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Belichick doesn’t get the NFL’s emphasis on certain rules

belichickref AP

Every offseason the NFL tells its officials about certain rules that will be emphasized that season — rules that haven’t actually changed, but that the league thinks officials need to call more strictly, or more consistently. Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn’t like that.

Belichick says that if the NFL is changing a rule, it makes sense to make sure every official is clear on what the new rule is. But Belichick says there’s no need to place an emphasis on a particular rule because the officials should always be enforcing every rule consistently.

“If it’s a clear-cut rule that’s going to change — the kickoffs from the 30 [yard line] to the 35 — that’s pretty cut and dried,” Belichick said, via CSNNE.com. “But if it’s a rule that maybe has some gray area, or a rule that’s not a rule change, which is pretty common — you know, the league does this every year [when] it doesn’t change the rule, it says ‘we’re just going to emphasize it differently.’ Well I don’t really know what that means. We’ve tried to play by the rules from the beginning. We’re trying to play within the rules, but now they’re saying we’re going to emphasize the rule differently and I don’t really know what that means.”

Belichick sees players having to figure out on a game-by-game basis whether the officials are going to call a lot of penalties or not, and he doesn’t think that should be the case.

“We go out there and basically try to play the same every week,” Belichick said. “It’s not like we change our techniques or any other team does. We’ll see a game one week that has 19 penalties, and then the next week you’ll see a game that has eight penalties. Is one team fouling a lot more? Or is it being called a little bit differently? I don’t know. I think some of that is just — we see it in all sports, I’m not just singling out football. Some of it is just, as the game gets going, just understanding this is going to be called tight or they’re gonna kind of let them play today. It’s a little bit of figuring out on their own.”

Belichick knows first-hand about how changing the emphasis on a rule can change the way the game is played. After the Colts complained that their receivers were getting mugged by Belichick’s Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, the NFL emphasized illegal contact penalties with its officials, and those penalties dramatically increased the next season — even though the rule hadn’t changed. Belichick thinks that if the rule stays the same, the enforcement should stay the same, every game and every season.

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81 Responses to “Belichick doesn’t get the NFL’s emphasis on certain rules”
  1. scoops1 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:38 AM

    Bill knows Best

  2. billswillnevermove says: Jul 25, 2014 11:38 AM

    Yeah, we know………you only win when you bend the rules Bill.

  3. seabrawk12 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:39 AM

    Seems that the spygate rule is intact and fully understood.

  4. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Jul 25, 2014 11:41 AM

    Does this guy ever shut up?

  5. Patskrieg dot com says: Jul 25, 2014 11:42 AM

    Belichick makes a lot of sense here.

    But as far as the potential comments go, this is slow pitch softball for PFT Patriot h8rs.

  6. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:42 AM

    I think it means, Bill,”We see the loophole in the rule as it’s written that certain teams (you, maybe?) exploit and we are gonna work to close that loophole. And you are on notice of that now.”

    Pretty clear. However- Bill makes a great point on the way the NFL goes about it. They should chance the language AND the enforcement. Otherwise, it’s like Bill says, kind of silly and says that the NFL wasn’t enforcing rules that should’ve been enforced before, leading to the question of why weren’t they enforced in the first place if they were rules?

  7. arckln says: Jul 25, 2014 11:42 AM

    SpyGate comment in 3…2…1…

  8. frenchysgoldfish says: Jul 25, 2014 11:44 AM

    The League needs to clarify it’s interpretation of grey area rules. You know, like, stealing signs on the sideline is ok, “acquiring” play books is alright, (they are usually not of any use). Those are pretty “Cut and dried” . Filming your next playoff opponent’s practice is maybe on the fence. Listening in on half time adjustments in the visiting teams locker room and spying on walk throughs, maybe we need to interpret that as “grey area”…

  9. 700levelvet says: Jul 25, 2014 11:45 AM

    Bill says… After stomping his feet… How come I haven’t won a Super Bowl since Roger burned the tapes …

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 25, 2014 11:47 AM

    I agree with Belichick yet again about the lousy rulebook and officiating system of the NFL which badly needs to be updated and cleaned up.

