Found August 05, 2013 on Fox Sports North:
MANKATO, Minn. -- The NFL has used Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson prominently in its videos to demonstrate the new league rule regarding hits using the crown of the helmet. In a video shown to on-field officials, players and coaches as a teaching tool, there is Peterson running against the Chicago Bears in a game last season, lining up his target and lowering his head to drive through the defender. It's the exact type of hit -- along with another showing Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson leveling a Philadelphia Eagles' defender -- the league is hoping to eradicate this season. But the NFL is also not expecting to see many violations regarding the new rule, which has come under scrutiny, particularly from running backs around the league. A group of officials met with media at Minnesota's training camp Monday to highlight the league's new rules and what can be expected when the season begins. "They're not that many of them, so they don't expect a big rash of these things, particularly now that it's a rule," side judge Laird Hayes told reporters. "So, I just think it's one of those they're adding to those incidents where they just want to protect these guys as much as they can." Peterson said last week he is OK with the new rule after coming to a better understanding to what the league is trying to legislate. The rule applies to offensive and defensive players outside of the tackle box. "I thought it was pointed just at the running backs and I thought that was wrong, way wrong," Peterson said last week. "But once I got to understanding, in the big picture, you hear about a lot of guys injuring themselves with their head down; not a lot of running backs, but defensive guys. For the sport and the health of the players, the rule was put in play. And once I found out that it involves all players, I was cool with it." Players will now draw a 15-yard penalty for leading with the crown of their helmet in cases where players are more than three yards downfield or outside of the tackle box. Offensive and defensive players are both subject to the penalty and if both occur on the same play, each will be penalized. Officials will be looking for three main points when considering the rule: whether a player is outside of the tackle box, lines up his opponent for the hit and then drops his head looking to make contact with the crown of the helmet. The league has decided such plays won't be penalized for players coming at an angle to initiate contact. "They're looking for that obvious play out in the open where a guy, it's just him and that defender and he lowers that head," umpire Roy Ellison said. The NFL has also eliminated the basis of the infamous "Tuck Rule" where a quarterback was still considered to be in his throwing motion until tucking the ball away against his body. Now, officials will be forced to make more of a judgment call for when the throwing motion has ended and the quarterback has fumbled. Originally the NFL tried to simplify the ruling by saying a quarterback had to fully tuck the ball away before a fumble was declared. "As soon as the quarterback starts to bring, in the referee's judgment starts to bring it back in, it's going to be a fumble, play it as a fumble and it kind of evolved to this because a few years ago, the referees were told play everything as a fumble," Hayes said. "Replay can always fix that." The NFL has also changed replay rules this season to still give teams the benefit of replay even though a coach might throw a challenge flag on unchallenged plays, such as scoring plays and turnovers. Last year, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz cost his team for throwing a flag on a scoring play. In the past, even though review might have conclusively overturned the play, teams were penalized and didn't get the benefit of replay because of the illegal challenge. Now, teams will be penalized, but a review will still take place and the ruling from the review will be enforced. "Really there's no excuse, unless (coaches) kind of forget and get caught up in the moment, for them to throw it because we'll walk them through that," Hayes said. "We don't want them to make a mistake." Other changes included having six defenders or more on one side during field goals and point-after attempts, the long snapper is now considered a defenseless player until he becomes an active blocker and outlawing peel-back blocks completely from the game, where an offensive player hits a defender below the waist. The league has also mandated thigh and knee pads be worn by all players. The rules are put in place by the league's competition committee, with little input from the league's officials other than having two people in place, vice president of officiating Dean Blandino and senior director of officiating Alberto Riveron, for reference on rules. Despite the spotlight on officials, the group in Minnesota said they never have second thoughts about the job. "Never, even when you have a bad day, never," said head judge Tony Veteri. "It's just a wonderful opportunity." "A bad day of officiating is better than a good day of work," Ellison said. Berger out, secondary on the mend: Backup center and guard Joe Berger missed Monday's walk-through and practice and coach Leslie Frazier wasn't sure when he would be able to return as he tends to a personal matter. Frazier said Berger had to leave camp Sunday night. Cornerbacks Josh Robinson and Xavier Rhodes and safety Mistral Raymond have been dealing with hamstring injuries. Robinson and Raymond returned to practice on Monday, but the rookie Rhodes was still sitting out and said his status is day to day. Linebacker Desmond Bishop sat out practice Monday with a groin injury. "Not overly concerned unless it lingers," Frazier said. "We'll see. He'll be day-to-day and hopefully we can get him back and get him some action on Friday night, but we'll have to kind of wait and see." Bishop said after practice the injury is getting better, but he wasn't sure when he'd be able to return. Looks at punt returner: Marcus Sherels, who returns after leading the team in punt returns last season is still considered the top option to return punts this season according to special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who prefers Sherels sure-handed ability. Several other returners could see action in Friday's first preseason game, according to Frazier, including receiver Stephen Burton and Bobby Felder. "We're debating about whether or not we want (Cordarrelle) Patterson to have a chance to do it as well," Frazier said. "Jarius Wright may get an opportunity. So we've got a few candidates to potentially take a look at and we'll just see how it goes in the game as it unfolds." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter

Minnesota Vikings: Training Camp report 8/5

The beginning of this week doesn’t just mark the start of Shark Week. It’s a game week for the Minnesota Vikings, they take on the Houston Texans in a preseason exhibition game on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The team looks to improve on a few things before the season opener. Christian Ponder throwing to Adrian Peterson out of the backfield. (Photo by: Doug Erlien) Player updates by...

