The PFT Planet segment from PFT Live (which is on hiatus until July 28) includes plenty of interesting questions on a variety of timely topics. Some broader philosophical points trickle through from time to time.
Last week, semi-regular caller John in Portland asked whether the penalty for offensive pass interference should match the yardage of the spot where the foul occurred. For example, if offensive interference happens 25 yards down the field, should the offense be pushed back 25 yards?
That gave me an idea that would seem to be even more fair, in light of the penalty for defensive pass interference. If it’s assumed when a defender interferes with an offensive player that the offensive player would have caught the ball (even if the offensive player has a reputation for, you know, dropping the ball), why not presume that the defensive player would have made the interception, but for the interference from an offensive player?
The response would be that not every instance of offensive pass interference entails keeping a defender from intercepting the ball. The foul commonly consists of a player pushing off to get separation when the ball is in the air. Still, if a defensive player pushes or grabs or shoves to erase separation and the end result is a presumed catch by the offensive player, why shouldn’t efforts to push or grab or shove defensive backs away from the path of the ball result in a presumed catch by the defensive player?