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The NFL will be more aggressive in suspending players next season for illegal hits, and also could make changes to instant replay and kickoffs.
Ray Anderson, the league’s chief disciplinarian, said Wednesday that repeat offenders or players committing illegal hits will have a much greater chance of being suspended during the 2011 season.
No suspensions were handed down in 2010 even after the NFL’s crackdown on such hits, in part because “we were operating under the principle unless you have given sufficient advance notice of what the results could be, you need to be more lenient,” Anderson said.
“Frankly, now that the notice has been given, players and coaches and clubs are very aware of what the emphasis is and we won’t have that hesitation,” Anderson said. “Everyone will be very clearly on notice now that a suspension is very viable for us and we will exercise it ... when it comes to illegal hits to the head and neck area and to defenseless players.”
The NFL increased the amount on its fines for such hits last year.