NFL NEWS AT YOUWAGER: TUCK RULE OUT, LEADING WITH HELMET RULED ILLEGAL

“Jim Brown never lowered his head. It can be done.”

– Art Rooney, President, Pittsburgh Steelers

Before they ended their meeting in Phoenix, the owners of the many teams in the NFL voted to remove the tuck rule, and to penalize hits that occur with the crown of the helmet, by players who are outside of the tackle box or are at least three yards downfield, and they voted to change the replay challenge rule so that a bad coaches’ challenge will not prevent officials from reviewing the play.

The tuck rule change had only one dissenting vote, from the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins abstained. The other 29 teams all voted to end the rule. The Oakland Raiders voted to end the rule, even though such a call cost the Raiders the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl in 2001.

The New England Patriots benefitted from the rule when Tom Brady fumbled and it was ruled an incomplete pass. The Patriots eventually won that game. Now, when a quarterback brings the football toward his body while attempting to throw, it will be ruled a fumble instead of an incomplete pass.

Art Rooney, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers, told a YouWager source, “We didn’t think it was necessary to make that change. We were happy with the way it’s been called.”

According to YouWager’s source, the Oakland Raiders tweeted to their fans, “Adios, Tuck Rule.”

As YouWager’s most dedicated football bettors expected, the biggest argument was about the crown of the helmet hits rule. This rule will mostly affect running backs. According to YouWager’s source, the competition committee was nearly one vote away from passing. But after more discussion, the vote was eventually 31-1 with only the Cincinnati Bengals voting against the rule.

In the 2013 NFL football wagering season, it will be a 15-yard penalty if a player who is more than three yards downfield or outside of the tackle box makes a hit with the crown of his helmet. If any offensive or defensive player lowers his head and uses the crown of the helmet and makes contact, he will be penalized.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, told YouWager’s source, “It’ll certainly make our runners aware of what we expect relative to use of the helmet. One of the questions I ask a lot is who gains from this, offense or defense? And it’s a toss-up as to which side of the ball has the advantage on this rule, if any. The main thing is it’s pro-health and safety, and that’s the big thing.”

The owners discussed simply using fines on ball carriers to eliminate the tactic but instead voted to make the rule change.

An easier vote for the Owners was a change in the replay challenge rule. This will address a problem when coaches challenge a play that could be automatically reviewed in the replay booth. Under the new rule, a coach who challenges such a play is charged a timeout when he throws a challenge flag. If the play is overturned, the coach gets back the challenge. It will be a 15-yard penalty if a coach challenges a booth reviewable play.

Under the old rule, if a coach challenged a reviewable play, there would be a 15-yard penalty and no review at all, a situation that many of YouWager’s serious NFL football bettors felt was very unfair.

One proposal was tabled. Typically, the NFL prefers to open the regular NFL football wagering season on the Thursday before the first regular Sunday game, and the league gives the Super Bowl champion a home game on that night. Unfortunately, the Baltimore Orioles have a home game on Thursday, September 5th, and Major League Baseball is apparently not willing to change the event to a day game so the Baltimore Ravens could play that night.

According to YouWager’s source, the league also voted to prevent teams from having more than 6 defenders on one side of the snapper on extra points and field goals, and adding a 15-yard penalty if a blocker does a peel-back block inside the tackle box. The peel-back rule applies primarily to screen passes and rollouts.

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