AFC South: competition committee
Some things of note:
McKay: “We'll propose a rule that creates the ball being dead if a runner loses or has his helmet come off during a play, which is a college rule they've had and used. We watched some tape where there are instances where players are running in the field of play without their helmet. In our mind that is not a safe situation.”
Kuharsky’s take: Makes sense to me. When I see those plays I always wince expecting the guy to get cracked from the side and in the age of concussion concern there’s an easy way to prevent one.
McKay: “We will propose a rule on the modification of the sudden death procedure in overtime. We will say that we would like to have it where there would be an opportunity to possess in the event the first team with the ball does not score a touchdown.”
Kuharsky’s take: He indicates later it's for the postseason only. If you want it in the postseason, have it in the regular season. We need to be watching the same game in both.
McKay: “We have another rule on player numbering systems to make sure it's uniform and to expand the opportunity for players to wear different numbers, acknowledging the fact that the teams are playing a 3-4 defense and you have players who end up being defensive ends and linebackers.”
Kuharsky’s take: Surely someone popular will change, sending his devotees back to the pro shop.
And a note that impacts operations at Lucas Oil Stadium:
McKay: “One resolution applies to the situations in Indy and in Dallas with respect to the windows and the curtains. We want to standardize all that language to match up with the retractable roof policy already in place, that being that you need to declare what you're going to do in your configuration 90 minutes before the game.”
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."
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."
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
I mentioned Rick Smith's position in this morning's "Reading the coverage," but thought the topic was worth revisiting as people contemplate the Texans' future.
While Houston owner Bob McNair has said he won't evaluate things until after the season is over, the fact that commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed Smith to the powerful competition committee tells us there is no chance that Smith is losing his job with the Texans.
That means coach Gary Kubiak will be in place, too. While there have been rumblings nationally about Smith or Kubiak potentially being in trouble, those in the know in Houston never lent such talk much volume. There is a possibility Kubiak will shuffle his defensive staff after the season is over.
Smith was named the Texans' GM on June 5, 2006, after heading the Broncos pro personnel department. Kubiak was hired nearly five months earlier, but the two had ties from working together in Denver and have a good working relationship.
Goodell appointed Smith to the spot on the competition committee that used to belong to Matt Millen, who was fired as Detroit's GM earlier this season.
Here's some of what Smith told Houston reporters Friday about his new appointment:
"It obviously is an enormous responsibility and a tremendous honor for me to be appointed to the competition committee. It's something that's very important to our league, and so, I'm blessed to be a part of it and am excited about the opportunity..."
"I've talked to a couple of the members here over the last couple of months and so I knew that it was in the works or was a possibility. I certainly didn't know where it was in the process and so I got a phone call a couple of days ago and found out that they had in fact decided to appoint me; that Roger had in fact decided to appoint me and I was excited about that ..."
"The competition committee basically is charged with making sure the game is played at as high of a level as we can play it and to maintain the integrity of the game. That's reviewing rules, whether they're personnel rules or playing rules or officiating rules. So, it's the committee that's charged with making sure our game is as good as it needs to be..."
"Well, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roger and how he's running the league and the things that he is doing. So, for me to have an opportunity to serve and be a part of something at the league level is obviously is important. And like I said, it's just a heck of an honor."