<
>

Falcons owner Arthur Blank celebrating relaxed rules after scores

play
Crawford: Celebration rule changes will bring excitement (1:46)

Atlanta Falcons' Jack Crawford believes the rule changes regarding celebrations will allow players to express themselves further, and bring more excitement to the NFL. (1:46)

Judging by his dance moves in the locker room last year, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is all about taking a moment to celebrate.

So when Blank was asked Wednesday on Sirius XM NFL Radio about the agreement to relax the rules on celebrations in relation to penalties, Blank sounded relieved.

"Well, from my perspective -- and I'm a fan like all the rest of the fans -- I think the NFL, you know the 'No Fun League,' I think that's been overplayed a little bit," Blank told Brady Quinn and Bruce Murray. "And I think allowing the players ... allowing them to celebrate in appropriate ways after something great happens -- a touchdown, a field goal, winning game, whatever the event may be -- is natural.

"Go back to your childhood when you're playing any sport. Whenever you did something that was really good and you won and you were successful, you had a fist pump. You did whatever was appropriate, but you did celebrate. I think it's very natural for our players to celebrate. Our fans want to see them [celebrate]. Frankly our players are going to be, in my opinion, very creative, because they are creative. They love to dance. They love music. And they know how to do it. So I certainly expect to see a lot more of that. And I think I'm looking forward to that next year, personally. I think our fans will as well."

The Falcons didn't draw any penalties last season for excessive or suggestive celebrations. They celebrated plenty though, particularly whenever Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman scored a touchdown. Freeman made sure hand the ball to one of his offensive linemen for the touchdown spike, and the ritual caught on with MVP Matt Ryan and others.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn, appearing on ESPN's NFL Live on Wednesday, citied those celebrations in talking about the rules change. Quinn was asked about addressing the matter with the team, particularly in relation to choreographed celebrations.

"I think we would know if that was getting to be an issue," Quinn said. "Honestly, they'll have a blast playing together, and this is just one more example of that. Their appreciation for one another, that's usually what happens in the celebrations; one guy hands the ball to another guy to spike it. That's love for the other guy. When I see those ones, that's endearing as a teammate when you see Freeman hand the ball to Ryan Schraeder and he spike it. Like, that's love."