  11. flash1287 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:47 AM

    Perfect headline to bring out the troll I mean haters I mean jealous fans of other teams.

    And yes that’s what you are.
    That’s why you can’t help but to put some lame comment.

    #patriothaterszerogirlfriendssincespygate

  12. kd75 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:47 AM

    Nobody in the NFL cared about that silly rule banning a team taping their opponents during pregame warmups until 2007.

  13. joetoronto says: Jul 25, 2014 11:47 AM

    Bill: No video taping of opposition practices means no video taping of opposition practices.

    It’s really not that hard.

  14. jdrewsy says: Jul 25, 2014 11:47 AM

    It’s because he signed Brandon Browner. A corner at 6’3″ – 220 lbs. depends on contacting the receiver! That is BB’s game and the NFL is gonna emphasize contact!

  15. atthemurph says: Jul 25, 2014 11:49 AM

    Is he really this ignorant?

    Rules are enforced by humans. Those humans have tendencies and biases and make judgments. Those judgments evolve over time and in the case of rules enforcement can move away from the intent of the rule as written.

    What the NFL is doing is merely attempting to bring enforcement of rules back towards the intent.

    Take the down field contact rule. The Colts were absolutely correct in their criticism of the officiating as it related to the actual rule as written. The Pats were correct in that they were simply playing the game as it was allowed to be called.

  16. sb44champs says: Jul 25, 2014 11:49 AM

    Bill is worried that the NFL might actually call some of his defensive Pass Interference now…

  17. flash1287 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:50 AM

    billswillnevermove says:
    Jul 25, 2014 11:38 AM
    Yeah, we know………you only win when you bend the rules Bill.


    Maybe the Bills should “bend the rules”. You know because they suck so bad and will again this season.

  18. dlw492 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:52 AM

    One of the few times we’ll really get into his brain and how he thinks. But how many times have you watched a game, late in the 4th & boom- yellow flag! Especially the team that’s driving down the field… “Holding #73, Offense”
    Jeff Tripplette, Jerome Boeger, Walt Anderson, and a few more guys call the game way too tight! Oh yeah, don’t forget Mike Carey
    #dolphins

  19. patriots123456 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:53 AM

    Bill is looking for consistency!

    And so is every other coach in the League.

    So are the fans.

    I don’t think it is too much to ask for.

  20. JSpicoli says: Jul 25, 2014 11:54 AM

    Flavor of the Day

  21. armoderate says: Jul 25, 2014 11:56 AM

    Belichick’s point of interest is exclusively his own. If changing how a rule will be enforced helps his team win, he’s up front trumpeting the virtues of the change. If an enforcement interpretation change reduces his team’s advantage, he’s against it. He doesn’t care if a change is good for football in general or it more closely fits the original intent of the rule in the first place. Just win Baby! (by any means).

  22. patriotsarespygaters says: Jul 25, 2014 11:58 AM

    cue the bitter patriot haters ….. kiss the rings baby…. spygate blah blah let it go those lombardis arent go anywhere whine all u want

  23. dennisatunity says: Jul 25, 2014 11:58 AM

    I think he is right in theory. But in actual practice, not so much.
    In theory, there should be nothing but consistency and every existing rule should be interpreted exactly the same way in every situation. But in actual practice, with 22 people that have to be watched simultaneously and dozens and dozens of potential penalties on every play, the reality is that a referee is going to look for certain violations more than others. Unless, of course, you want a penalty called on every single play and 6-hour games.

  24. jchipwood says: Jul 25, 2014 12:02 PM

    He needs to learn the rules before criticizing them. Just like spygate, just like the jets game last year when he costed his team the game or maybe he does understand them and just has to cheat to win.

  25. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Jul 25, 2014 12:03 PM

    But that would mean Seattle would have no chance.

