Player safety a key topic for competition committee

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL's competition committee has obtained surveys from all the teams and is underway with its annual offseason procedures; reviewing the forms, determining the issues to be focused on and addressed.

The committee started meetings Tuesday and will conclude this preliminary stage of their work Thursday or Friday. These initial talks then funnel into further meetings in Naples, Fla., that build up to the NFL Annual Meeting from March 22-25 in Dana Point, Calif.

Co-chair Jeff Fisher and committee member Bill Polian both said earlier this week that they expect player safety to be among the primary topics.

"If we look back this year, look back the last couple years, if there is a pattern, if there is some way to avoid some of the high-impact collisions that result in some injuries, then we'll look at it," Fisher said.

Said Polian: "I think safety is going to be an obvious point of discussion. That's something that the commissioner has talked about quite a bit. There are lots of areas there that you can look at and I don't know which ones the league would have in mind but I am certain that we'll discuss it. Hits on defenseless players is always a subject of discussion."

Central to that conversation could be Ryan Clark's thundering hit on Willis McGahee during the AFC Championship Game.

Polian said he expected other topics would include overtime rules, that the tuck rule is always covered and that he expected "given what happened in the Arizona-Philadelphia playoff game that we'll talk about reviewable plays under replay."