Matt Cassel Brings Discernible Talents to the Vikings

Ever since the Minnesota Vikings signed Matt Cassel (and his wife) to be the back up quarterback for the team, every fan was probably wondering what exactly it was that he was bringing to the team. Was he going to push incumbent Christian Ponder for the starting job? Was he really just supposed to be a low-paid mentor? Would he successfully bring his wife to gala events? No one knew...

Vikings coach praises Everson Griffen: ‘He’s been a bright spot’

Defensive end Everson Griffen is establishing himself as a productive player for the Minnesota Vikings. In the final year of his rookie contract, Griffen could be in line for a big payday by the end of the year if he can continues to improve.  Last season he had 8.0 sacks, saw more playing time, and played his best ball when the Vikings 

Vikings LT Matt Kalil gaining weight in a good way: ‘If I was weighing 280 or something, I'd get tossed around a little bit’

Minnesota Vikings LT Matt Kalil spent his summer gaining weight, not losing it. It sound like a bad thing, but for Kalil he needs to be heavier coming into camp to be more stout. In the offseason he’s goes down to 280 pounds, however, his playing weight is 315. He says it’s about putting on the weight the right way, not just eating fast food. It’s also about gaining muscle...

Wallet, integrity of Vikings owner Wilf take hit in 21-year-old court case finding

A New Jersey judge's findings following a two-decade court case involving Minnesota Vikings ownership shouldn't affect progress on the team's new multi-million dollar stadium. They will, however, pound a dent into the pocketbooks of the team's principal owner and his front-office family members. And an even bigger one in their business integrity. According to a...

Jared Allen leaves practice after "tweaking" his ankle

MANKATO, Minn. -- At one point during Minnesota Vikings' training camp on Tuesday, Everson Griffen had replaced Pro Bowler Jared Allen, second-year linebacker Audie Cole was filling in for Erin Henderson and special teamer Andrew Sendejo was at safety for Harrison Smith. Once enjoying a relatively healthy training camp, Minnesota is now dealing with a few injuries along its...

Depth on Vikings' defensive line may lead to rotation

MANKATO, Minn. -- Jared Allen has heard for the past several years that the Minnesota Vikings hope to limit his snaps during the regular season to make him more effective over the course of a long season and late in games. Kevin Williams, entering perhaps his final season with Minnesota, is hearing some of it this season. The two proud veterans have combined for 11 Pro Bowls and...

Minnesota Vikings: A Visual History if You Can See It

The Minnesota Vikings did something kind of cool yesterday, when they released a fun infograph showing the Visual History of the team. On their Facebook page when they introduced it, they said it was a "tool" to help the British fans brush up on the team, since Vikings fans in England apparently don't have access to the internet. And it's a nice, striking piece...

Jamarca Sanford trying to talk the talk and walk the walk

MANKATO, Minn. -- Watch enough of the Minnesota Vikings practicing and often you'll hear safety Jamarca Sanford before you see him. Sanford likes to talk. Just ask him and he'll tell you. He's loud and doesn't apologize for being boisterous. Sanford doesn't want to be known as just a big talker though. He knows he has to be able to back up his talk with his...

Cris Carter’s real name is Graduel Christopher Darin Carter

The world learned former Minnesota Vikings superstar Cris Carter's real name, Graduel, following his enshrinement in the NFL Hall of Fame.

With shoulder recovered, Robison relieved

Brian Robison has survived the first week of pads at training camp and talked about the shoulder injury he battled through last year.

VIDEO: Griffen working on ‘mental state’

Leslie Frazier said Everson Griffen is coming on, and Griffen talked about his progress. What’s the key for his future?

NFC North 2013: Win/Loss Predictions For Each Team

With players like Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson. Aaron Rodgers, and Brandon Marshall in the division, the NFC North is sure to be very competitive.NFC NORTHGreen Bay Packers- Overall Prediction: 12-4Wins- Was, Det (2), Cle, Bal, Chi (2), Min, Dal, Phi, NYG, PitLosses- Cin, SF, Min, ATLGreen Bay has an amazing, talented offense, and has no shortage of talent on defense either.Rodgers...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.