Steelers Notebook: DNA decision won't alter meeting plans
Goodell-Big Ben talks still on table
Thursday, March 25, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
ORLANDO, Fla. -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that Georgia investigators' decision not to pursue a DNA sample from Ben Roethlisberger has changed nothing in his approach to the Steelers' quarterback.
Although he has not set a date for his proposed meeting with Roethlisberger, Goodell said Wednesday that he did not "put that on the side."
"We take that issue very seriously," Goodell said after being asked again about the Roethlisberger sexual assault allegations. "We're following it. I'm focused on it."
Goodell said Monday, in regards to two separate sexual assault claims against Roethlisberger, that "we take the issue very seriously. We are concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position."
Goodell said he will meet with Roethlisberger at the "appropriate time."
More new rules
NFL owners passed a number of new rules Wednesday in hopes of making the game safer for players.
Among them is the one to protect the so-called defenseless players such as a receiver who has caught a ball and has not yet had time to run. Defenders will not be permitted to launch themselves and hit him in the head area until it has been determined the receiver can protect himself against such a hit.
Another rule protects the center on field-goal tries and extra-point kicks by not allowing a defender to line up over him within a yard of the line of scrimmage.
Copying a college rule, a play will be whistled dead if the helmet of a runner with the ball comes off.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was in favor of those new rules.
"I'm all for player safety," Tomlin said.
The NFL also passed a rule that was made temporary last season when the overhanging scoreboard at midfield in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium became an issue after a punt struck it. If it happens again, the down simply will be replayed.
Also, the owners amended their numbers system to allow defensive linemen to wear numbers between 50 and 59, a nod toward defensive ends and linebackers who play both positions.
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