Football Zebras
CallsWeek 5 remainders

Week 5 remainders

steratore clock reset

We have some leftover items from Week 5, so let’s serve them up before their expiration dates pass.

Bengals lost timeout

Prior to a Bengals 3rd-and-goal situation, the crew stopped the clock for a game clock adjustment. When the game clock was stopped, and additional three seconds ticked off the play clock, stopping at 6. Referee Gene Steratore announced the game clock time and the restart:

The game clock operator, reset the game clock to 10:20 We have 6 seconds on the play clock. I’m going to wind the play clock — with 6 seconds. Please set the game clock to 10:20. Thank you.

With very little pause, Steratore then wound both clocks, leaving the Bengals out of position and needing to burn a timeout. However, the Bengals could have asked for that timeout back because they should have had more time on the restart. Steratore should have by Rule 4-6-3 reset the play clock to 10 (and could have adjusted the game clock to 10:24 as a result):

If the play clock is stopped prior to the snap for any reason, after the stoppage has concluded, the time remaining on the play clock shall be the same as when it stopped, unless … (d) fewer than 10 seconds remain on the play clock, in which case it shall be reset to 10 seconds.

While he is not obligated, Steratore should have also briefly informed the Bengals huddle about the unusual restart procedure, particularly since the crew was responsible for the irregularity. While the announcement by Steratore was clear, he was essentially addressing the clock operators, and not both teams.

[h/t TodddG]

12 in huddle inconclusive, probably correct

seahuddle winterThe Seahawks were assessed a 12-men-in-the-huddle penalty, when the replay clearly showed 11. The players in the huddle were very close, and it wasn’t until they broke the huddle that it was clear that there were 11. Referee Ron Winter threw the flag right after the Seahawks broke the huddle. (At right, Winter is walking to the huddle with his hand on the flag.)

We are going to say this is inconclusive, however, because there is no video replay that shows the huddle from formation through the end. But, the circumstances show that they were probably correct.

What likely happened was an extra player was in the huddle early. (There was a change of possession on the previous play, so the Seahawks were suddenly on offense, adding a potential element for such confusion.) If that player realized he was there in error, he must have left the field. Because of the tight huddle, Winter counted the players as they broke the huddle, but he would have started counting at 2 to account for the player there earlier. Then, the 12th player foul is retroactive and completely within the rules.

Further, Winter would have had the umpire and the two linesmen to support the 12-count. None of them came in to convince Winter to pick up the flag because they also saw 12. So, we would have to then say that four officials miscounted the number of players in order to support a miscall here.

Jenkins: ‘it’s over, it’s over!’

Let’s go back to the Thursday night Bills-Browns game. On a touchdown less than two minutes into the game, umpire Darrell Jenkins immediately recognized a whistling tea kettle of tempers, and jumped between players before any fight erupted. On the video, you can clearly hear him defusing the situation by interjecting “it’s over, it’s over!” This was a simple, but pivotal, move for the entire crew, because, by Jenkins throwing water on some hot embers, he was able to exert control over a flare-up. Otherwise, the crew could have been dealing with chippy play throughout the game.

Sound FX: formation warning, foul on leaving bench area

NFL Films Sound FX caught some of these items on the microphones:

Images: CBS Sports/NFL, Fox Sports/NFL

Ben Austro
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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