  26. johnodocks says: Jul 25, 2014 12:04 PM

    BB’s still wondering why the refs didn’t emphasize the pick play rule for Welker’s hit on Talib in last year’s playoffs.

  27. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 25, 2014 12:14 PM

    Funny how all you people who are bashing Belichick were crying and screaming just as much about the horrible NFL officiating the last few years, but now that Belichick mentions it you suddenly think everything is just fine the way it is.

    SMH

  28. diveleft says: Jul 25, 2014 12:17 PM

    Belichick also doesn’t get that he looks like a bum always wearing cut up hoodies on the sidelines.

  29. pats1944 says: Jul 25, 2014 12:18 PM

    Bill taking pot shots at goodell, remember when the refs put an emphasis on that field goal against the jets, or when they didnt emphasis PI and picked up the pass interference flag the last play against the panthers. They have got to me consistent in calling plays.

  30. whatnojets says: Jul 25, 2014 12:21 PM

    “The Book of Rules” according to the scriptures of Belichick.

  31. tangovader says: Jul 25, 2014 12:21 PM

    Actually, he does have a good point. The officiating should be reviewed after every game and if defensive holding isn’t being called correctly week one, officials should be put on notice for week two.

    Why does the big memorandum have to come down after the season is over? That’s like basically saying, “We realize that a bunch of teams got away with some stuff last year. If we’d caught it in time, maybe some coaches would still have their jobs and there would be a different Super Bowl champion. Oh well, nothing we can do about it now, but we promise, we’ll try to do better next year.”

    If the officials are well-trained and they are truly being evaluated after every game in-season, there’s no reason to overhaul the way things are being called in the off-season unless there’s a rule change.

  32. tattooit says: Jul 25, 2014 12:22 PM

    He’s right. But as we all know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So if teams (Denver) were complaining about how much holding the Seahawks did last season, bet your bottom side it’s gonna get called more this year…

    What Peyton wants, he gets.

  33. deadlevelbest says: Jul 25, 2014 12:23 PM

    Other things Bill doesn’t get: sleeves, that whole “suit and tie” thing, how video cameras work.

  34. vikesr4reel says: Jul 25, 2014 12:24 PM

    Here’s a thought…
    Focus on winning by following the same rules the other 31 teams use!!

    Zero Superbowls since Spygate!!

    Skol

  35. cueghost says: Jul 25, 2014 12:25 PM

    deja vu.

  36. abninf says: Jul 25, 2014 12:25 PM

    I bet he’s glad the tuck rule was enforced one time in NFL history.

  37. archersofmtdoom says: Jul 25, 2014 12:26 PM

    NFL should be no holds barred, falls count anywhere. Let’s make it happen.

  38. raiderapologist says: Jul 25, 2014 12:29 PM

    Belichick is a smooth politician.

  39. cityofchampions27 says: Jul 25, 2014 12:34 PM

    Great call flash

    Man, it has to be tough as a buffalo fan to know that an 8-8 record is a reach. And all of the trolling is just ridiculously old. Really makes all involved sound ignorant. And perhaps BB does have a smug aura about him ( best overall record and most Championship appearances last 20 years ) so if you aren’t a NE fan — granted I could see your position. It is one of jealousy. Plain and simple. So just call it what it is Bc you just look foolish when u spew hatred.

    However, please don’t even try to say that you would not like him as your HC to go along with a franchise QB. And I’ll continue to laugh that some of you devote time out of your lives to discuss the Pats in a negative fashion so often. It’s really comical. Think about that for a moment. Enough said.

  40. micknangold says: Jul 25, 2014 12:35 PM

    I’m a Jets fan, and I deeply hate the Patriots. The zero super bowls since spygate thing is stupid, irrelevant, and petty. Just shut up about it. He’s the best coach ever not named Lombardi or Noll.

  41. 6ball says: Jul 25, 2014 12:38 PM

    .
    The Competition Committee does need ownership approval for an “emphasis” on a particular rule.

    Thus, Rich McKay, Jeff Fisher and Bill Pollan unilaterally changed the “emphasis” in. 2005, which resulted in illegal contact penalties increasing from 79 to 191.

