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NFL Owners Unanimously Approve Three Rule Changes for Safety

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If defensive players in the NFL believe that they're getting fined or penalized too much for hitting hard, like they've been trained to throughout their careers, they could possibly be frustrated by some new rule changes that were implemented by the NFL on Tuesday. Ray Lewis might not be saying that it's only the quarterbacks that should be wearing skirts anymore, but any player who is not "clearly a runner yet."

The NFL added some content to their defenseless player rules. They now consider players who are not running with the ball yet as defenseless. Those players include wide receivers, kickers and punters during returns and quarterbacks after a change of possession.

The owners also created rules to crack down on launching. It is now prohibited for a defensive player to make contact with another player using his helmet when leaving his feet prior to contact. 

They also passed a new rule about "grazing" a quarterback. It is now a referee's judgement call of whether or not to call a penalty on a player who makes contact with a quarterback's head. It used to be an automatic penalty. 

All three of these changes were approved by a 32-0 vote by the NFL owners. It would be nice to see them work as hard to make sure there's football in 2011.