Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

On NFL's agenda: extra points and chop blocks

The NFL's powerful competition committee is recommending making permanent extra-point kicks from the 15-yard line, eliminating all chop blocks and ejecting a player for twice receiving certain unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game.

When NFL owners meet next week in Florida, they also will consider such proposals as moving the line of scrimmage up 5 yards to the 25 on kickoff touchbacks, allowing coaches and players to use video rather than just photos on sideline tablets, and expanding the penalties on horse-collar tackles to cover the nameplate on the uniform.

Among the rule proposals that teams will present Monday through Wednesday are several involving video review: allowing three coaches' challenges instead of two even when one challenge fails, expanding what can be challenged to include everything but turnovers and scores, and eliminating overtime in preseason games.

What won't be altered is what constitutes a catch, a subject that often infuriates players and fans.

After Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested during Super Bowl week that player ejections for two egregious fouls would be considered, the committee is suggesting that specific unsportsmanlike conduct penalties could lead to expulsions. Those are:

Throwing a punch or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made.

Using abusive, threatening or insulting language, or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials or representatives of the league.

Using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams.

Officials don't need to judge the fouls as flagrant for an automatic disqualification. And it won't necessarily take two fouls for a player to be tossed.

"We do believe officials should be empowered and should not feel ejection is not an appropriate remedy when there is a flagrant foul," said committee co-chairman Rich McKay, president of the Falcons.

Around the NFL

Jets: Cornerback Darrelle Revis, a former Buc, underwent surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his wrist. He'll wear a hard cast for the next two to three months and is expected to be fully healed by training camp in late July.

Broncos: Former Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung agreed to a five-year contract.

Cardinals: Former NFL rushing champion Chris Johnson visited the Dolphins, but agreed to terms on a one-year contract to stay with Arizona.

Patriots: Special-teamer Nate Ebner is taking a break from the NFL to attempt to earn a spot with the U.S. Rugby team in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Comments
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

TAMPA — The beers and the "love ya bros" were flowing Saturday night at the Hooters in Tampa. Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of tonight’s home game against the Falcons, worked the room, greeting family, frien...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Cabreras win Father-Son Challenge in Orlando

ORLANDO — Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory Sunday in their debut at the Father-Son Challenge. "This is certainly my best week of the year," said Cabrera, 48, who has one of the best nicknames on tou...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Go with live shrimp in deep water

Water temperatures are around 62 degrees throughout most of the bay, so bait has pushed off deep and, for the most part, been ineffective. The cooler water has the fish hunkered down and their metabolism has slowed. When this happens, the inshore fis...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Published: 12/16/17
Updated: 12/17/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Published: 12/16/17
Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Thunder 111-96 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Michael Beasley tied his season high with 30 ...
Published: 12/16/17
Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

BOSTON — Mats Zuccarello scored a power-play goal 1:56 into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday. Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games (9-3-1) overall...
Published: 12/16/17