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Decisive Saints-Bucs call was the right one

Mike Williams, Isa Abdul-Quddus AP

Plenty of Buccaneers fans are up in arms in the wake of the final play of the game against the Saints.  And while we particularly relish the opportunity to point out a bad call, in this case the officials got it right.

The easy part of the decision that wiped a potential overtime-forcing touchdown pass from Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman to receiver Mike Williams off the board was the ruling that Williams went out of bounds and came back in and was the first one to touch the ball that was thrown to him.  Once he’s out of bounds, he can’t be the first one to touch the ball — even if he “re-establishes” himself in the field of play before doing so.  Someone else has to touch the ball before the player who went out of bounds, or the catch won’t count.

The harder part is the obvious shove that sent Williams out of bounds.  Many insist that it’s illegal contact because the shove came more than five yards from the line of scrimmage.

The explanation is easy.  Once the quarterback leaves the pocket, the illegal contact rule disappears.

It’s a nuance that made it harder for the replacement officials to call, or not call, illegal contact.  The non-replacements got it right — and it’s always a heads-up move for a defensive back to shove a guy out of bounds if/when the quarterback is out of the pocket and the receiver is near the boundary.  That’s what Patrick Robinson did on Sunday, and it’s obvious from his body language that Robinson knew what he was doing, and that he knew Williams’ catch wouldn’t count.

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36 Responses to “Decisive Saints-Bucs call was the right one”
  1. goodellgate says: Oct 22, 2012 7:46 AM

    ***And while we particularly relish the opportunity to point out a bad call, in this case the officials got it right.***

    Then you can talk about the Harper interception.
    Weird how the Buccs fans forget about this while they’re whinning about a good call.

  2. tbtrojan says: Oct 22, 2012 7:53 AM

    “The explanation is easy. Once the quarterback leaves the pocket, the illegal contact rule disappears.”

    Once again someone is ignoring the fact (look at the footage) that Freeman had not left the pocket yet at the time the illegal contact began.
    It should have been…
    Illegal contact
    Flag
    Freeman leaves pocket
    Williams reestablishes himself
    TD catch

    I’m fairly sure that illegal contact which happens BEFORE the QB leaves the pocket is still a penalty.
    Freeman leaving the pocket is just a convenient excuse for the official yet again blowing a call, much like the interception they blew earlier in the game, got an excuse for that one too?

  3. Chris Fiorentino says: Oct 22, 2012 7:58 AM

    Once the D-Back pushes the guy out of bounds, he leaves him open. THAT’S the only reason Williams was so wide open there. So for the Bucs fans complaining, they should realize that fact before they try to argue the faulty point.

  4. keepitsimplestoopid says: Oct 22, 2012 8:00 AM

    I’d love to see the All-22 on this.

  5. bdawk20 says: Oct 22, 2012 8:07 AM

    The call may have been right, but the NFL needs to fix that rule.

  6. Nic says: Oct 22, 2012 8:07 AM

    The ruling is fine, had it gone the other way as a Bucs’ Homer I’m sure I would certainly be holding the rule book up in celebration. Look, I’ll give the Saints their credit, Drew Brees is a monster with no pass rush to bother him. In the end, TB lost this game due to terrible coaching. Schiano needs to stop blaring his “Rutgers Jamz ’03” mix tape around One Buc Place, it’s embarrassing.

  7. pewterpiratetampabayray says: Oct 22, 2012 8:12 AM

    I can accept that it was the right call. That one play did not win or lose us the game. The question has to be does the rule need to be re-written?

  8. asseenonokra says: Oct 22, 2012 8:13 AM

    However, the Roman Harper pick 6 that was called back was the wrong call.

  9. briandorry55 says: Oct 22, 2012 8:16 AM

    I know this is the “right call”…

    But why the hell is pass interference legal once the quarterback leaves the pocket? After five yards, pass interference should never be legal. Dumb.

  10. pudgalvin says: Oct 22, 2012 8:18 AM

    I thought if the player got pushed out of bounds he could be the first one to touch it as long as he reestablished himself inbounds. As long as he wasn’t using going out of bounds to his advantage, I thought he could catch it.

  11. xxwhodatxx says: Oct 22, 2012 8:29 AM

    The only thing bucs fans should be up in arms about is those ugly uniforms.

  12. thedownwardspiral says: Oct 22, 2012 8:29 AM

    What Bucs fans should be mad at is their prize free agent WR getting run down from 30yds away. Then their prize free agent guard not being able to open up a running hole at the goal line 3 plays IN A ROW. If they score a TD there, all they would need on the last possession is a FG, and their laughable conspiracy theories wouldn’t even be brought up.

