

JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?

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Redskins don't request roster exemption for Williams

Redskins don't request roster exemption for Williams

Trent Williams’ suspension ended on Monday and the Redskins did not wait to get him back on the 53-man roster.

NFL teams often request roster exemptions for players who return from suspensions that last multiple games. Such requests routinely are granted for the week leading up to the next game. It gives the team an extra player in practice while the formerly suspended player rounds back into shape.

But the Redskins apparently are going to throw Williams right into things. On Monday, they waived cornerback Dashaun Phillips and cleared a spot for Williams right away.

Yesterday, Jay Gruden confirmed what has been widely reported, that Williams will return to his left tackle spot. Leaving Ty Nsekhe, who did a solid job filling in while Williams was out, at left tackle and putting Williams at left guard is something that will remain something for fans and media to speculate on but not something that will happen on the field.

The Redskins managed to go 2-2 during Williams’ suspension. Perhaps one upside is that Williams may be fully healthy down the stretch after having five weeks off, including the bye week that preceded his suspension.