NFL passes helmet rule, ends tuck rule

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm •  Published: March 20, 2013
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But after watching videos of the play that clearly showed the differences in legal and illegal moves by ball carriers, the owners voted yes — and then applauded the decision, something Rams coach Jeff Fisher said is "rare."

"We had discussions with the players association and the players themselves, the coaches' subcommittee," said Fisher, co-chairman of the competition committee. "A lot of people talked to us about this rule and how to roll it out in our game."

The penalty will be 15 yards from the spot of the foul, and if the offensive and defensive players both lower their heads and use the crown of the helmet to make contact, each will be penalized.

"It'll certainly make our runners aware of what we expect relative to use of the helmet," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "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.

Goodell announced that the Pro Bowl will be held in Honolulu on Jan. 26, the Sunday before the Super Bowl. The commissioner has considered scrapping the all-star game, but was satisfied with the level of performance in this year's matchup, won 62-25 by the NFC.

He added that the system for choosing the players won't change, but some consideration has been given to having team captains select their rosters, rather than an AFC vs. NFC format.

The Rooney Rule that requires every team to interview at least one minority candidate when there is a coaching or general manager opening was discussed at length. This year, with eight coaching vacancies and seven for GMs, no minority candidates was hired.

Goodell said he was disappointed in those results and would like to see more flexibility when teams ask to interview candidates whose clubs still are playing.

"One of the major focuses we've had was that we are going to reinstate the symposium program that we've had in the past," Goodell said. "That was primarily focused on coaches but we are likely to have some potential GM candidates also attend with the coaches."

The owners also approved tight ends and H-backs wearing numbers between 40 and 49. Previously, they were supposed to have numbers in the 80s.

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AP Sports Writer Bob Baum contributed to this story.

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