    And as far as Schiano… LOL! His little college gimmicks of victory formation pileups and trying to get the offense to jump offsides on FG attempts, pathetically show he’s in over his head. Hey Coach, THIS AIN’T RUTGERS!!

    The better team won.

  13. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 22, 2012 8:36 AM

    That may have been the ‘right’ call, but its a chickensh!t rule. Watching the DB push the WR out of the back of the endzone was lame and not good competition.

  14. franktherat96 says: Oct 22, 2012 8:46 AM

    despite the explanation people will still complain. my guess is the reason a.defensive back can do this is once the qb is out of the pocket they are considered more a runner which means the receiver could be a blocker. if a receiver is going to block a defender the defender has the right to push, etc to get around the blocker

  15. letmesetyoustraight says: Oct 22, 2012 8:48 AM

    It was actually a brilliant play by a Saints defender. How often do you hear that?

  16. craggt says: Oct 22, 2012 8:50 AM

    It was the correct call but it somehow still just feels wrong, I’m not sure I like the fact that a defensive player can essentially just make a receiver ineligible. Heads up play by Robinson though.

  17. gotampabay52 says: Oct 22, 2012 9:07 AM

    That db didn’t see Freeman leave the pocket. Freeman rolled to the right then throw across the field to back of the endzone. No way the db saw Freeman leave the pocket. It was illegal contact period if it happened to your team your pissed if it didn’t happen to your team you have no say but you know if it happened to your team your pissed period

  18. purplegreenandgold says: Oct 22, 2012 9:11 AM

    complained so much pft had to post this story… Buc fans now how does it feel to defend the team you love with every fiber but tell Saints fans to shut up.

  19. ravensgrl says: Oct 22, 2012 9:12 AM

    It may have been the right call as far as interpreting the rules… but the rule is stupid and needs to be changed. If not, every defense should just push all the receivers out of the endzone so no one is eligible to catch a pass…

  20. omegaichiban says: Oct 22, 2012 9:14 AM

    So Robinson locked in man coverage, which usually requires you to look at the MAN you’re guarding, knew Freeman had left the pocket, or just rolled the dice and pushed him out of bounds? I’ll take pushed him out of bound for 500.00 Chuck.

  21. jeagan1999 says: Oct 22, 2012 9:33 AM

    As a Bucs fan this was a tough one to lose, but our offense was every bit as explosive as the Saints this game….we just couldn’t make the big plays to put them away this time. Who would have thought that Josh Freeman would have thrown for over 400 yards and outgained Drew Brees! It was our pass rush that let us down yesterday. If we could have gotten some pressure on Brees, it might have been a completely different game. Oh well, seem like we split every year with these guys…we’ll kick their butts in N.O.!!

  22. whodatsaybaby says: Oct 22, 2012 9:37 AM

    You Bucs fans forget you couldn’t score a TD on 4 plays at the 3 yard line after Jacksons 95 yard catch. Score there, different game. Or maybe how the Saints had to battle from behind even from the very start of the game with Drews Int. You got bullied by a better team in your own backyard. I bet it sucks you can’t use the ”BOUNTY” excuse for us beating you either. Man, and I thought we had it bad this year. Then I remember about the blackout kings of the NFC South, and feel much better being a Who Dat.

  23. cowboycjn says: Oct 22, 2012 9:38 AM

    The call was very correct for the rules of the game. So just because it applied to the Bucs they should change the rules??? WTF.

    Unlike the stolen interception the Saints made yet they ruled it not so.
    Come on bucs fans cry me a river – you lost!

  24. mrlaloosh says: Oct 22, 2012 10:35 AM

    That was definitely the last game to get televised in Tampa this year. Y’all need to borrow some tarps from Jacksonville. Jaguars, Bucs & Dolphins! Loser state. Thank goodness for the Gators.

  25. vtpack says: Oct 22, 2012 10:55 AM

    Shame that Freeman was not yet out of the pocket when contact was initiated on the WR, so you fail.

    Also the replay on the INT was called correctly, there was not enough evidence to overturn it. It real time it certainly looked as though the ball hit the ground, so that is why it was not called on the field.

  26. simplesimon1 says: Oct 22, 2012 10:56 AM

    tbtrojan says:

    “Once again someone is ignoring the fact (look at the footage) that Freeman had not left the pocket yet at the time the illegal contact began.
    It should have been…
    Illegal contact
    Flag
    Freeman leaves pocket
    Williams reestablishes himself
    TD catch”

    OK…. First things first, I’ve heard this excuse from a few fans now. The idea that Freeman was still in the pocket. It’s simply not true. Freeman had finished his roll out and was right on the big # 20 on the field. That is way outside the pocket. Sorry but you’re either reaching to make it seem like a bad call no matter what, or you need to watch it again with the fan blinders turned off.

