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Marvin Lewis wishes Dan Dierdorf would learn the rules


During Sunday’s Bengals-Ravens game, Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs pulled down Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton by the inside of the back of the shoulder pads, and Dan Dierdorf, calling the game for CBS, said a penalty should have been called.

“That is a horse collar,” Dierdorf said. “He started with his hand in the shoulder pads of Andy Dalton. That could have easily been called a horse collar tackle by Suggs.”

But what Dierdorf didn’t know is that when a quarterback is in the pocket, a defensive player is allowed to pull him down by the inside of the back of the shoulder pads. So it wasn’t a penalty.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has been besieged this week by people asking him why a penalty wasn’t called — and questioning why he didn’t rip the ref a new one for failing to flag Suggs — and Lewis says he’s sick of it. And he blames Dierdorf for that.

“I had a zillion text messages saying that Andy Dalton got horse-collared on the last play,” Lewis said. “Well, there’s no such thing as a horse collar on a quarterback in the pocket. So there are some things that unfortunately even the announcers doing our games don’t know the ins and outs of the rules. They bring up the speculation on TV, and that causes the groundswell. We wish, for clarification purposes, everybody could understand the rules a little better.”

Lewis is right, although I’d add that the NFL could do a better job of explaining the rules: Too often the NFL’s explanations only add to the confusion. Lewis himself said he still wasn’t sure why a Jermaine Gresham touchdown in the same game was overturned, even after the ref explained it to him. So while the rule about horse-collar tackles on quarterbacks in the pocket is clear cut, the league could do more to clarify some of the murkier parts of the rulebook.

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47 Responses to “Marvin Lewis wishes Dan Dierdorf would learn the rules”
  1. mjbulls45 says: Nov 25, 2011 9:43 AM

    in all my years of watching football and sports in general

    i have never heard a more positive and complimentary announcer then Dan

  2. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Nov 25, 2011 9:44 AM

    Marvin Lewis is a weird beard !

  3. cobrala2 says: Nov 25, 2011 9:47 AM

    I remember cussing at the TV on MNF when Dan Dierdork would botch up commentary. A lot of people were happier when others left MNF but for me I disliked Dierdork’s commentary the most. For my age he was the first color commentary that I realized he wasn’t right just because he was on TV.

  4. readysethike says: Nov 25, 2011 9:47 AM

    Damn u lewis, u just gave the NFL something new to call a penalty on…

  5. joetoronto says: Nov 25, 2011 9:47 AM

    Can we please get back to basic rules and stop all this convoluted bullcrap?

    It’s killing the game.

  6. ccoolahan14 says: Nov 25, 2011 9:48 AM

    I wish steelers fans would learn the rules, too. But then again, they’re the least knowledgeable fans in the league for a reason I guess. In their defense, they probably didn’t learn the rules just so they’d be less embarrassed when they see the Steelers games get rigged time and time again. If you don’t believe me, go watch Steelers-Cardinals or Steelers-Texans (a game they lost but should have literally been a 30 point blowout. EVERY first down and Texans TD got called back by penalty- it was unbelievable. Well, unbelievable if you’ve never watched a Steelers game before).

  7. bravin4evr says: Nov 25, 2011 9:51 AM

    even as a Ravens fan, that was a TD by Gresham and we were lucky to get the Calvin Johnson ruling….lol

  8. ud1hens says: Nov 25, 2011 9:52 AM

    As a Ravens fan I’ve had the misfortune of having Dierdorf call multiple games this season. Besides him not understanding the game anymore we have to sit through him butcher the English language for 3 hours. I’ve found the ‘mute’ button to be a real asset.

  9. 6thsense79 says: Nov 25, 2011 9:54 AM

    Haha….Marvin Lewis owned Dan Dierdorf.

  10. gregggrammarrosenthal says: Nov 25, 2011 9:55 AM

    Marvin Lewis looks creepy in your picture

  11. joewilly says: Nov 25, 2011 9:57 AM

    Yeah, isn’t it funny how the media can create a storyline based on a false assumption. Bad calls abound in the NFL and I’m getting sick of it and it’s made worse by a media that focuses on some calls and not others in order to suit their storylines. And why hasn’t Mike Pereira been interviewed about this yet? I don’t know what to think about a call unless he tells me. I think we need 10 stories about this today…

  12. fcs34 says: Nov 25, 2011 9:58 AM

    Turns out Dierdorf didn’t avtually say that. Even though your ears heard it, you misunderstood. He was actually taking about horses and how his collar was too tight. His true fans will understand.

