Mixed in with direly important ESPN notifications about Tim Tebow stopping a 31-game homerless skid (in low A ball) and Zeke Elliott being a passenger in a car accident (who was completely unharmed), you may have caught a few changes to NFL policies and rules.
Indeed, it’s that time of year where teams vote on changes to be made around the league. Some of the new rules bring about positive change (anything Patriots related), while others are major head-scratchers (moving the kickoff for ‘safety’ reasons).
Let’s take a quick peak at some of this year’s major changes, and how they directly affect the Baltimore Ravens.
Laxin’ on the End Zone Celly’s
I’ve long been a proponent of reverting to the old ways of allowing celebrations on touchdowns. While some of the past antics of Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens may have been a bit over the top, removing the celly (that’s celebration for you old farts) was a frivolous rule.
There is a caveat, however: twerking and goal post dunks are still flag-worthy.
No twerking is a win, but the dunk?
Let it go, Rog.
As for the Ravens, if Jacoby Jones was still on the roster (and with the thin WR corps he honestly very well could be) this rule change would be a bigger deal. Instead, we have an offense lacking weapons, with a questionable offensive line, a lead back suspended for four games, and a polarizing, mellow quarterback.
In short, if they find the end zone at any point during the season? They need to be celebrating to the fullest on those rare occasions. Fortunately, they can do so this year.
75-Man Roster Cut, Nevermore
The NFL has decided to skip the training camp cut-down to 75 players, and simply limit each team to one single cut that will take them from 90 players down to 53.
While it may seem like a good idea – this allows teams more time to evaluate their full roster – this is likely going to be detrimental for the Ravens.
As many fans know in Baltimore, Ozzie Newsome thrives in the world of dumpster diving. Those cuts down to 75 usually exposed a few big-name veterans to the waiver wire, where the Ravens have been known to pick them up and more often than not, turn them into gold.
Alas, now we have one cut, and a likely free-for-all for 32 teams. Yikes.
IR Designation Expanded
In short, instead of one player being able to return from the IR designation, teams can now assign two players the tag.
This helps the Ravens in the same capacity as every other team. Fingers crossed, the injury bug won’t clamp down in Baltimore (again) this season. Also knock on wood. And maybe do some of that crystal magic stuff too.
Less OT, More Ties?
In a move that confuses the hell out of me (and likely, Donovan McNabb), the NFL has shortened the overtime period from 15 minutes down to 10.
I’m assuming the NFL is under the impression a shortened OT will bring more action as teams are under the gun.
Instead, just expect more kissing your sister (that’s a tie game, although in Pittsburgh…)
And let’s be honest: why make this rule at all? In the 2016 regular season, there were 12 OT games, with two ending in a tie. Only four OT games passed the 10 minute mark, and two of those four would’ve resulted in a tie had this new 10-minute OT rule been in effect.
As always with OT rules, the NFL missed the mark, and didn’t address the fact that the current format still claims “if Team A wins a 50-50 coin flip and scores a TD? Game over.”
The NFL seriously needs to consider going to a NCAA-style format, where both teams have a chance to score, REGARDLESS OF WHO SCORES FIRST.
But hey, I get it. I mean the NHL does deem the 1st goal in a shootout the winner, just like in the NBA where if a player hits a three-pointer on the first possession of OT the game is over, or in baseball if the visiting team hits a home run in the top of the 10th, the home team never gets a shot in the bottom of the inning.
Oh right…NONE OF THOSE THINGS ARE TRUE.
Super Bowl Shuffle
Due to construction issues and likely a voodoo-laden curse from the friendly folks in St Louis, the LA stadium will not be ready in time to host Super Bowl 55 as planned. Instead, the Super Bowl will be moved to Tampa Bay, and Super Bowl 56 in 2021 will be in Los Angeles.
Ramifications for the Ravens? A Super Bowl to Tampa?
One can only hope so…