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Billieve Podcast: Rules changes, E.J. Gaines, Ziggy Ansah

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On the latest episode of Billieve: A Buffalo Bills Fan Podcast, host John Boccacino and co-host Anthony Marino discuss the latest rules changes for the 2019 season, say hello to a former member of the Buffalo Bills who is rejoining the secondary, bid farewell to running back Chris Ivory, and more!

After the uproar caused in the NFC Championship game when a critical late-game no-call on a blatant pass interference committed by the Los Angeles RamsNickell Robey-Coleman cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl, the league’s owners voted to allow replay of penalties like pass interference up until the final two minutes of a game and a half.

Our podcasters think the goal should always be getting the call right on the field, but both Marino and Boccacino worry that this will both slow down the game even more and open up Pandora’s Box when it comes to reviewing penalties. After all, there can be a valid case made for a penalty of some sort on almost every play in a game.

How will officials handle the immense pressure of reviewing penalties and non-calls like the one committed by Robey-Coleman? Fans can expect to see lots of experimentation with the referees’ enforcement of this new rule change during the slate of preseason games later this summer.

Of the less controversial rules changes approved during the owners’ meetings in Phoenix, the owners collectively agreed to increase player safety by eliminating blindside blocks like the one that injured Buffalo placekicker Stephen Hauschka during a Week 14 loss to the New York Jets. Under the new rule, any forcible hit or contact from a blocker with his head, shoulder, or forearm is strictly prohibited.

Our podcasters also discuss the signing of former Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines, who returned to Western New York on a one-year deal after spending the 2018 season with the Cleveland Browns. Gaines’s signing should provide valuable depth in Leslie Frazier’s 4-3 defense.

They chatted about the release of running back Chris Ivory, whose days were numbered with the signing of free agent Frank Gore, addressed the impact signing edge rusher Ziggy Ansah would mean for a Buffalo pass rush that ranked 26th in sacks last year, and broke down pass rusher Ed Oliver’s performance during his Pro Day.

What do you think, Bills fans? Did the NFL get it right with these rules changes? Were you excited to see Gaines return to shore up a talented secondary? Does Oliver make sense for the Bills at pick No. 9?

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section, and check out our podcast for thoughts on these topics and more on the latest Billieve: A Buffalo Bills Fan Podcast.

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