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 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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Most of the coaches we spoke to are in favor of expanded playoffs. It's coming.
- 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.)
- 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."
"Maybe we could have a bake sale, raise some money for the cameras," Belichick said. "We could do a car wash."
- Intrepid Around The League reporter Marc Sessler caught up withSeattle 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.
- 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.
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.