  13. claydefayette says: Nov 25, 2011 9:59 AM

    What an odd story. I wouldn’t think Lewis would have to defend himself seeing how he’s incapable of being fired and his job security seems fine with the nice, young roster the Bengals are building.

  14. brent1395 says: Nov 25, 2011 10:02 AM

    Also, doesn’t it have to be a tackle to be a horse-collar tackle? Dalton was never actually tackled on the play.

  15. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 25, 2011 10:02 AM

    I can’t stand when Dierdorf calls a game. I knew he was wrong when he said the horse collar thing, but these analysts say stupid things all the time.

    Marvin Lewis is doing what he needs to do. His Baltimore roots are showing. He is trying to teach ‘gals fans not to whine.

  16. youngstownbengal says: Nov 25, 2011 10:03 AM

    Not to mention that Dierdorf has a Brokeback Mountain sized man crush on Big Ben and it shows every time he does a Steelers game!

  17. boisebob says: Nov 25, 2011 10:05 AM

    Dan Dierdorf is an oaf. Thank God for audio streaming so I can turn off the sound and listen to the game thru my iPhone.

  18. polegojim says: Nov 25, 2011 10:10 AM

    Dierdorf may have missed this one, but he was awesome on Monday night football.

    Current crew is ok, but nothing remotely comparable to Al, Dan, Frank.

    I’d like to see Rick Reilly in the booth.

  19. youaresimple says: Nov 25, 2011 10:11 AM

    The entire league will be playing Flag Football soon if they don’t stop creating new penalties…and even then you still better pull that flag the right way!

  20. radtrigger says: Nov 25, 2011 10:18 AM

    you tell em’ marvin!

  21. holdthemayo123 says: Nov 25, 2011 10:19 AM

    Glad I missed this – drives me nuts when the announcers know less than the average fan.

  22. Gordon says: Nov 25, 2011 10:23 AM

    Not a Dierdorf fan, but talk about an obscure rule. So it’s not okay to horse collar a guy in the open field, but it is ok to do it to a QB in the pocket?

    That type of tackle is either dangerous or it’s not. Geography should have nothing to do with it.

  23. omegaichiban says: Nov 25, 2011 10:24 AM

    The rule is ridiculous, but correctly applied. As a rec., he had posession and one foot in the field of play, as a rec., he crossed the plane and took one step in the endzone. As a rec., he did not control the ball after falling on the ground. Had he taken a third step and became a runner I think we get TD. Having typed all that…stupid rule.

  24. makosalad says: Nov 25, 2011 10:27 AM

    As a steeler fan, i would love nothing more than a fairly officiated game. Even if it means we lose! I won’t pretend to know the rules but know that throughout a series, there are always missed calls. On both sides. To say that they are made in favor of the steelers is also to say that the league favors them… Really? …really?

  25. holdthemayo123 says: Nov 25, 2011 10:28 AM

    Not a Dierdorf fan, but talk about an obscure rule. So it’s not okay to horse collar a guy in the open field, but it is ok to do it to a QB in the pocket?
    No, it isn’t obscure at all. The danger of the horsecollar (ask TO) is when you are in the open field running, your momentum is going one way and the horsecollar jerks you the other way, opening up the potential for all types of leg injuries and more. Not so in the pocket – while you can still hurt a guy, the actual reason the horsecollar is illegal is not in play.

  26. fatdaddy73 says: Nov 25, 2011 10:44 AM

    @ Gordon, Geography definitely matters. The reason it is illegal to horse collar anyone but the QB in the pocket is because it becomes dangerous when the player being tackled is running fast. Its the speed that injures the player when horse collared.

  27. sasquash20 says: Nov 25, 2011 10:53 AM

    Dorfy is a douche

    RIP Andre “Dirty” Waters

  28. fissels says: Nov 25, 2011 11:01 AM

    I hate listening to Dierdorf , he goes on and on about nothing.I also use the mute button.

  29. scytherius says: Nov 25, 2011 11:05 AM

    Yeah, we all do. And if your job is commentary, you must be an expert in addition to other skills. The ony one worse than Dierdorf is Gruden.

  30. fearthebengaltiger says: Nov 25, 2011 11:08 AM


  31. cardmagnet says: Nov 25, 2011 11:20 AM

    I wish he would just get fired so he wasn’t on my tv anymore, but to each his own.

