July 24, 2014

T.J. Ward hit on Ogletree: A Rules Discussion

There will be a lot of talk about the hit that T.J. Ward hit on Cowboys receiver Kevin Ogletree. You may not like the rules, but the latest NFL rules give referees latitude to call unnecessary roughness in their judgement at basically any time at all. So all the talk about whether T.J. Ward hit Ogletree in the chest or not is moot, unfortunately. Don’t mistake my explanation as justification for the rule. I don’t particularly like the rules, but it is important to understand them.

From the official NFL rulebook, emphasis mine. [Read more...]

Violent Hits Are Pretty Much Banned by NFL Rules

Last night watching Monday Night Football there were a lot of questions after a violent hit by Isa Abdul-Quddus on Hakeem Nicks was flagged for a 15-yard penalty.  Some people think that it shouldn’t have been a penalty.  Most notable among those people is Jon Gruden who claimed pretty flatly that he didn’t think it was a penalty.  At home, many (including this dork) were rewinding and examining the hit with their DVRs to see exactly what happened with a Zapruder-like level of detail.  I could see a lot of people working hard to find ways that it wasn’t a penalty.  Problem being that this iteration of the NFL is intent on looking at plays that result in ultra-violence in an attempt to justify throwing a flag not the opposite.

The NFL fan desperately wants to see a shoulder make contact first in attempt to prove that the referee was wrong.  It is an effort in vain though because the NFL has written the rules in such a way that they want referees to use their discretion to justify flags on any play that even approximates the hit that Abdul-Quddus put on Hakeem Nicks.  We learned this last year with T.J. Ward vs. Jordan Shipley.  The game has changed.  Just get used to it.  If you don’t believe me, check out the rules. [Read more...]