The NFL's Competition Committee held a conference call with reporters on Wednesday discussing some of the proposed rule changes and other points of emphasis. Player safety is something they're focusing on this year and you can see that with a few of the proposed rule changes.
These are just what's been proposed and would have to be voted on by NFL owners. Here are a few of the topics covered:
-Flagrant (illegal) hits will result in suspensions, especially from repeat offenders. They said this last year but we only saw an increase in fines given to the players. This year it appears it will be stressed which means at some point we're going to see someone suspended for an illegal hit. So basically James Harrison should sit out next year.
-The Committee is proposing that all scoring plays -- touchdowns, extra points, field goals and safeties -- are reviewed by the replay assistant and, if necessary, by the official on the field. Currently, a coach would have to throw the challenge flag (outside of the last two minutes of each half). I like this because, regardless of whether you have a challenge remaining or not, officials should get plays that change the score right.
-The Committee noted a concern of the injury rate on kickoffs so they've proposed moving the kickoff from the 30 to the 35-yard line and moving the touchback from 20 to the 25-yard line. That would mean less kickoff returns which would then mean less injuries.
-They said some teams were actually in favor of eliminating kickoffs altogether. Wow. That would be a massive change, but it doesn't look like it'll be happening (at least not this year).