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Lunch Break, 3/19: Changing the (NFL) Rules

Reports surfaced on Wednesday about potential rules changes the NFL's owners and  Competition Committee will consider at next week's annual League meetings. Topics from the controversial Calvin Johnson rule to instant replay to a quirky-but-interesting "bonus point" proposal from the Indianapolis Colts were among those reported to be on the docket.

Significant changes to the use of video replay, including reviewing all fouls called by game officials, and a rule change that would allow teams to try for a "bonus" point after a successful 2-point conversion are among proposals that will be presented by the NFL's competition committee at next week's owners meetings in Phoenix.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post had more details on potential topics to be addressed, reporting that the committee will make no proposal related to the definition of what is and isn't a catch (Calvin Johnson rule) or to changes to the replay system. But that doesn't mean team-sponsored proposals won't address either of those topics. Here are a few other interesting proposals Maske mentioned that could come up for discussion:

-- A proposal by the New England Patriots to mandate that cameras be placed along the sideline and goal line to assist replay reviews.
-- A Washington Redskins proposal that would make all personal fouls subject to replay review and one that proposes increasing the number of coaches' replay challenges in a game from two to three per team.
-- A proposal by the Indianapolis Colts that would enable a team to attempt a 50-yard kick, with the ball being snapped at the 32-yard line, for a potential ninth point after a touchdown and successful two-point conversion. The proposal is aimed, it says, to encourage more two-point conversion attempts.

As NFL teams open wallets for defensive backs, Vikings aren't buying

The Vikings made huge strides in their pass defense under first-year head coach Mike Zimmer. Admittedly so, though, there is still room for improvement. While splashy names in key pass-defending positions were available in the free agent market, 1500ESPN's Andrew Krammer writes the Vikings refrained from jumping into the spending spree and remain committed to using the draft as the primary method to adding talent.

"NFL teams are paying defensive backs more and more, but the Vikings aren't buying the hype," Krammer wrote. "The Vikings could've addressed their secondary in the first week of free agency, when nearly 30 defensive backs inked new contracts to bolster pass defenses. But with Zimmer joining Spielman, the Vikings have continued a thrifty approach to the defensive backfield by bargain hunting -- the same formula that helped Zimmer, as defensive coordinator, and the Cincinnati Bengals resurrect the careers of players like Terence Newman, Chris Crocker and Adam Jones."

Krammer also noted that the Vikings have invested seven draft picks on defensive backs the past three seasons, a tactic that along with being prudent in free agency has the Vikings ranked 22nd of 32 teams in terms of cap space spent on the secondary.

Vikings Charles Johnson: Long journey worth every minuteA "classic NFL survivor" is how the Pioneer Press' Brian Murphy described Vikings WR Charles Johnson in this piece. A lot of NFL players are called a lot of things by coaches, fans, media, opponents and teammates, but that may be one of the best tags out there.

Murphy delves into greater details about Johnson and his path to the NFL, penning this paragraph that also sheds a positive light on the young receiver.

Although complacency looms around every corner, Johnson insists he will not fall victim. "I'm a man who's had to work for everything I've had," he explained. "Everybody likes the sunshine. We're out here in California. Everybody feels good. But can you stand it when it rains? That's the big question."

Quick Hitters

Chad Greenway won another community-related award.

ESPN's Ben Goessling takes a glance at Vikings ownership.

Thursday's pro days: Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Maine, Missouri, Penn State, San Diego State, Stanford, Western Michigan and William & Mary

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