NFL Rules Changes 2011

May 25, 2011 at 7:38 am 3 comments

While most of us hate what the owners have done, effectively stopping football until they get a better deal by locking the players out, on tuesday the owners unanimously approved of stricter rules.  They placed further placed restrictions on the players, finally cracking down on violent illegal hits.  Sure, who didn’t like the segment “Jacked up” on ESPN, but I’d rather see my favorite players not suffer from health problems in their old age.  Last season, the NFL started to discipline for egregious hits and will continue to do so through fines.

1. Launching Banned: It’s about time.  I can’t believe how many players launch themselves into another player, leading head first and aiming for the head (even after the play. Kinda disturbing.  They don’t understand that they are in the same boat.  Brandon Merriweather had two unforgettable “launches” against Todd Heap last year and that kind of play should be disciplined.   Under the new rule “Launching”  requires:

  1. leaving their feet, to make a hit to make upward contact with their helmet AND
  2. launching into another player helmet first (any part of body).

Heap was defenseless.

2. Defenseless Receiver: Extended protection to players who receive blindside blocks and K, P, & QB after change of possession. This rule is probably the most debatable of all three changes because of the wide receivers.  It states that, “a receiver who has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner even if both feet are on the ground is considered defenseless.”   Defenseless players cannot be hit in the head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm or shoulder.  Basically, Wide Receivers can now be a defenseless player.

3. “Forcible Blows” to QB head: Not a new rule, but thankfully tweaked this rule.  Formerly any touch to the QBs head was grounds for a personal foul previously (see: Colts @ Eagles, ’10), which was unjust.  Under the new definition, there needs to be a forcible blow, not merely incidental contact.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. chuck  |  August 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Main rule change that bothers me is the blindside blocks. So does this mean if the Guy chasing a punt returned for example is looking at the punt returner you can’t blindside block him even if you get your head on the right side of his body? I can understand if you blindside someone 30 yards from the ball who doesn’t have a chance in hell to make the play. But if its a dude that can make the play & gets plowed with a good block not clipping or anything like that. Then this rule will really blow! Sounds like before long the recievers will be wearing the red no contact Jerseys in practice like the QB’s wear. Regardless even if the rule changes suck thank God football seasons back! Even if it preseason for now.

  • 2. Suzy Mehlhorn  |  August 19, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Could they make NFL games any more boring? I’m sorry but they might as well put the ball on the 20 yard line and review every play. I’ve been watching NFL football for 25 years and have accepted all the rule changes until now. I think I’ll go play some video games…

  • 3. Roger Goodell  |  August 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

    My Rules suck and will run millions of fans away from the NFL but I don’t care about Fans we own the Fans they can kiss my butt The NFL stands by its Powder-Puff Football Rules… You don’t like it then don’t watch or go to NFL games. Don’t buy NFL products we plan on making even more girly rules so get use to it or don’t have anything to do with MY NFL.

    Roger Goodell


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