  32. whodeydaytonchapter says: Nov 25, 2011 11:20 AM

    Marvin has always been very cautious to not lash out at the officials. They horse collar/non horse collar aside, that was a poor game by the zebras. The Gresham TD call is unforgivable. Marvin is too classy to let the refs have it, but it that officiating crew should be ashamed.

  33. lionsfanatic84 says: Nov 25, 2011 11:33 AM

    That’s the media for ya Marvin, they get so obsessed with hearing their voice or seeing there print, that they say ill informed things to take pride in starting drama.

  34. backindasaddle says: Nov 25, 2011 11:41 AM

    I thought it was a horse collar too. I don’t think most fans knew the QB/pocket/horse collar thing. So OK, now we all know the rule Marvin Lewis. Don’t take a hissy fit because you have to answer a question. Deal with it and move on.

  35. ondagroundshady says: Nov 25, 2011 11:45 AM

    Dan Diedorf, may have been a great player, but his “analysis” of the game has been in steep decline. At least he never became a GM of a team and made them one of the worst team of 2000s.

  36. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Nov 25, 2011 11:49 AM

    Not news. Most of them don’t even know the players names, never mind the rules. I heard “Vonte Lynch (Leach)” and Aaron Henderson (Hernandez)” during last night’s NFL Network broadcast. Get a clue. I could do a better job and I don’t currently get paid to know who the guys are and what the rules are.

  37. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Nov 25, 2011 11:59 AM

    Maybe the NFL does need to do something to explain rules to fans and announcers alike. I wasn’t aware of the QB aspect until after the game, but understand it. That came out shortly after the game, though, so you’d think people would have the decency to leave Marv alone. And for the other guy, no, you do not have to complete the “tackle” to be called for a horsecollar. That much I knew a while ago.

  38. phillysports25 says: Nov 25, 2011 12:10 PM

    Looks like I’m muting the Eagles game on Sunday.

  39. timtheenchanter1 says: Nov 25, 2011 12:11 PM

    BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Nov 25, 2011 11:49 AM

    Not news. Most of them don’t even know the players names, never mind the rules. I heard “Vonte Lynch (Leach)” and Aaron Henderson (Hernandez)” during last night’s NFL Network broadcast. Get a clue. I could do a better job and I don’t currently get paid to know who the guys are and what the rules are.


    Yeah, Nessler in particular was definitely off his game last night. Does he still do college games? Maybe he was on overload with all the rivalry games this weekend, but that was a pretty poor showing for what is probably one of the biggest nights for the NFL Network all year. I know at one point he said a player got to the 40 when he was only at the 30. He was botching names all night and just missing stuff.

    But it’s still miles better than listening to Bryant Mumbel.

  40. rr2000k says: Nov 25, 2011 12:30 PM

    Dierdork is a moron. I wish he would just go away

  41. pemory says: Nov 25, 2011 12:40 PM

    Gotta agree with the majority of posters here–Dierdorf is bad, very bad. A big wind bag. I usually switch off the audio when I hear he’s announcing a game.

    Also, completely agree with ccoolahan14 re: the Steelers. They get waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many gift calls from the refs. All you gotta do is think back to their SBs v. the Seahawks & Cards. In each case the refs. did just about everything in their power to help Pitt. get a win.

  42. comeonnowguys says: Nov 25, 2011 12:41 PM

    “Yeah, isn’t it funny how the media can create a storyline based on a false assumption. ”

    Not funny if you’re a Bears fan. (See: Fox’s “love” for Jay Cutler.)

  43. vikesfansteve says: Nov 25, 2011 12:42 PM

    Dierdorf is a hall of famer. Lewis is a brown noser & always blames others. On Hard Knocks it was always someone else’s fault.

  44. tdk24 says: Nov 25, 2011 12:53 PM

    Dalton also got hit in the head on that play, but the refs didn’t call that either.

  45. howiehandles says: Nov 25, 2011 2:37 PM

    “i have never heard a more positive and complimentary announcer then Dan”


    No one is more positive than Gruden. Everyone is the best, everyone is unbelievable. Makes me sick.

    I prefer the Thursday night crowd. Mayock calls it how he sees it, now he wants everyone to hear it.

  46. pacificajim says: Nov 25, 2011 5:21 PM

    I wish Dan Dierdorf would retire.

  47. briang123 says: Nov 25, 2011 5:46 PM

    Wow. Now, horse-collaring is now the only legal thing you can do to a quarterback these days, now that actually hitting the quarterback is illegal.

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