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Consider, too, guys that a lot of these rule changes are coming because of the old guard NFL players having their brains turn to scrambled eggs by the time they hit 50. The NFL doesn't want to have to pay a ton of money to take care of these guys and get them treatment for the rest of their lives, so they figure a few rule changes now will go a long ways to protecting their pocketbooks in the future, from both a medical care and lawsuit perspective.
i don't know about you guys, but i think most of these rule changes make sense. the umpire thing is long overdue, the fair catch rule is just a clarification, and the helmet rule makes a LOT of sense healthwise (the human skull is not as dense as you think).
the only thing that concerns me is the "defenseless player" rule. how do you define defenseless? i can see a lot of people getting frustrated over this rule next season