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Officiating Dept. Video

Officiating video: Knees, tucks, and shifts of Week 2




Dean Blandino, the NFL vice-president of officiating, reviewed some of the rule interpretations from Week 2 in his weekly tape disseminated to the media (video download). This week’s video includes these calls:

  • Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was hit on a flea-flicker pass by Bears defensive end Pernel McPhee. This was a 15-yard foul on the Bears for a forcible blow to the knee area on the quarterback, who is particularly vulnerable right after throwing a pass. Prohibited contact involves the delivery of the helmet, shoulder, or body into the knee area (a direct hit to the knee is not critical for the call, only the knee area). It is not a foul if the defender is blocked into the quarterback or fouled as he approaches the quarterback, making contact unavoidable.
  • The Eagles were penalized for an illegal shift when right guard Andrew Garner moved from a three-point stance to a two-point stance. Since other linemen were not set prior to the snap, this is penalized as an illegal shift, and the snap is allowed to occur. The exception is when this occurs with less than a minute in the half and the clock is running. In this case, it is an act to conserve time, and it is penalized as a false start and a 10-second runoff. (If the clock is not running at that time of the game, it remains an illegal shift as usual, and the play continues.)
  • Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw an incomplete pass in the first quarter, but it was ruled that Taylor was out of bounds.  One camera angle showed that Taylor had not yet stepped out of bounds when he released the ball. Bills coach Rex Ryan attempted to challenge the call, however, once a play is ruled out of bounds, it is irreversible. If the thrown ball was caught, replay could not convert it into a catch and gain, because the defenders would not be actively engaged in the play. (Recovery of a loose ball, other than a pass, is the only aspect reviewable after the whistle, and the recovery must be immediate.)  The play was not reviewed, and the challenge was returned to Ryan without a penalty.
  • An apparent fumble by Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was reversed to an incomplete pass on the review. Despite the Tuck Rule being dead, it technically exists in its opposite form than its controversial doppelgänger before 2013. Since Dalton does not begin to tuck the ball to his body, he is still in a passing motion, which makes the pass incomplete. Essentially, the hand is continuing to go forward and not down at the point he lost control, which means a tuck has not commenced.
  • Blandino also reviewed the completion of the process of the catch as it applies to the rewording of the rule that a receiver must transition himself to a runner.

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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