Seahawks Insider

A review of NFL rule changes for the 2013 season

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm with 29 Comments »
August 13, 2013 1:24 pm
Minnesota Vikings' Chad Greenway (52) gets ready to tackle Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Minnesota Vikings’ Chad Greenway (52) gets ready to tackle Seattle Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

I didn’t get a chance to write about this last week when NFL referees visited the VMAC, but wanted to pass along this information to you now.

Specifically, I thought this information is pertinent after the Seahawks were called for three personal foul penalties in the 31-10 win over San Diego last week.

Here’s what Pete Carroll had to say about the calls after the game.

“I thought the quarterback it, I don’t know – was that Charlie (Whitehurst) on that first hit? Yeah, we should’ve hit Charlie a little bit harder,” joked Carroll. “Then the late hit, the helmet-to-helmet shot. I couldn’t see that one either. We had three aggressive penalties that I thought they were quick to call. But what do I know, I’m just a ball coach.”

Craig Wrolstad, a field judge in the NFL since 2003, led the meeting.

Check out the video outlining the new rules below. It’s the same video shown to players at every NFL training camp.

Rule change: A runner cannot initiate contact with the crown of their helmet outside the tackle box.
In order to receive a flag for this offense, three things have to occur.
1. The player has to line up his opponent.
2. He must lower his head.
3. He must deliver a forcible blow with the crown of his helmet to any part of his opponent’s body.
Foul: Unnecessary roughness, 15-yard penalty.

Reasoning: Wrolstad said the league looked at every play from the second half of the 2012 season, and noted that only about five plays where a penalty would have been called. According to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, a league spokesperson said there were no violations of the new helmet-rule infraction through Week 1 exhibition play. Some have argued this rule could adversely affect Marshawn Lynch and his physical running style, but to be honest he uses his shoulder and stiff arm more than dipping his helmet when trying to fight off would-be tacklers in the open field.

Rule change: On field goal and extra-point attempts, the defense cannot have more than six players on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper when the ball is snapped. However, you can still overload the line of scrimmage in the punt game.
Foul: Illegal formation, 5-yard penalty.

Reasoning: This rule was designed to protect players in a vulnerable position and susceptible to injury.

Rule change: Defensive players cannot push defensive linemen into the offensive formation on field goal or extra-point attempts. Also, the snapper is considered a defenseless player while he’s in the process of making a snap.
Foul: Unnecessary roughness, 15-yard penalty.

Reasoning: This technique has led to player injuries.

Rule change: The peel back block is illegal on any area of the field of play. Peel back blocks below the waist used to be allowed within the tackle box, but that is no longer the case. In order for the block to be legal, the near shoulder must get completely across the front of the opponent’s body. Cut blocks on the man in front of you are still legal. And peel back blocks are still legal, as long as they are above the waist and you do not strike with the crown of the helmet, or make contact with an opponent’s helmet.
Foul: Unnecessary roughness, 15-yard penalty, and potential discipline.

Reasoning: Player safety.

Rule change: All players are required to wear thigh and knee pads.
Foul: If a player removed from the game returns without the proper equipment, it’s a 5-yard penalty for illegal substitution. A repeat violation will result in disqualification from the game.

Reasoning: Player safety. I wrote about this change earlier during training camp, which will affect Seattle players like Sidney Rice, Earl Thomas and Chris Clemons.

Rule change: Any loss of control by a thrower while he attempts to tuck the ball back in his body will be a fumble. Prior to this change, it was considered a pass until the thrower tucked the ball all the way to his body. Now, the forward passing motion ends once the thrower begins to tuck the ball.

Reasoning: Common sense. Ask any Raiders fan.

Rule change: A play can be reviewed even when a coach erroneously throws his challenge flag.
Foul: If a coach challenges a scoring play, a turnover, a play that begin inside of two minutes at the end of the half or a game or during an overtime period, that team will automatically be charged a timeout, or be assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct if they do not have a timeout.

Reasoning: Common sense, along with bailing out head coaches like Jim Schwartz who do not understand the rule book.

NFL news
Leave a comment Comments → 29
  1. Wow, and I thought the rules of golf were complicated! Thanks Eric that was interesting to watch.

