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Pereira says offensive holding calls will rise in 2009

Mike Pereira, the NFL’s V.P. of officiating, attended Thursday night’s game between the Bengals and Patriots at Gillette Stadium.  It was a normal course of action for the soon-to-be-retiring Pereira, who likes to get around to as many camps as possible, in order to visit directly with teams and officiating crews.

Asked what rules changes/emphasises (emphases?) he feels will be impactful in 2009, Pereira’s response was immediate.

“Offensive holding.”

According to stats compiled by the league, officials made 587 offensive holding calls in 2008.  It was the second-most called penalty, behind false starts (653) and ahead of offside (313).

As a whole, total penalties were at their lowest point (3,392) since 1992 (3,344).

And the drop in holding calls was noticeable.  In 2005, officials threw flags for holding 880 times, a difference of nearly 300.

Pereira said that, in breaking down video of all games from 2008, officials failed to penalize 177 holding calls.  He said there were also “about 50 missed calls, for more than 220 mistakes in total.”

Pereira added, “From more than 3,200 plays, that’s not that bad, but it’s something we’re working on.”

This preseason, he already has seen more flags thrown for offensive holding.  “I’m OK with [the increase] because I think the players will adjust,” Pereira said.  “We need to see less grabbing, less hooking, less of guys getting their hands outside.  It was getting to the point where a lot of hooks and even take downs were getting through.”

After the game, we mentioned the new emphasis to Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.

“Really?  I don’t like to hear that,” he replied. 

[Editor’s note:  Palmer likely also felt at that same moment a searing pain in the lightning-shaped scar on his left knee.]

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46 Responses to “Pereira says offensive holding calls will rise in 2009”
  1. penguininbondage says: Aug 21, 2009 12:15 PM

    Great! now the games will be even longer.

  2. dakotah says: Aug 21, 2009 12:19 PM

    Oh crap. Between this and offsides penalties Flozell Adam’s career is over.

  3. tbtsm15 says: Aug 21, 2009 12:26 PM

    and James Harrison rejoices!

  4. copes cabana says: Aug 21, 2009 12:27 PM

    162 of those missed holding calls involved James Harrison.

  5. hayward giablommi says: Aug 21, 2009 12:30 PM

    Good. Not enough penalties being called, not enough big plays being nullified. Need more of that.
    The wedge being outlawed is great too. Nothing like a kickoff return TD, one of the most exciting plays in football, being called back and a team starting at their own 10 yard line to keep the game exciting.
    The golden goose is dying a slow death. Thanks Rog.

  6. marcduke says: Aug 21, 2009 12:32 PM

    Why? Is Jeff Triplett’s crew going to call all of the games now?

  7. Falcon in NE says: Aug 21, 2009 12:32 PM

    Well done with the Harry Potter reference. Does this mean the site has “gone geek”, or was it already there?

  8. Great Smoky says: Aug 21, 2009 12:33 PM

    Why don’t they just maintain the status quo? The looseness of the rules made for better football last year.
    I think linemen on both sides of the ball should be able to do just about anything between the neck and the waist: push, pull, grab, grapple, punch, jab, etc. Simple rules: no blows to the head, no hitting below the belt.
    Am I missing something? What could be wrong with adding elements of boxing, wrestling and MMA to interior line play?

  9. SixBurghDude says: Aug 21, 2009 12:33 PM

    If this were the case in ’08 James Harrison would’ve shredded gap-tooth’s single season sack record…beware the Bookend Beasts, Harrison & Woodley, in ’09!

  10. doublestuffflorios says: Aug 21, 2009 12:34 PM

    Translation= Expect more late game ticky tack calls to help extend drives on 3rd and 4th and long. Especially for certain quarterbacks who may or may not be related.

  11. Nick says: Aug 21, 2009 12:34 PM

    Willie Colon (Tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers) is screwed. Of those 220 missed calls, 200 of them were him alone. He’s TERRIBLE!

  12. Hap says: Aug 21, 2009 12:34 PM

    Now you just HOLD ON one damned minute ! Next they’ll try to institute another penalty while trying to protect the QB. I can’t say that I really remember one blatant missed call but I am sure there were some.

  13. OZZ says: Aug 21, 2009 12:38 PM

    Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis should be VERY happy upon hearing this news…

  14. ZN0rseman says: Aug 21, 2009 12:41 PM

    I think they should get rid of the on-field officials altogether and use cameras and off-the-field guys in a booth to call penalties. That would eliminate the whole blown judgement call problem, which is what half of the holding and pass interference calls are anyway.
    Either that, or make any play challengable , flag or no flag. That way if things like pass interference does happen and isn’t called, or is called and didn’t happen, coaches can force the refs to look at it again and get it right. There’s too much at stake anymore, and too often these games are decided by official error.
    $0.02,
    –Z

  15. skylark says: Aug 21, 2009 12:41 PM

    James Harrison is a happy man today.

  16. Fan_Of_ Four says: Aug 21, 2009 12:52 PM

    End result will be fewer TD’s and more FG’s

  17. BrenstonBuckner says: Aug 21, 2009 12:57 PM

    James Harrison will have a league leading 629 sacks this year..