    And that’s how Peyton got his ring.
    .

  42. dickshotdogs says: Jul 25, 2014 12:38 PM

    There’s no such word as “costed.” It’s just plain, “cost.”

  43. orthomarine says: Jul 25, 2014 12:42 PM

    Like filming?

  44. huskywolverine says: Jul 25, 2014 12:46 PM

    Goodell’s primary motivation for the rule changes is to ensure that pocket passers put up insane stats, as he likes guys like Manning to the be the “face of the NFL” (Goodell comes from a marketing background).

    Brady gets hurt, time for a new rule. Manning gets dominated by a physical defense, time for a new role. Mobile QBs are getting too popular, time to make a new rule.

  45. buddysguys says: Jul 25, 2014 12:50 PM

    “listen im just trying to figure out how to cheat this year, quit adjusting the rules on me”

  46. vcupats says: Jul 25, 2014 12:53 PM

    The Spygate saga is a prime example – who even knew there was a rule in place that allowed filming in certain locations but not in others. The NFL decides to “emphasize” it and all hell breaks loose.

  47. notthetroll says: Jul 25, 2014 12:59 PM

    “you are not put upon this Earth, Mr. Burton, to ‘get it’.”

    -Lei Chen from Big Trouble in Little China

  48. revolution349 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:00 PM

    It’s called firm, fair, and consistent. At the prison i work at if you deviate from those rules you wont have a good day/week/career.

  49. piratefreedom says: Jul 25, 2014 1:00 PM

    I’m a Pats fan and have great respect for Belichick but i disagree here.
    I think that for the league “points of emphasis” is a euphemism for “we looked at last year’s tape and the officials screwed these rules up the most” , it is not that these rules are more important than the rest.

  50. greenlantern75 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:07 PM

    “Well I don’t really know what that means. We’ve tried to play by the rules from the beginning. We’re trying to play within the rules, but now they’re saying we’re going to emphasize the rule differently and I don’t really know what that means.”

    I humbly disagree with that statement Bill.

    Signed,

    Your stripped 2008 1st round pick

  51. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:13 PM

    abninf says:

    I bet he’s glad the tuck rule was enforced one time in NFL history.
    _______________________________

    The tuck rule was put into place 2 years prior to that game, and was called against every team any average of once a year.

    And by the way, the Pats lost a game to the Jets earlier that season in part to the tuck rule being called in favor of the Jets and saving a turnover that would have helped the Pats get a win in that game.

  52. pats1944 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:15 PM

    abninf says:
    Jul 25, 2014 12:25 PM
    I bet he’s glad the tuck rule was enforced one time in NFL history.

    12 2
    Report comment

    False, it was inforced in the 2001 regular season game jets vs patriots. And it was the other way (jets QB fumbled it) and the patriots still won
    It also happened to the chiefs in a playoff game in 2009? I may have the year wrong

  53. RE LEE says: Jul 25, 2014 1:15 PM

    Coaches like Rex pre-empting call by snitching to the refs. Refs should be competent and all rules should be enforced uniformly. It’s unsettling for the coaches and players of ALL the teams to be always guessing what the gray-area- penalty -of -the-day offense would be. Can’t wait till BB retires and heads the NFL. He’ll be the best man for the job.

  54. westandwest3805 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:18 PM

    This makes me think of that pass interference call in the Cleveland @ NE game. Worst call of the season!

  55. packfanaj12 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:28 PM

    Even if you hate the source, he does makes a very valid point. How can you have some rules be in-forced and others not. Can a player/league take the rules seriously if they do not know which ones actually apply that year or not? No, which is why these “rules” are broken so frequently and many players get many serious injuries.

  56. tjacks7 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:28 PM

    It all comes down to what team the money’s on.

  57. mrphelps01 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:29 PM

    I agree with him, especially about the specific rule the NFL wants more tightly enforced–illegal contact on receivers. Are you kidding me? Look at the stats. Isn’t the league pass-dominated enough?

