On Thursday, NFL owners approved three rule changes for the 2020 season, bringing minor but noteworthy updates to how the game will be played this fall. And with each of the moves came agreement from the Jacksonville Jaguars, head coach Doug Marrone said on a video conference Friday.
The three rule changes are as follows, with each change requiring two-thirds approval from the league's 32 clubs.
- By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.
- By Competition Committee; expands defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.
- By Competition Committee; prevents teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.
The NFL also approved a new bylaw during the virtual meeting between owners.
- By League Office; increases the number of players that may be designated for return from two to three. Incorporates interpretations applicable to bye weeks during the regular season and postseason.
Marrone said, "I think we were right on board with everything," when asked about the approved changes Friday, and then walked through the process in the Jaguars organization goes through whenever these conversations come up each offseason, including how he speaks with his peers to sometimes learn more about the changes.
"How that usually works is it comes out obviously to us, the proposals and the bylaws, and the committees work them all out, obviously the Competition Committee and other committees too," Marrone said. "So they start coming out and then there is a discussion that goes on to what is really best for your team. I may have that discussion with other coaches around the league, you know what their thoughts are, if I do not have a good understanding of something from the people that put the proposal up."
Marrone then detailed how the organization's leadership goes through each proposal, making the point that the top priority when it comes to each decision is ensuring the decision is the best one for the Jaguars as a team.
"Then the way the process works is obviously I receive a copy, [General Manager] Dave [Caldwell] receives a copy and ownership, you know [Owner] Shad [Khan] receives a copy. So basically, I look at it, Dave and I will talk and have conversations about it and then obviously we will meet with Shad with this, obviously virtual or over the phone," Marrone said.
"We meet, we talk, and we discuss what we think is best for obviously for our football team, but also what is best for the game. We were in favor of everything that occurred the other day.”
Owners also discussed a proposal that would have allowed teams to have one fourth-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line in place of an inside kick, but this vote was tabled and not officially voted upon. It is unclear where the Jaguars would have stood on that topic, but the rule is sure to come up again in the future.