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The heat gets to the Redskins, Shanny huddles them up

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The heat gets to the Redskins, Shanny huddles them up

The heat, humidity and pounding from eight days of training camp exacted its toll on the Redskins focus midway through Fridays practice.After another mental lapse this one an offside Coach Mike Shanahan had seen enough. He motioned all of the offensive players into an impromptu huddle and delivered a stern message.You just kind of remind guys that they have to keep their concentration level going, Shanahan said afterward. We have to practice two good hours every day. We cant have lapses and expect to be a championship team.Fridays session was the most complex so far. The offense was asked to execute a good portion of the playbook, from short yardage and goal line plays to first-and-10 and four-minute schemes.And, for the first time this week, the coaching staff called plays as if it were a game.There were a few offsides, Shanahan said. That normally happens when you put young guys in there and they dont have the script. We try to do that to our team after about a few weeks of practice.Some other notes from Shanahans post-game news conference:Shanahan confirmed that X-rays revealed Anthony Armstrong indeed suffered a strained AC joint in his right shoulder. The wide receiver was hurt during Thursdays practice while going up for a pass. Hopefully its just a few days, Shanahan said. Fullback Darrel Young is at least a week away from returning from a hamstring injury he suffered Monday. Defensive end Kentwan Balmer has not contacted the Redskins to explain his absence, Shanahan said. It normally happens when people get tired of football, the coach added. Right tackle Jammal Brown has returned from New York, where he had both of his hips examined by his personal doctor, and has begun his treatment at Redskins Park. Defensive end Adam Carriker, who often battles blisters on his feet, was given the day off to rest. Fan appreciation day is tomorrow in Ashburn, where the only practice of the day is at noon. Two words of advice if youre coming out: arrive early.

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.

 

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NFL implementing significant changes to kickoff rules in 2018 season

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AP Images

NFL implementing significant changes to kickoff rules in 2018 season

The NFL is not eliminating kickoffs altogether for the 2018 season. But at the NFL spring meetings in Atlanta, Ga., owners did agree to make significant changes to the third phase of football.

The NFL's new kickoff rules begin with having five players on each side of the ball (previously they could line up six on one side). Also, they cannot line up more than 1-yard from the restraining line, which is the line where the ball is placed on the tee. This prohibits the kickoff team from getting a running start downfield. 

At least two players must be lined up outside the yard-line numbers and at least two players lined up between the numbers and the hash mark. In years past, three players had to be lined up outside the inbounds line with one outside the yard-line number. At least eight players need to be in the 15-yard "setup zone," leaving three players outside of the "setup zone." Before, all kickoff return players had to be behind their restraining line. These changes will place players closer to where the ball is kicked in order to reduce speed and the amount of space on the play. 

Wedge blocks are no longer allowed. Players who were initially lined up in the "setup zone" are the only ones who can now come together for a double-team block. In the past, only 2-man wedge blocks were allowed and could take place on the field anywhere. The purpose of this change is to limit the possible blocking schemes by the kickoff return team. 

No player on the receiving side of the ball can cross the restraining line or block in the 15-yard area from the kicking team's restraining line until the ball is touched or hits the ground. Before, the receiving team could move past their restraining line and block as soon as the ball was kicked. This change gets rid of the "jump-set/attack" block.

Finally, a ball will be considered dead if it's not touched by the receiving team and touches the ground in the end zone. In the past, the ball was dead once it was downed in the end zone by the receiving team. This change means there's no requirement for the kickoff returner to down the ball in the end-zone. 

If that was a lot to dissect, check out the video below. 

In addition to new kickoff rules, ejections are now reviewable. In March, a rule passed that officials can make an ejection after a replay, but not they can also undo an ejection after a replay. 

The league also adjusted the official language for Use of a Helmet rule. 

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