New Rules Means More Work For Coaches
August 6 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers came out of their first pre-season game, and while the score was not something they were proud of, the coaching staff could certainly commend the players for staying focused throughout the game, and not getting beaten by penalties. That being said, there are a few rule changes to the NFL this season that I’d like to bring to your attention.
The first comes on kickoffs, where the clock will not start until the ball has entered the field of play. This means that touchbacks, and kick out of bounds, and fair catches will all NOT start the clock. This is the same rule that applied in the final two minutes of every half.
Conversely, a quarterback sack within the last two minutes of a half will not stop the clock. The idea here is not to penalize the defense for making a good play. It will also force the quarterback to get his ‘head on strait’ sooner, rather than later.
The orange markers that are on the sidelines of the goal line are now inbounds. Meaning players can score a touchdown even after hitting a pylon.
Late hit penalties or dead ball fouls against an offensive team will result in a loss of downs.
Finally, defensive lineman must have their entire bodies, head included onside before the snap. Previously, the lineman could cheat up as long as their body that was touching the ground remained on side.
The coaches have worked with the team to continue to reduce penalties, and to teach them these new rules. In the first pre-season game, the 49ers appeared to be quite well disciplined in this area.