Al Riveron released the week 7 officiating video today.
In it, he addressed the following points:
Legal blocks. In the Panthers/Bears game, a Bears offensive player threw a block toward the direction of his end line on a play in the first quarter. The block was deemed legal since the Bears receiver stepped in front of his opponent and delivered a block with his shoulder to the shoulder/chest area of the defender. Moving toward the end line, a blocker is not allowed to make contact with the defender in the head or neck area or below the waist.
Instant replay. Also from the Panthers/Bears game, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky appeared to score a touchdown while being hit at the goal line. The scoring play was reviewed and showed how the officiating booth pieces together a replay to make a determination. The first thing they looked at is whether or not the ball crossed the goal line. It appeared to do so. Next thing to assess is whether or not the knee was down and if Trubisky was contacted.
The first angle (above) shows the knee down prior to the ball crossing the goal line but does not definitively show when Trubisky was contacted. The second angle (below) shows that he was contacted as his knee hit the ground but does not show whether or not the ball crossed the goal line. Next, from the two angles, the officiating booth determines that he was contacted down before the ball crossed the goal line and the call was reversed.
10 second run-off. In still yet another play from the Bears/Panthers game, the Panthers tried to get to the line of scrimmage after a completed pass with 10 seconds left in the half. As Panthers quarterback Cam Newton got the snap off to spike it with 1 second left, one of the Panthers receivers was still moving into position. This illegal shift inside 2 minutes becomes a false start which carries with it an automatic 10 second run-off, thus ending the half since the Panthers had no timeouts left.
We covered the 10 second run-off rule in greater detail here.
Celebrations. Lastly, Riveron covered legal versus illegal celebrations specifically relating to use of the goal post for touchdown celebrations. Players may only use the football for celebrations and may not “slam dunk” on the goal post, but can shoot a free throw, a jump shot, or a lay-up. Touching or hanging on to the goal post is a penalty.
We covered the new celebration rule changes in a post this past offseason, but briefly other prohibited acts include:
- Prolonged demonstrations by a player after a warning from an official (and will be extended to the group demonstrations)
- Use of a foreign object (also subject to ejection)
- Use of pylons or goalposts as a prop
- Removal of a helmet for a celebration or demonstration
- anything deemed violent or sexual in nature
Officials can still exercise discretion and warn players about celebrations that get too excessive. Prolonged celebrations are reined in by new play clock procedures.