The NFL sent a team of game officials and supervisor of officials Jim Daopoulos for the annual preseason presentation, to give players, coaches and the media a crash course on new rules and points of emphasis for 2007.
Among the most notable changes is a rule that will prohibit players from spiking the ball in the field of play. That action now will be subject to a 5-yard penalty, though doing so in the end zone after a scoring play will be permitted, according to Steve Freeman, who works as a back judge. Spiking will be considered a delay of game because of the need to retrieve the ball.
Also new this season, an illegal cut block by the defense on a receiver will be penalized 15 yards rather than 5, when committed while the quarterback is in the pocket. And regarding illegal touching, an amendment makes it a penalty only if the ball is touched intentionally by an ineligible offensive receiver.
As for points of emphasis, or rules already in place that will be enforced more strictly, officials will be looking for cases of taunting (particularly aggressive, in-your-face acts), plus illegal contact where a receiver is impeded after 5 yards while a quarterback is in the pocket.
One issue that will be emphasized but won't result in penalties is the use of chinstraps. Officials will remind players that chinstraps must be buckled during each play, but they cannot issue penalties for violations. However, Daopoulos said, players are subject to fines and/or discipline by the league. He said the issue has come to the forefront because league research has found that players who don't properly utilize chinstraps are more likely to suffer head injuries.
Can you hear me now?
The quarterbacks on Thursday utilized their helmet transmitters through which a coach can communicate.
During the team drill portion of the morning practice, coaches backed off to let players get accustomed to having plays called from the sideline.
Thus the reason for the transmitter, which is turned off when the play clock reaches 15 seconds.
Quote of the day
"After you get soaked, what's the point?"
- A thoroughly wet Jon Gruden after the morning practice when asked why he didn't don any rain gear.
Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer
A daily look at Bucs training camp. For up-to-the-minute news, visit our Bucs Beat blog at bucs.tampabay.com.
Bucs camp schedule
Today: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-5:15 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30-11 a.m.
Sunday: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-5:15 p.m.
Monday: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-3:55 p.m. (special teams only)
Tuesday: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-4:50 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-4:50 p.m.
Thursday: 10:15-11:15 a.m. (walkthrough)
Aug. 10: Patriots at Bucs, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: Off
Aug. 12: 2:45-4:30 p.m.
Aug. 13: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-4:45 p.m.
Aug. 14: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-4:45 p.m.
Aug. 15: 8:30-11 a.m., 2:45-4:45 p.m.
Aug. 16: 8:30-10:45 a.m.
Aug. 18: Bucs at Jaguars, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 25: Bucs at Dolphins, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 30: Texans at Bucs, 8 p.m.
- Practices are free until moved to Tampa starting Aug. 17 - Games air on Ch. 8