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Our 15 takeaways from the NFL Annual Meeting

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL introduced 13 rule proposals and six bylaw proposals before this week's NFL Annual Meeting. But the league made big news Tuesday without even taking a vote.

The league will penalize dunking over the crossbar, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino announced on the "Dan Patrick Show." The league already banned using the ball as a prop, and now that will include dunking. Jimmy Graham is not amused.


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The league voted and passed two official rules Tuesday. Referees can consult with the officiating department in New York during replay reviews. They also voted to ban "roll up" blocks to the side of a player's leg.

These were no-brainer decisions. Centralized replay can save time and should decrease the chances of clearly incorrect calls. The tougher votes will come Wednesday.

Here's what else we learned Tuesday, which started bright and early with the AFC coaches breakfast at 7:15 a.m. ET.:

1. It's strangely relaxing to ask coaches questions while they pick at scrambled eggs. It's a great environment to talk because 16 coaches are available at the same time, guaranteeing that most of them are easily approachable. Doug Marrone and Dennis Allen win my award for the most surprisingly engaging guys to talk to.

2. Allen made it clear that Terrelle Pryor wasn't even going to be ahead of Matt McGloin on Oakland's depth chart. While Allen wouldn't say so, it's only a matter of time before Pryor is released.

3. The Raiders didn't want to sign eight to nine starters in free agency because Allen knows you can't build a team that way long-term. But he and general manager Reggie McKenzie assessed their roster and decided they needed "talent" that could start right away, while they develop their draft picks. Oakland still wants to pick up one more cornerback and some defensive-line depth.

4. John Harbaugh said the Ravens would pick up cornerback Jimmy Smith's fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Smith has quietly improved throughout his career, with his Super Bowl performance standing out. Baltimore also wants to sign wide receiver Torrey Smith long term.

5. In other fifth-year option news, Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said the team hasn't decided yet whether center Mike Pouncey will get his option picked up. Philbin, consistently one of the least inspiring public speakers in the league, stressed the team's need to hit on more vertical plays next season.

The Panthers, unsurprisingly, will pick up Cam Newton's option. Marrone indicated that the Bills will do what they need to in order to keep Marcell Dareus in town long term.

6. Most of the coaches we spoke to are in favor of expanded playoffs. It's coming.

7. Harbaugh agrees with Bill Belichick, believing every play should be reviewable. He calls the argument that it would take too much time "bogus."

We'd be stunned if that notion had much support from NFL ownership. Belichick had a great rundown of all of his rule proposals right here. We'd be surprised if any of Belichick's ideas get passed except extending the goal posts. (It's about time.)

8. It's frustrating that Belichick's idea to put cameras on every goal line, sideline and end-zone line faces so many obstacles. It doesn't sound likely to pass. The NFL is a billion-dollar business and is so concerned with getting calls right, yet it can't figure this out?

"One of the big challenges is that we don't to have replay decided with angles that aren't able to be seen in the stadium or at home. We've always allowed replay to be driven by the networks," said Rich McKay of the NFL Competition Committee. "That's definitely a challenge."

Belichick has a creative idea to solve the issue.

"Maybe we could have a bake sale, raise some money for the cameras," Belichick said. "We could do a car wash."

9. Belichick wouldn't discuss Vince Wilfork's status, but owner Robert Kraft is working behind the scenes to keep Wilfork in town.

10. Mike Tomlin believes running back Le'Veon Bell is "obviously capable" of carrying the load as a true lead back. The team isn't look to spread out his carries, but the team will look to add depth behind Bell. It won't be a committee situation, though.

11. Intrepid Around The League reporter Marc Sessler caught up with Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider, who said the door isn't closed on signing Jermichael Finley. They just need Finley to get medically cleared. Add the Seahawks to the list of teams not interested in Mark Sanchez, incidentally. The St. Louis Rams sound like a long shot, too, based on general manager Les Snead's separate comments to Sessler on Tuesday.

12. We got the sense here in Orlando that the Browns would be happy if Brian Hoyer wins their starting job. But he might have to beat out two rookies to do so.

13. Eric Fisher, last year's disappointing No. 1 overall pick, is moving to left tackle.

14. A lot of people listened to Rex Ryan speak Tuesday about Michael Vick and came away with a lot of different takeaways. Our take: It would be a surprise if Vick wasn't starting in Week 1, based on how Rex was speaking. Geno Smith's draft-pick status won't help him. He isn't entering this battle with an edge.

15. Marrone is not only "all in" on EJ Manuel, it sounds like he's standing pat with Thad Lewis as the team's backup. Marrone also talked up offensive tackle Cordy Glenn as a vastly underrated player.

The NFC coaches breakfast is early Wednesday morning. We'll have you covered on Around The League, then break down all the voting on the rule proposals before the party breaks up Wednesday afternoon.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" broke down all the latest news at the NFL Annual Meeting.

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