  2. I forget who said it but now every time I see Moffitt’s face I think of Dom DeLuise.

  3. Reasoning: This technique has led to player injuries.

    if that is the reasoning then we shouldn’t allow Tackling, blocking, or even running – since I have seen all of those things result in injury

  4. “that the rules are clear and consistently enforced . . . . .” Bahahahaha

    Of course it is way better than in the NBA but still – lets be realistic. you know that the first rule will be flagged more than 5 times in the first half of this season – some of them will be correct and others total crap. Like the helmet to helmet call we got on Thursday when the defenders helmet came up to maybe the shoulder pads but no higher.

  5. Help me out here, fellow “old people”. I am almost POSITIVE that “spearing” used to be illegal and emphasized as such regardless of if it was offensive or defensive. I know my HS coach emphasized “See what you’re hitting”

    Anyone else remember that? Didn’t a player get paralyzed from spearing back in the 80’s? Utley?

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    blueshq- Moffitt is a cross between Dom DeLuise and Burt Reynolds.

  7. Maybe it’s the beard and stache that bring in the Burt part. Even his voice and comic delivery remind me of Dom.

  8. Utley was not paralyzed from spearing–he went and did a header into the ground, I saw it happen.

  9. CDHawkFan says:

    I don’t think it was Utley, I think he hit the astroturf with his forehead/helmet pushing his head back. I don’t think it was a dirty/spearing play.

  10. CDHawkFan says:

    I saw it too Slave, I was once brainwashed into following the Lions as I was born and raised in Michigan. Uncles still act like 12 year olds talking about the Lions, oh man, glad I got of of there…

  11. CDHawkFan–I worked some last summer with a kid who’s Dad works for the Lions. Yeah, the Lions are a hard-luck franchise; I dont think they win it all unless and until the Fords sell the team.

    But then again, I think their GM is doing a good job. Schwartz just is a putz and not much of a coach. But they have talent on that team…

    Out of the frying pan, into the fire though, becoming a Hawks fan…the years before Holmy and after sure sucked…thank God for John Schneider and Pete Carrol..things are looking brighter than ever!

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    There you have it. It’s now official. The Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl this season. Lol.

  13. doubledink says:

    “Reasoning: Common sense. Ask any Raiders fan.”

    Eric, there is unmistakable bile in those words…

  14. doubledink says:

    I had the first dog in this hunt. Been calling him the Kung-Fu Panda for over two years. Maybe not here though, Twitter yes.

  15. dd, Yeah I can picture him as a sumu (sp) wrestler! “And now ladies and gentlemen; KUNG-FU PANDA!”. And the 12th man cheers (too loudly).

  16. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    it is always amazing to me what some people predict, this one has 11 o-line kept 7 receivers lol pretty funny

  17. boucherm says:

    This is a great post, thank you Eric

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Oklahoma- Is pot now legal there?

    Correct me if I’m wrong but from the article you posted I saw 10 O- lineman, and 5 receivers.

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    OK, I see he added one more receiver, (Harper) so that makes it (imo) about right.

  20. Just read that Alex Gibbs un-retired this Spring to be an assistant O-Line coach/consultant for the Denver Broncos. Hmmm.

  21. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    3 linebackers georgia dont see that happening. i also think mcquistan gets cut and maybe carp as well. i don’t see how they cut bradford at this point or smith. i think 5 CB not 6. i can really see 9 OL not ten.

  22. jawpeace says:

    I remember the Utley play well for two reasons; first getting paralyzed is traumatic and second it occurred when he as was attempting to sack Dave Krieg. “Mud Bone” gave the slip as Utley led with his head on the tackle and missed Krieg and hit another incoming player.

  23. bbnate420 says:

    New Real Rob for anyone that’s interested.

  24. bbnate420 says:

    I wonder why Carp was with the fans with pig tails and holding a Hawk Gang shirt? ;-)

  25. jawpeace–Youre memory is wrong on several counts: Mike Utley was an offensive lineman for the Lions. You are thinking of a different player in a different year. Im not sure anyone was paralyzed sacking Kreig, but it surely wasnt Utley.

    Utley did a header into the ground.

    I do remember a play where two guys trying to sack a qb ran into each other with dipped heads and one was carted off the field with a neck injury…dont remember who it was, but Im pretty sure one team was the Eagles….defense?!

  26. bbnate420 says:

    jawpeace is thinking of Dennis Byrd. He played for the Jets and was paralyzed trying to sack Krieg when he played for the Chiefs. He ducked his head and collided with a teammate.

  27. jawpeace says:

    Thanks bbnate! I remember Krieg was involved and was thinking Utley was the one hurt, but I was wrong on the player who got paralyzed.

  28. is this no-helmet-contact rule somehow adding to back ache injuries to RBs?

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