PHOENIX -- One of the plays that the Patriots have helped bring to the forefront in recent seasons appears as though it could very well be banned by the end of the day on Tuesday.
The league will vote on a variety of rules proposals at Biltmore Hotel, one of which would outlaw the field-goal leap play that the Patriots have employed with linebackers Jamie Collins and Shea McClellin over the course of the last two years.
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Collins blocked an Adam Vinatieri kick during a regular-season game in 2015, and McClellin got a Justin Tucker boot last season. The Patriots called for McClellin to leap the line in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, but he was penalized -- a ruling that Bill Belichick argued vociferously.
The feeling here over the last few days has been those types of plays will be banned because of the threat they pose to players who could be upended, potentially injuring their heads or necks. The rule change was officially proposed by Philadelphia.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who has coached special teams during various stops in his coaching career dating back to 1988, said during the AFC coaches breakfast that he felt those plays would be eliminated during Tuesday's vote.
"It is dangerous," he said. "If a guy gets flipped on his head, I think that's really something that, if something bad happens, we're all going to be responsible for that. That's not good. I also think it's going to get stopped because teams will defend it better, they're going to be looking for it. But when that guy jumps from the top, he's either going to get hit from underneath or hit from the side, and he's probably not in a great position to defend himself.
"Now the other argument that gets made is a receiver jumps up in the air, gets cut, he gets put in that situation, too. That's kind of the counter argument. I understand that argument as well. Probably, it's risk-reward. Is it really worth putting that guy in that situation? That's what we're going to vote on later. I think it probably passes."
While Harbaugh acknowledged there is a threat to any player who leaves his feet, he acknowledged that there is a distinction between a player deciding to jump following a split-second decision in the heat of competition versus a coach calling for a player to potentially put himself at risk.
Another kicking game-related rule change on the docket is one proposed by Washington in which a kickoff booted through the uprights would lead to a touchback where the ball is spotted at the 20-yard line as opposed to the 25.
Harbaugh gave that idea a thumbs-up in part, he admitted, because he has one of the strongest kickers in the league in Tucker.
"Justin likes it, too," Harbaugh said. "I know everyone's going to say, 'Well, OK, just because it benefits them.' And we all consider that when rules changes get made. Anybody who says otherwise is lying. But it adds excitement to the play.
"We've taken a lot of kickoff returns out of the game. We got a touchdown, we got a review, we got a commerical . . . we have an extra point, we have another set of commercials, then we have a touchback . . . [then] commercials! That's not good. Anything we can do to make it a little more interesting.
"We proposed make [a kickoff through the uprights] a point. Now people are going to say well that's because of Justin Tucker. Yes. It's also because everybody will be watching that kickoff, especially if the wind is at his back. They say it can't be defended, [but] we can change that too. Let's get a guy under the uprights . . . Let him leap up there and see if he can bat the thing down. Anything that adds excitement to the game that's safe? I'm for."