Good moning from the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
The owners are meeting right now and voting on the six proposed rulle changes put before them -- the most debated of which is the rule that woiuld prohibit a running back from using the crown of his helmet to forcibly deliver a blow outside the tackle box.
Most coaches, including Mike Tomlin, agree the rule is necessary. But it is receiving much discussion, and might not pass, because the coaches and owners are worried about how the rule would be officiated. If it passes, it would place even more burden on the officials to make a judgement call.
Tomlin has said the rule would be enforced only when it is "obvious" a running back used his helmet to deliver a blow outside the tackle box. He said it's a penalty that might not be called very often.
But, much like helmet hits by a defender, it's possible a running back might not be penalized in the game but could be fined once the games are reviewed by the league office.
Because it is a player-safety proposal, the chaces of it not passing are slim. But it might get held up for now until the competition committee can find a way to better officiate the rule.
Rashard Mendenhall had some problems with the Steelers, both on and off the field. Those include a controversial tweet about Osama Bin Laden several years ago.
But that doesn’t bother new Arizona Coach Bruce Arians, who signed him to a one-year contract in free agency and is thrilled to have him.
“He’s a legitimate big-time threat every time he touches the ball,” Arians, the Steelers former offensive coordinator, said this morning at the NFC coaches breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. “He’s a big back who never has to come out of the game. He has a 230-pound body with 180-pound feet.”
Arians said he is not worried about Mendenhall’s attitude, either. Mendenhall was suspended for one game last season when he failed to show up for a game against the Chargers in which he was deactivated.
“The tweet he made earlier was a mistake, he understands that,” Arians said. “Rashard is a different person than most football players. You have to respect the individual and what he stands for. He thinks differently. I respect that and appreciate that.
“He does train-dancing; he does different things that football players usually do. He’s an honest, bright kid. I’m thrilled to have him.”
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