    Next, if he had still been in the pocket, which he wasn’t, he still can’t simply re-establish himself and then it’s a TD. Any player that goes out of bounds cannot be the first person to touch the ball, period. So it would have been penalties against both teams and, thus, no TD but replay 4th down. However, since he was out of the pocket, it’s a moot point regardless.

    Next, to all the people saying this rule is dumb. It’s been around for decades and has rarely ever been a factor in games. Maybe this is why so few of you actually know the rule. It’s also a very good rule for the following reasons. I don’t want the refs to have discretion on whether a player was pushed out of bounds or not. If changed, every player in the world will start pretending they’ve been pushed out of bounds on every endzone play. Then, we have refs determining games based on their own discretion on whether or not the player was pushed. Second reason it’s a good rule… once the QB leaves the pocket the WR can block him. Therefore, the defender can push back. Hence why it needs to stay the same, unless you all think the WR shouldn’t be able to block the WR either.

    There are some rules that should be changed (like the Tuck Rule or the Catch rules). This is not one of them.

  27. magicbucs says: Oct 22, 2012 12:40 PM

    That rule needs to be changed for endzone plays. If a D player can shove a guy out of the endzone, he should be allowed to restablish himself as long as he comes in that same area and not run around out of bounds. It will make it fair for both sides and more exciting for the game.

    SAINTS STILL WILL NOT MAKE THE PLAYOFFS! So all you ain’t fans get those paper bags ready.

  28. kalib933 says: Oct 22, 2012 12:46 PM

    The rule as you explained it is right. However, Freeman was still in the pocket. There have already been people posting pictures highlighting both the pocket and the illegal contact and it is clear that Freeman is still in. If they are going to make a call like that it needs to be called properly.

  29. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 22, 2012 1:03 PM

    jeagan1999 says:
    Oct 22, 2012 9:33 AM
    As a Bucs fan this was a tough one to lose, but our offense was every bit as explosive as the Saints this game….we just couldn’t make the big plays to put them away this time. Who would have thought that Josh Freeman would have thrown for over 400 yards and outgained Drew Brees! It was our pass rush that let us down yesterday. If we could have gotten some pressure on Brees, it might have been a completely different game. Oh well, seem like we split every year with these guys…we’ll kick their butts in N.O.!!
    _________
    Don’t get too excited the Saints have the worst defense in the league and if you think you’re going to have a better chance at beating the Saints in the Superdome you’re delusional.

  30. brutusmandingo says: Oct 22, 2012 1:32 PM

    Umm Josh freeman has beaten the Saints with. An offense. That was quite pedestrian before So Saints fan do act like we couldn’t be you we should ve Schiano will learn from this and damn it if don’t get rid of that 3 man rush bs defense lol and two factors are the absences of Aqib Talib and Adrian Clayborn were felt you see the pass rush should have been way better with Clayborn last year the same d line beat the hell outta Brees So yea it could’ve been way different of an outcome man do we miss Davin Joseph

  31. mrfoozball says: Oct 22, 2012 1:33 PM

    I find it funny that there are more Bucs ‘fans’ here on this forum than there are at the game.

  32. brutusmandingo says: Oct 22, 2012 1:44 PM

    Yes we would’ve gotten more pressure on Bree’s if Schiano would’ve called a better defensive game and if we had Clayborn

  33. brent13081 says: Oct 22, 2012 4:19 PM

    Horrible call… He was still in the pocket .. And even if he wasnt.. should have been pass interference .. Bum cornerbacks for saints cant cover so have to cheat like usual .. Regular refs are just as bad as replacements..

  34. rsgibson says: Oct 22, 2012 5:07 PM

    I captured the game use a HD TV Tuner card and burned it to Bluray.

    I’ve reviewed 2 calls in slow motions several times.

    Freeman was close but if he was out of the pocket it could not have been but more than 2 feet. I saw it as in the pocket WHEN Williams was shoved out. Note this is not an easy call to make. Breze was clearly in the pocket on another non-call when he grounded the ball.

    On that punt Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty. The right tackle raised up out of his stance while only the Bucs linebacker was moving. That was a clear false start.

    It should not have come down to that but I’m sick of all the lousy calls we get.

  35. jusjamn says: Oct 22, 2012 6:16 PM

    Replacements were better. At least they weren’t biased beyond belief.

  36. schiano55 says: Oct 24, 2012 12:08 PM

    Taints are losers and cheaters, just like your fans. Refs have blown many a call against the Bucs this year… I think the NFL and its offcials are hating on Schiano because he is bringing some college into the NFL and hurting peoples feelings. And I say to them, C’mon man, and STOP IT! See you in NOLA, clowns

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