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New Rules Passed By NFL Owners

Last updated on Thursday, March 21, 2013

(UNDATED) - NFL owners passed new rules on Wednesday.

The infamous "tuck rule" was eliminated in an overwhelming vote of 29-1. The Steelers were the only team to vote no. The Patriots and Redskins abstained from voting.

New England benefited from the rule when Charles Woodson knocked the ball from Tom Brady's hands 11 years ago, only to have the play overturned. Now, if a quarterback loses control of the ball before he has fully protected it after not throwing it, it's a fumble.

Colts Coach Chuck Pagano says eliminating the "tuck rule" definitely makes it easier for officials.

The new helmet rule states that offensive players will be flagged 15 yards for lowering the crown of their helmet into defenders in the open field.

Pagano says the spirit of the rule is good, but he thinks it will be tough to officiate. Pagano says there will be "bang-bang" plays where a runner clutches the football with both hands and drops his head.

Pagano says they can coach a player to not drop the helmet, and use the shoulder instead, but he says there will be plays that it will be difficult for officials to throw a flag.

Pagano adds that the League is moving in the right direction when it comes to player safety.

Another rule adopted Wednesday is being referred to as the "Jim Schwartz Rule". The rule calls for coaches who wrongly throw a challenge flag for a review that was going to be conducted automatically, will no longer cost their team the chance to have the play reviewed.

Schwartz, the Lions Head Coach, threw a challenge flag on Thanksgiving that negated an automatic review.

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