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Which NFL rules will be points of emphasis for referees this season?

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  • Which NFL rules will be points of emphasis for referees this season?

    Excerpt: "NFL rules are always evolving.

    As the preseason gets set to begin around the league, NFL referees will be asked to emphasize specific rules that the league and players are hoping to hammer down in the minds of coaches, players and fans.

    If there's an abundance of flags for the same infraction, it's likely by design. Each season, the NFL emphasizes a few rules--new or old--to make sure the entire sport is on board before the regular season begins in September.

    Here are the point-of-emphasis rules for 2017, per the NFL.

    -Low hits on the passer rules designed to protect quarterbacks in the pocket from forcible contact to the knee area or below. Driving the shoulder, chest or forearm into a quarterback's knees or below will be a foul.

    -Blindside blocks that occur when a blocker is running toward or parallel to his own endline and he blocks a player in a defenseless posture in the head or neck area. In these instances, the legal target area is above the waist and below the neck.

    -Launching fouls when a defender leaves both feet before making forcible contact with any part of his helmet to any part of a defenseless player's body.

    -Contact downfield, with a focus on players coming off the line of scrimmage or at the top of routes. This includes a defensive player grabbing a receiver or the receiver pushing off to create space or pulling the defender to get open.

    As with almost every rule in today's game, safety--especially with head injuries and CTE in the national conversation--is the driving force behind these points of emphasis. Blindside blocks and launching fouls fit this criteria." Read more...
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