  18. Ray Guy says: Aug 21, 2009 1:27 PM

    Does this mean the Pats won’t have “immunity” and be kicked off the island?

  19. I♥Patriots says: Aug 21, 2009 1:33 PM

    I ♥ The Scrub

  20. troysteelerfan says: Aug 21, 2009 1:49 PM

    at The Scrub
    boo hoo! please quit crying about last years Super Bowl!
    And as for James Harrison (and the entire steeler defense) being the end all – any fan that wouldn’t want James Harrison (or the entire defense) on “their team” – simply doesn’t have a clue….

  21. datdudecelly says: Aug 21, 2009 1:50 PM

    @TheScrub
    Not to mention the fact that if you watch the replay (the one that can been seen on the NFLN COMMERCIALS!!!) you can see that Santonio Holmes’ feet were on top of each other and one of his fee NEVER touched the ground.

  22. SixBurghDude says: Aug 21, 2009 1:55 PM

    The Scrub takes datdudecelly in da seat…

  23. The Scrub says: Aug 21, 2009 2:05 PM

    to Troysteelerfan
    nobody wants your lame ass defense. No one wants your players (that is why no one ever raids the steelers players in free agency) You suck.
    I am firmly convinced that there is a link between the Rooney family money, ties to the steel industry, high commodity prices over the past few years tied directly to the Steelers football fortunes.
    maybe now with steel prices and commodity prices falling, rooney will have to get his dick out of goodell’s ass and go back to work.
    Steelers, your done!

  24. Big ben Rapistburger says: Aug 21, 2009 2:06 PM

    Peyton Manning just SHIT in his pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. frank12341 says: Aug 21, 2009 2:08 PM

    the commerical shows the catch, and as soon as the ball hits santonios hands, his tip toes are still on the ground…what you are noticing is as he is falling down, his foot comes off the ground…catch has already been made…
    nice try loser.

  26. The Scrub says: Aug 21, 2009 2:13 PM

    to penguininbondage
    if you are a football fan; you wait all year for 20 weeks of the actual game.
    Then you sit here and bitch that the game is 3 hours or 3hours and 30mins long.
    Crap, for I care the game should start at 8am and end at 8pm. make it a brawl.
    Get a clue and go back in your little TV cubbyhole you came out of.

  27. KILLER FIN says: Aug 21, 2009 2:13 PM

    GET RID OF THE TUCK RULE!!!

  28. SixBurghDude says: Aug 21, 2009 2:18 PM

    @ the Scrub & datdudecelly–
    Nope! Upon further review they’re both still STEELER TOUCHDOWNS, what’s even better, one was the longest play in Super Bowl history (another Steeler record) & one was the unprecedented 6x game winner!!!
    As you were ladies…

  29. Frank Burns says: Aug 21, 2009 2:19 PM

    As several posters have noted (and one moron called the “Scrub” tried to deny) nobody has been held more than James Harrison. The San Diego left tackle is probably guilty of about 10 on James alone.
    I’ve said it before — you cannot stop James Harrison, you can only hold him. If not for outright tackles made by offensive tackles, Harrision easily takes the all-time sack record last year. Easily.
    Any moron who doesn’t realize this fact needs to go watch some game tape.

  30. RexRyan'sStressedLapband says: Aug 21, 2009 2:24 PM

    ZN0rseman says: August 21, 2009 12:41 PM :
    “Either that, or make any play challengable , flag or no flag. That way if things like pass interference does happen and isn’t called, or is called and didn’t happen, coaches can force the refs to look at it again and get it right. There’s too much at stake anymore, and too often these games are decided by official error.”
    ====================================
    I can totally agree with that. Who the hell decided that if something is deemed a “judgment call”, it isn’t able to be challenged??? Aren’t all the calls really “judgment calls”? I say that as long as a team has time outs, they should be able to challenge ANYTHING. I think it’s bull that you get three challenges right and you’re still OUT OF CHALLENGES! How do you get penalized for calling the refs and being RIGHT?
    Pass interference, holding, non-calls all should be able to be challenged until a team is out of time outs to take.
    I am not sure about doing all the officiating from the booths though. I know there have been plenty of instances of things on the field not being caught by any of the cameras (how? I couldn’t tell you, there’s like a million of em), and I like the fact that someone is on the field. If a ref isn’t sure of what happened, they should be able to consult with technology, though.

  31. SixBurghDude says: Aug 21, 2009 2:31 PM

    the scrub says:
    “No one wants your players (that is why no one ever raids the steelers players in free agency) You suck.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Without wasting too much time on an ignorant uninformed fool like you, I’ll post a quick list of former pro bowlers, super bowl champs and/or hall-of famers, from the Steeler defense alone that were lost to other teams:
    > Bryant McFadden (Cardinals)
    > Chris Hope (Titans)
    > Joey Porter (Dolphins)
    > Levon Kirkland (Eagles)
    > Mike Vrabel (Cheatriots)
    > Greg Lloyd (Panthers)
    > Kevin Greene (Panthers)
    > Chad Brown (SheHawks)
    > Carnell Lake (Jaguars)
    > Rod Woodson (Niners)
    Yet all the Steelers do is keep on WINNING…like no other team has since the merger!!!

