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A quick rules primer

Like every year there have been a few adjustments to the NFL's rules. To keep you from scratching your head saying, "isn't that suppose to be ..." or "I've never seen that called before." Here they are from a story on the rule changes.

»Defensive helmet radios: Teams will now be permitted to have one defensive player on the field with a radio in his helmet. This gives the defense the same ability to communicate its signals as the offense.

»Incidental facemasks: The foul for incidental grasp and release of the facemask has been eliminated. Twisting, turning or pulling the facemask will remain a 15-yard personal foul.

» Forceout rule: The forceout rule has been eliminated. A player who receives or intercepts a ball must land with both feet inbounds. This affords the receiver and defender equal opportunity to complete the play.

» Reviewable plays: Instant replay will expand to include field-goal and extra-point attempts as well as illegal forward handoffs. This provides a mechanism for correcting an obvious onfield officiating error.

» Second half coin toss: Clubs will now have the option to defer the opportunity to kick or receive the kickoff to the second half.


» Muffed snap: It will now be a live ball when a direct snap from center to a player who is in position to receive a hand-to-hand snap goes untouched. It was previously called a false start, but now either team may recover and advance the untouched snap.

» There will be a point of emphasis on a rule this season (although the rule itself has not changed):

Grasping the facemask by all players, including offensive players, will continue to be strictly enforced. Specific attention is to be given to the runner who twists, turns, or pulls the facemask of the defender who is trying to make the tackle.

Runners and tacklers are to be treated identically when this occurs. This action is a personal foul and a 15-yard penalty.

So those are your new NFL rules for 2008. Enjoy the games.