After the Bolts' fifth practice of training camp, NFL official Jeff Triplette discussed rules changes and points of emphasis for the 2016 season. A video was shown and Triplette answered any questions regarding the changes. The 21-year veteran official said the changes were put in place in effort to protect the players.
Some notable rules changes and points of emphasis are below.
All Chop Blocks Are Illegal:A 15-yard penalty will be issued upon calling the foul. Chop blocks are fouls regardless if the play is a run, pass or kick.
Player Disqualification for Two Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalties:Disqualification is based upon two penalties in the same game. The types of fouls include: throwing a punch or kick without contact, using abusive or threatening language towards opponents, and taunting.
*Expansion of Horse Collar Rule: *It is now illegal for a defender to grab a jersey at or above the nameplate and pull the runner to the ground. Triplette said he's found injuries from horse collar tackles have been to a player's legs.
Delay of Game Foul:A foul will be issued when a team calls a time out when it is not permitted. Officials are told to ignore the time out call, but if they blow the whistle, it will result in a five-yard delay of game penalty.
*Free Kick Touchback: *Touchbacks from kickoffs or safety kicks are now placed at the receiving team's 25-yard line.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS
QB Protection in the Pocket:The quarterback is protected from forced contact to or below the knee area while in the pocket.
Sliding Runners: Players who slide feet first will be treated like a player on the ground and cannot be unnecessarily contacted.
*Crown of Helmet Hits: *A defender cannot make contact with the crown of his helmet to any part of a runner's body.
*Pre-Snap O-Line Movement: *Centers cannot adjust the football with abrupt or significant movement once the line is set.
Blindside Blocks on KOs or PRs:Blockers moving towards own end line cannot block opponent in head or neck area.