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Rookies get a primer on college vs. NFL rules at symposium

Cowboys Packers Football

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass against during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. The play was reversed. The Packers won 26-21. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


This year’s NFL draft class has been taught at the annual rookie symposium about the differences between NFL rules and college rules.

NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that there are subtle differences between college and pro rules, especially player safety rules, that a lot of rookies don’t know.

“What we try to do is give the rookie players a basis, a foundation for the rules,” he said. “The rules are different from college to the pros. Some of the basic stuff that everybody knows -- two feet vs. one foot and down by contact and those differences -- but there are some differences that they have to know in terms of the chop block, what chop blocks are legal in the NFL that are not legal in the college game. We try to give them that background, revolving mainly around protection of the player, things like that, a lot of our safety rules and defenseless players.”

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a discussion of NFL rules if Dez Bryant’s playoff non-catch didn’t rear its ugly head.

“It is well received,” Blandino said. “I made the mistake yesterday with the rookies of showing the Dez Bryant play too early in the presentation so that was all anybody wanted to talk about.”

So add the rookie class of 2015 to the long list of people who can’t figure out what is and isn’t a catch in the NFL.