Training tape: defenseless receiver, taunting, clock on out-of-bounds fumble

Dean Blandino, NFL vice president of officiating, released this week's media tape regarding rules calls mostly from Week 4 (150 MB download). This week's topics: When defenseless protections end. The play in question was a legal hit on Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, correctly called (SJ 67 Doug Rosenbaum, BJ 93 Scott

No rule to help home team on fan’s whistle

49ers at Seahawks (video/audio) Early in the game, the Seahawks fell victim to a fan who blew a whistle in the crowd -- their own home crowd. Some of the Seahawks linemen looked genuinely confused, as they believed it was an official's whistle. The center snapped the ball anyway, and the

1st use of new rule might not be right use

Week 1: Texans at Chargers (video) Post updated: The league has stated the rule was incorrectly applied (see below). The Competition Committee looked at a specific instance of dangerous play at the request of players: the vulnerability of the center when he is performing a long snap for a field goal kick.

LJ Baynes keeps crew on no-TD call

Ravens at Broncos (video via Deadspin) 4th qtr | 12:35. On a night when Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws seven touchdowns -- first time anyone has done that since Joe Kapp in 1969 -- his teammate, Danny Trevathan, upstaged everything with an incredible lapse in judgement . Trevathan's return of an interception

Summary of 2013 rules changes

Football Zebras interviewed NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino back in May about rule changes that take effect for the 2013 season. The times in the podcast when each item is discussed are listed below. Open-field runners and defenders cannot lead with the crown of the helmet when initiating contact

Ball carriers subject to a foul if they use helmet as a battering ram

2013 rule changes In what will be the most scrutinized rule change this season, the NFL has modified the rules that will restrict ball carriers from using their helmets to inflict punishment on would-be tacklers.   Starting this year, ball carriers are not allowed to lower their heads and initiate contact with

H-backs, tight ends expand their numbers

2013 rule changes  It's not a controversial rule change, and we are almost certain that former Raiders tight end Todd Christensen approves. Tight ends have been restricted to uniform numbers in the 80s, which they also had to share with the receiving corps. Because teams were retiring their star receivers' numbers, the

Offenses subject to ‘reasonable time’ rule

The conspiracy machine got some gas in preseason with the suggestion that officials are given the authority to limit offensive schemes through controlling the pace of the game. In a Wall Street Journal article, a connection was drawn between a new point of emphasis and the offense employed by incoming