NFL rules A to zebra
Second-year NFL referee John Parry and two of his crewmates visited training camp Friday for an officiating presentation to the media.
Look for a few new rules and points of emphasis this season.
No force out: A receiver or defender must come down with both feet inbounds for a catch to be ruled legal. The exception is when a defender intentionally carries a player out of bounds.
"It's a difficult call for us because it's an angle thing," Parry said. "When you look at a game on TV, as I do when I'm at home, or friends do, they wonder how in the world could you have ruled that it wasn't a force out? But at this level at that speed, it's difficult. It's an angle issue."
Replay will apply to field goals: If the ball is kicked between the uprights but not through them, replay can be used to determined if it struck something other than the crossbar and bounced back into the field of play.
No 5-yard penalty for incidental face mask: If a player twists, turns or jerks a face mask, it's a 15-yard penalty. There is no foul for making contact with one.
"We probably missed a few of those," Parry said. "It's a safety issue. When you're jerking a mask at the speed they're running, it's a safety issue. So for us, it's a point of emphasis to enforce the rule. … Twist, turn, jerk, safety — if one of those four scenarios exist, it's 15 yards."
There are some other minor tweaks. One defensive player will be allowed to wear a coach-to-player transmitter in his helmet. If two players on the same side of the ball happen to be on the field with transmitters during the same play, it's a 5-yard penalty for illegal substitution.
Also, teams winning the coin toss may elect to defer their option to receive or kick to the second half.
As for replay, Parry said he supports it.
"I support it because I think we all recognize the importance of getting it correct," Parry said. "And if we can correct something on a Sunday afternoon at 2:30 versus hearing you report about it Monday morning or on ESPN, I'm all for it. Does it make our game easier? No. Replay is extremely complex."
Replacing a legend
Brian Griese had to replace a legendary quarterback in Denver when John Elway retired after winning back-to-back Super Bowls.
So does Griese, right, have any pointers for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is trying to follow in Brett Favre's footsteps?
"I don't have any advice," Griese said. "I think that his situation is even more difficult because John Elway didn't want to come back and play when I was playing. It would have been a lot tougher.
"He's in a tough position. There's no doubt."
Aug. 9: at Miami, 7:30, Ch. 8
Aug. 17: New England, 8, NFL Network
Aug. 23: Jacksonville, 7:30, Ch. 8
Aug. 28: at Houston, 8, Ch. 8