Each year, the NFL releases a “New Rules” guide to all media members interested. This guide explicitly states how the NFL will try to improve the game as a new season nears. While many hope that NFL football remains the same, chances are change is coming to the sport so many Americans love.

One of the biggest protests from preseason game one was the atrocious play of the Eagles offensive line. The team never got into rhythm because of the appalling number of line penalties. While many felt that preseason rust was at fault, the Competition Committee likely had a say in the matter

“Movement on the offensive line will continue to be a point of emphasis” reads the New Rules guide. “Prior to the snap, any quick or abrupt movement by an offensive player or players in unison that simulates the start of a play is prohibited.” The subsequent penalty was a fiche yard false start call, and it seems clear that stellar line coach Jeff Stoutland has corrected the line woes, both penalty and rust based.

A new rule that will steadily impact the season is the new game clock standard. Typically, a tackle for loss of any kind allowed the game clock to continue running; however, a quarterback sack caused the clock to stop, unless inside the two minute warning. This extended the overall length of games, and caused 1 o’clock kickoffs to threaten to run into the next game.

The NFL has rectified this policy, and done the sensical thing: “The clock will no longer be stopped after a quarterback sack outside two minutes of either half. If the player who originally takes the snap is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, the game clock will remain running,” read the New Rules Guide.”Going forward, the clock will continue to run unless it is stopped for a different reason, such as a penalty or team timeout.”

These are the new changes that may not seem important, but will shape the overall appearance of the NFL. Hopefully, all changes promote better football and emphasize the principles of the game.

Photo:  Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

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