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Non-call du jour: Disconcerting signals?



Apparently there is an epidemic of disconcerting signals that is breaking out.

It is illegal for a defensive player to simulate or override the quarterback’s snap count. Rarely is the disconcerting signals penalty called (one instance from 2010 against the Colts [video] is all we can recall), but when it is, it is a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

  • Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said that Broncos defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson simulated the snap count on two plays from the 1-yard line. Vickerson was a teammate of Hasselbeck’s with the Titans and the Seahawks.
  • On the Monday night game, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had to play improvized sandlot football on at least four plays — one leading to an interception (video) — because center Phil Costa allegedly heard the Redskins defense mimicking the snap count. A reel of the errant snaps (video) was posted at; on the third play in the clip package you can hear a “hut, hut”  as Romo was looking to his right, so he clearly wasn’t calling for the ball at that point.

Look for the league to issue a warning memo to all 32 teams regarding disconcerting signals this week.

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)