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NFL to enforce rules against coaches stepping onto field during game

The SportsXchange

The NFL is expected to tighten enforcement against coaches that leave the sidelines and roam onto the playing field.

According to a CBSSports.com report, league officials plan on warning coaches to stay on the sidelines, and if they don't, they're team will be penalized.

"We need to be much more disciplined about where our coaches go in terms of the box," said Ray Anderson, the league's director of football operations, "and venturing out on the field beyond traditional markers is something that is just not appropriate. It can interfere and it can be viewed as intimidating, and we really are going to rein that in."

Speculation about the increased enforcement of the existing rules appears to center around San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh, who reportedly stepped off the sidelines and onto the field numerous times this past season, particularly during the 49ers' playoff run up to the Super Bowl.

That reportedly caused the NFL to look at increasingly enforcing rules already on the books.

"There are borders," Anderson said, "but, very frankly, they're loosely enforced. But they will be more aggressively enforced going forward because we need to rein it in.

"Coaches can be flagged. It's about enforcement and point of emphasis. So coaches who, after appropriate warning, continue to venture out will pay the price with a penalty that potentially could hurt their team."

And if the coaches don't get the message even after penalties?

"They can be fined," Anderson said. "No question."
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