Thursday, April 3, 2008

NFL Owners Meeting Update 2.0

I promised an update on any news and notes from the owners meetings, so here is a quick summation. Plus the latest from the Saints.

  • The facemask rule. No more 5-yard facemask penalties, only 15-yarders. A player accidentally grabbing a mask and quickly letting go with not be called.
  • The forceout rule. A receiver HAS to get two feet or a body part inbounds.
  • The field goal rule. Certain field goals can now be reviewed. Made famous by Browns K Phil Dawson's kick.

  • The fumble rule. "A legal forward handoff that is dropped is now a fumble, as is a direct snap from center that hits the ground before it is touched by the quarterback. In the past, the forward handoff would have been an incomplete pass and the botched snap would have been a false start."
  • Coin Toss. Winners of the coin toss may now defer.
  • The re-seeding of the playoffs failed.
On a worrisome note, the Times-Pic states at the end of this article:

Payton said he had concerns about the health of running back Deuce McAllister's knees, though he added McAllister's rehabilitation from surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament and microfracture surgery on his right knee were progressing well.

"I think you have to have some concern with what he does and the position he plays," Payton said. "As best we can, we're trying to gather all the information and seeing how he responds to the treatment and rehab."

Finally, it seems Will Smith knows what he is doing, and may have picked the right moment to ask for contract negotiations:

Saints owner Tom Benson, whose luxury yacht the Lady Gayle Marie is docked nearby, had members of the staff together for a Tuesday night dinner cruise.
Payton said Benson had New Orleans seafood flown in for the occasion.
"Everyone felt at home eating crawfish; it was real nice," said Payton, who added the meal was not messy."These were nicely peeled neatly on a tray, with shrimp and clams, all the appetizers and hot dishes. . . . There was plenty to eat. I ate too much. Tom and his wife were great host
s. They've got a real nice boat."

Coach Payton thanks Tom Benson and family for his hospitality. He also asked for a doggy bag and was caught shoving packets of Sweet & Low in his pockets before leaving the Lady Gayle Marie.

You are dismissed.

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