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NFL replay under review: Teams to vote on 24 rule changes at upcoming meetings

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NFL replay under review: Teams to vote on 24 rule changes at upcoming meetings

The NFL owners, head coaches, and other executives are getting together in Arizona for their annual meetings. The focus is frequently on rule changes, tweaks to the way the game is played on the field and how it is administered. Here are the 24 proposed changes (via NFL.com) with some comments were warranted.

A vote of 75 percent of the owners (24) is needed to pass any rule changes.

Of the proposed modifications, 13 would affect the instant replay review process:

  • Allow coaches with available timeouts and challenges to challenge any official’s decision except scoring plays and turnovers. Comment: Why not? If a coach believes there is indisputable visual evidence that the officials got any call (or non-call) wrong he should be able to throw the challenge flag. If they burn their challenges early, so be it.
  • Subject every foul that is called to instant replay review.
  • Give teams three challenges, eliminating the need for a team be successful on each of its first two challenges to be awarded a third. Comment: This one was proposed by the Redskins. Why, so Jay Gruden can have even more fruitless challenges? He had one successful challenge in eight tries in 2014.
  • Use instant replay to review personal foul calls.
  • Review any penalty that results in an automatic first down.
  • From Tennessee and Indianapolis: Use instant replay on fouls against defenseless players. Tennessee proposes that fouls for hits on defenseless receivers can be created in replay when a completed pass is reversed to  incomplete . Indianapolis proposed that coaches be allowed to challenge fouls against defenseless players without losing a timeout on an unsuccessful challenge. Comment: Perhaps something needs to be done here. It’s such a tough call for the officials to make at full speed. We often see a player get flagged on a Sunday and then not fined during the following week, an indication that replay review found no violation.
  • Let replay officials initiate reviews of plays that would result in a score or change of possession if the on-field ruling is reversed.
  • Allow replay to be used to resolve clock issues. Tennessee wants review to apply to the status of the game clock on the final play of either half or overtime; its proposal would be in effect for only one year. Chicago wants replay to apply to the status of the play clock.
  • Place fixed cameras on all of the field’s boundary lines. Comment: The NFL couldn’t afford that! Oh, wait, they could. Easily. Make it happen.
  • Let stadium-produced video be used for instant replay review.

Two proposals would affect the PAT process:

  • From Indianapolis: Reward teams that score a touchdown and successfully convert a two-point conversion with an opportunity to attempt a 50-yard field goal for an additional point (creating a chance for 9 total points: 6+2+1). Comment: Un, no.
  • Move the line of scrimmage for PAT kicks to the 15-yard line. Comment: I’d go with the 25 but anything that makes the PAT a little more difficult is fine with me.

Other proposals:

  • Allow both teams to have at least one offensive possession in overtime, even if the team possessing the ball first scores a touchdown. Comment: Hey, how about this—play some defense in overtime. Or, better yet, win the game in the 60 minutes that precede overtime. From here it’s not too far down the slippery slope to giving out participation trophies.
  • Prohibit defensive players on punts from pushing teammates into the offensive formation at the line of scrimmage.
  • Allow any offensive player to be called for an illegal “peel-back” block when the blocker goes below the waist toward his own goal line.

Which rule changes do you support? Let us know in the comments!

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Jay Gruden disappointed by firing of Scot McCloughan, yet optimistic for 2017

Jay Gruden disappointed by firing of Scot McCloughan, yet optimistic for 2017

It's never easy to say goodbye to a well-liked coworker, especially when that employee has been fired. In the NFL, that's no different. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden opened up about the departure of former GM Scot McCloughan while speaking with reporters at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix.

"I was disappointed. I liked Scot. I liked working with Scot. He’s a good person, and a great talent evaluator," Gruden said.

The highly publicized demise of McCloughan as Redskins general manager made plenty of headlines, but as far the organization goes, Gruden believes the team is still in good shape.

"Any time you lose somebody that you become close with, whether it’s a coach or a GM or a player it's disappointing but at the end of the day in pro football, anybody that’s been around it long enough understands, change is going to happen and you have to react and adjust to it and move forward with a positive outlook," Gruden said.

Part of that positive outlook stems from moves the team has made this offseason.

Offensively the franchise brought in a big new weapon in receiver Terrelle Pryor. Paired with 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson, assuming he's healthy, the Redskins could have two dynamic pass catchers to offset the loss of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. On the defensive line, Gruden thinks new players Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee can emerge as solid players with high upside. Further, Gruden made clear he thinks new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will make the players on the 'Skins roster into better defensive linemen.

For many fans it's hard to remain optimistic after the controversy that surrounded McCloughan's ouster, but on the field, there's little reason to expect the 'Skins to slide.

In 2016, the team finished one game out of a playoff berth, losing a disappointing final game to the Giants to seal that fate. In 2017, Gruden expects to be right back in the playoff hunt.

"I think everybody in this organization has a positive outlook," Gruden said. "We are going to miss Scot, obviously, but we’re also positive that we can get things we need to get done to be successful."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

After he signed the franchise tag a couple of weeks ago, the speculation, rumors and, for some fans, panic around Kirk Cousins has largely quieted down.

The Redskins can ink their quarterback to a long-term deal any time between now and July 15, but talks may not pick up until summer rolls around. A trade can also occur, but no recent reports have indicated that one is in the works.

Therefore, it currently looks like Cousins and the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 will be together for at least one more season. And according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, that's a wise choice by the Burgundy and Gold.

"I think they did the absolute right thing in making sure Kirk Cousins is gonna be their quarterback this year," King told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay at the NFL owner's meetings in Phoenix. "I absolutely, unequivocally would not trade him. That's a white flag." 

As for why King wouldn't move on from No. 8, his explanation was very simple.

"You don't get rid of a guy who's got the second-most passing yards in football over the last two years," he said.

MORE REDSKINS: WILL JAY GRUDEN'S ROLE IN DECISION-MAKING EXPAND THIS YEAR?

Finlay also gathered input on the Redskins' and Cousins' relationship from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who's another major voice in the league's media. Rapoport first stated that he would be "beyond stunned" if the 28-year-old was not in D.C. for the 2017 campaign and then laid out how he envisions the year unfolding.

"I do not believe he will sign the extension before the season," he said. "So, he's going to go out there, play on another one-year deal, bet on himself like he did last year. You hope it's the same thing. And then we'll see, because I know there's some talk about him not signing an extension — I'm not so sure about that. Everyone has a price, right?"

"If they offer him $25 [million] a year, Andrew Luck's deal, I would imagine plans would change pretty quickly, right?" Rapoport continued. "So you get to the end of the season, assess where you are, assess the value and see if you can make a business deal. It's terrible to have to pay so much money to your quarterback. The only worse thing is not being able to pay so much money to your quarterback." 

King and Rapoport are clearly both in agreement that losing their rising signal caller would be a huge blow to the Redskins. But while King says Washington should keep Cousins because of his production, Rapoport took a different route when concluding how the negotiations will end up.

"Really good quarterbacks never leave their team. It just never happens," he said. "So I would think there's a way to work this out."

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