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NFL Coaches Will Be Flagged And Fined For Venturing On The Field In 2013

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Bengals coach Marvin Lewis isn't known for charging onto the field to scream at referees, but other coaches (cough... jim Harbaugh) do. In 2013, coaches will be flagged and eventually fined for leaving the sidelines.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL won't tolerate coaches leaving the sidelines and venturing out on the field in 2013 as referees will be much more strict, throwing flags to penalize the team and eventually fining repeat offenders. This isn't that big of problem for the Bengals as Marvin Lewis isn't really known for charging onto the field when a bad call is made, but other coaches are. According to CBS Sports' Clark Judge, the NFL might as well call it the Jim Harbaugh rule.

"We need to be much more disciplined about where our coaches go in terms of the box," said Ray Anderson, the league's director of football operations, "and venturing out on the field beyond traditional markers is something that is just not appropriate. It can interfere and it can be viewed as intimidating, and we really are going to rein that in."

While coaches have been discouraged to leave the sidelines, referees rarely do anything to prevent the behavior. However, in the upcoming season and beyond, the league will be making sure the coaches stay where they belong as they'll be throwing flags and eventually fining the coaches to get the point across.

"There are borders," said Anderson, "but, very frankly, they're loosely enforced. But they will be more aggressively enforced going forward because we need to rein it in."

"Coaches can be flagged," he said. "It's about enforcement and point of emphasis. So coaches who, after appropriate warning, continue to venture out will pay the price with a penalty that potentially could hurt heir team."

When the NFL creates a new rule, or decides to step up their enforcement of a current rule, the officials typically almost go overboard on throwing flags. It will be interesting to see how early and often they enforce this. If it is enforced often, it will likely help the Bengals more than it hurts them, though. Lewis seems a little more level headed during games than most other coaches.