  32. SixBurghDude says: Aug 21, 2009 2:32 PM

    the scrub says:
    “No one wants your players (that is why no one ever raids the steelers players in free agency) You suck.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Without wasting too much time on an ignorant uninformed fool like you, I’ll post a quick list of former pro bowlers, super bowl champs and/or hall-of famers, from the Steeler defense alone that were lost to other teams:
    > Bryant McFadden (Cardinals)
    > Chris Hope (Titans)
    > Joey Porter (Dolphins)
    > Levon Kirkland (Eagles)
    > Mike Vrabel (Cheatriots)
    > Greg Lloyd (Panthers)
    > Kevin Greene (Panthers)
    > Chad Brown (SheHawks)
    > Carnell Lake (Jaguars)
    > Rod Woodson (Niners)
    Yet all the Steelers do is keep on WINNING…like no other team has since the merger!!!

  33. marcduke says: Aug 21, 2009 2:35 PM

    So what’s your excuse going to be when Harrison doesn’t break the record this year?

  34. SteelersSB44 says: Aug 21, 2009 2:45 PM

    @ The Scrub
    Not to mention that half the staff of the Cardinals and about 6 other players on that team come directly from Pittsburgh. Notice how Arizona went to their first Super Bowl only after they raided the Steelers of their coaches and players…weird…
    Please be informed or at least come off as slightly intelligent before posting on here again.
    Pick up a book once in awhile, and no Sports Illustrated doesn’t qualify as a book.

  35. HEPennypacker says: Aug 21, 2009 2:47 PM

    Really? You’re including Mike Vrabel? Who had 37 tackles in 4 years with the Steelers? Carnell Lake who spent a total of 1 year in Jax then Baltimore before retiring? And you had to go back to the 90s to round out your all-stolen defence list?
    Yeah they get gutted every year.

  36. Jackal138 says: Aug 21, 2009 2:52 PM

    So now it’s easier for the D line to get through, but when they do they have to make sure they fully climb off the ground before hitting the QB?
    I thought this was the “Keep Brady Unharmed” league?

  37. Mangy66 says: Aug 21, 2009 3:09 PM

    Great…I’m starting to see a pattern. Offenses get better, and the league has to figure out a way to help defenses again.
    Sure…there are holding calls that should be called, but don’t.
    BUT LEAVE THE “PIT” ALONE!!!

  38. Mangy66 says: Aug 21, 2009 3:14 PM

    Great…the NFL has once again noticed that offenses are getting more innovative…so it’s time to throw defenses a bone again.
    Sure…there are situations where holding should be called.
    BUT LEAVE THE “PIT” ALONE!!!
    Any current or former offensive lineman knows, “Anything goes in the Pit. What happens in the Pit, stays in the Pit.”
    This is one of those unwritten rules that makes football as nasty as it is. And I’m pretty sure we don’t want this turning into a sissy-sport.

  39. Shackman v2.0 says: Aug 21, 2009 3:31 PM

    Once a few of the star QB’s in the league start dropping like flies, you can bet your sweet ass that old Mike Pereira and his cronies might want to revisit that rule.

  40. SixBurghDude says: Aug 21, 2009 3:34 PM

    LMMFAO @ Jackal138
    well spoken!

  41. Bazooka Joe says: Aug 21, 2009 3:47 PM

    If they would just call the holding calls on the Patriots and Colts offensive players instead of ignoring them, then the calls will increase.

  42. HEPennypacker says: Aug 21, 2009 4:01 PM

    Oh I get it, because the Colts and Pats win they must be getting the benefit of all of the non-calls. I always thought it was the superior play, talent, or coaching.

  43. Hap says: Aug 21, 2009 4:30 PM

    Dude. Nobody stops Ware, not Harrison,Freeney,Peppers, etc. They even started trying to call Ware’s signature move “offsides D”, which it wasn’t. He’ll have a penalty named after him by the end of this decade.

  44. jascz says: Aug 21, 2009 6:38 PM

    The Ravens defense would like to request a new rule change – You must cross the goal line with the ball for it to count as a touchdown.

  45. steeltownpride says: Aug 21, 2009 6:52 PM

    jascz says:
    August 21, 2009 6:38 PM
    The Ravens defense would like to request a new rule change – You must cross the goal line with the ball for it to count as a touchdown.
    =========================================
    Stop crying ok ? You had the clock , fans and defense to blame . To let the Steelers march 92 yards in less than 2 minutes and win the game . Shame on you lol .

  46. SwedishMurderMachine says: Aug 21, 2009 9:15 PM

    This is great news!
    If there is one thing that makes a good football game great it is more subjective drive killing penalties.
    Throw the flag! 10 yard penalty! Woo – Hoooo!
    *Fans rejoice*

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