The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review gets into some of the rule changes that the NFL is making this year, and some of them, I wasn't aware of. One big rule seems designed to make it harder for teams to use a "silent count" in a loud building, limiting that way that offensive linemen can move before the snap.
I'm calling this one the "Come On, Let's Get Peyton Into The Super Bowl" rule. I'm expecting a new rule to come out next week that makes it illegal to wear shoulder pads unless you've dated a country music superstar. The RCA Dome is a loud building even without considering the accusations of artificial noise being piped in. It just seems like an odd little rule. Why make it harder to execute a silent count?
Other rule changes include:
"Fumbles that occur after a whistle, if recovered immediately and cleanly, are subject to instant replay review to see if the player was down by contact."
So that old "play until you hear the whistle" maxim is no longer true; now you have to play until you hear the whistle, but it has to be the whistle that they really mean.
Maximum time for instant replay viewings has been reduced from 90 to 60 seconds.
Oh, so instead of completely ignoring a 90-second replay rule, we'll be completely ignoring a 60-second replay rule. Awesome.
"Expect a crackdown on players getting into other player's faces and trash-talking.
Calling a guy's mother a whore will still be fine, but you better not invade his personal space. In essence, the NFL has made it illegal to be a close-talker. If you can't trash talk a guy in his face, where are you supposed to trash talk him? Do they want them to write letters?