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Officiating Dept. Video

Officiating video: Leaping and leverage are the calls of the week



Senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino released the week 7 officiating video, and within it, discussed three points of interest from last weekend’s games. 

Starting off with special teams, Blandino covered both leverage and leaping on a few different field goal plays. He referred back to a Week 1 play from Indianapolis where Lions defensive lineman Devin Taylor was flagged for leaping. On this play, Taylor ran forward from off of the line of scrimmage, leaped, and landed on players in his attempt to block a field goal. Blandino reiterated that “off of the line of scrimmage” refers to “not breaking the plane of the down linemen’s feet.” Taylor also pushed off of two teammates with his hands while leaping, so he also could have been called for leverage as well. Blandino then tied these rules to the two no-calls on field goals from the Sunday night game in Arizona. In addition to what we covered, Blandino also stated that the incidental contact between the foot of Seattle’s Bobby Wagner and Arizona’s Aaron Brewer was because Brewer did not stand up in an attempt to block Wagner. Blandino also covered line play adjacent to this action, and how pushing down lineman toward the ground is legal, and that if they had pulled the offensive linemen, it would have been a flag for defensive holding.

Next, Blandino discussed Brock Osweiler’s fumble, which we also covered in an earlier post. Since Osweiler’s empty hand propelled the ball forward, and he lost possession essentially before throwing the ball, it was correctly ruled as a fumble. Blandino stated that the movement of the arm and elbow are irrelevant, and the only focus is the hand. The play was correctly stopped when no players continued the action, thinking the play was dead, and it was correctly upheld in replay.

Finally, Blandino focused on a run by Arizona’s David Johnson, which ended near the pylon, as we previously discussed. Prior to the ball crossing the goal line, Johnson’s foot stepped on the base of the pylon. Head linesman Jerry Bergman correctly ruled the play short. The pylon marks out of bounds, however if a part of the runner’s body touches it before the ball crosses the plane, the runner is not out of bounds. (A loose ball that touches the pylon is out of bounds in the end zone.) The run did not go to full replay review, but Blandino explained that if it had, the call would have been confirmed. A sideline angle of the play clearly showed that Johnson’s foot stepped on the line — out of bounds before the ball crossed into the end zone. The play was correctly ruled on the field.

Cam Filipe is a forensic scientist and has been involved in football officiating for 12 years. Cam is in his fourth season as a high school football official. This is his ninth season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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