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NFL rule changes benefit wide receivers & make life a little easier for pass rushers

One of the rule changes approved by the NFL this morning should make the St. Louis Rams fearsome pass rush a happy unit. For contact with quarterbacks, only "forcible blows" to the head will be penalized rather than any contact at all. 

Gone are flags for even the slightest graze of a quarterback's head, a rule which sometimes resulted in nonsense calls. Too bad the league can't turn back time and reverse that awful call for roughing the passer on Oshiomogho Atogwe against the 49ers last year. However, since this rule deals specifically with blows to the head for QBs, judgement calls about roughing the passer could still be a problem for some refs. 

Also new is a rule prohibiting launching. An expanded definition of defenseless players was also included. That rule change will make life a lot harder for defensive backs. Receivers are protected from unnecessary contact until they become a runner and have the chance to defend themselves. That helps the Rams and their expanded pass-first offense. On the other side of the ball, the Rams physical corners will have an adjustment. 

Remember too that it's looking more and more like players will not have a training camp to get used to life with these rules changes.