  58. nobreak1269 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:29 PM

    Belicheat talking bout rules is HILARIOUS! Umm…spygate umm…tuck

  59. fishtank86 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:32 PM

    Bill’s complaints should be directed from beginning to end to Bob.

  60. sambaughslingers says: Jul 25, 2014 1:33 PM

    Simple. If there’s a penalty based on the rules of the game throw one of those little yellow flags and make the call.

  61. sambaughslingers says: Jul 25, 2014 1:34 PM

    The old Dennis Rodman and now Richard Sherman theory of fouling hard and early because they’re not going to just call a penalty every play needs to be fixed. If the Seahawks penalize receivers on every play, after the a team marches down the field on penalties, the Seahawks will stop committing them.

  62. penthousepauper1960 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:38 PM

    atthemurph says:
    Jul 25, 2014 11:49 AM

    Is he really this ignorant?

    Rules are enforced by humans. Those humans have tendencies and biases and make judgments. Those judgments evolve over time and in the case of rules enforcement can move away from the intent of the rule as written.

    I hope you never have to go in front of a judge, or get pulled over by a cop that might have “tendencies, and biases.”

  63. ruthlessburgher says: Jul 25, 2014 1:39 PM

    “We’ve tried to play by the rules from the beginning.” – Bill Belichick

    “Hahahahahahaha!!!” – Everyone else

  64. scoochpooch says: Jul 25, 2014 1:40 PM

    And the Patriots may have benefitted most from the WR raping in the 2003 AFC Championship game. Brady would never turned out as well as he has (statistically speaking, not talking about wins) without the rule change/emphasis.

  65. golfsox78 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:52 PM

    It is all about fantasy stats. The NFL doesn’t want 14-10 games. They want 38-34 games. They are taking defense right out of the game. It has been going on for years now. Can’t touch a receiver, can’t hit a QB, can’t go near a receiver with the ball in the air. They are going to make games as fast paced and as high scoring as they can. Bill just wants consistency. Every single team had calls go their way last year and against them. We all complained last year about how bad the officiating was. Now that Bill says something you haters want to disagree with what we were all crying about last year.

  66. jimjets says: Jul 25, 2014 1:54 PM

    “we’ve tried to play withing the rules eevry year…except when you all caught us cheating. every year except that one”

  67. penthousepauper1960 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:54 PM

    ALL HE’S ASKING FOR IS FOR ALL THE RULES TO BE CALLED CONSISTENTLY!!!

    Here’s what he said at the top of this page:

    Belichick says there’s no need to place an emphasis on a particular rule because the officials should always be enforcing every rule consistently.

  68. largent80100 says: Jul 25, 2014 2:00 PM

    He is right.

    The NFL had different ways to protect its players, decided to do the cheapest one, “let’s move kickoffs to increase touchbacks”.

  69. melikefootball says: Jul 25, 2014 2:07 PM

    As a a fan no matter for the NE or another team, TV does not lie, new England and especially when it comes to Brady get more calls than any other team except maybe Manning teams. Come on Bill I Cheat.

  70. VenerableAxiom says: Jul 25, 2014 2:19 PM

    “We’ve tried to play by the rules from the beginning.” Really.

    As soon as I saw the title, I knew this was about backfield play. He picked up two of the best molesting CB’s available and now they may actually have to play within the real rules. This will be interesting.

  71. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 25, 2014 2:20 PM

    who cares what BB thinks?

    guy is mostly a fraud reliant on cheating to win

    we’ve been duped

  72. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Jul 25, 2014 2:28 PM

    until belichick learns that wes welker’s play in the playoffs wasn’t really as he stated at the time ( “one of the worst plays I’ve seen. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”) then his opinions on the officiating seem self serving and biased at best.

  73. archersofmtdoom says: Jul 25, 2014 2:40 PM

    Teams watch the same film the league does. If the film tells you repeatedly “refs won’t throw a flag here”, you expose that to your advantage as a team. It may be cheap, but winning is winning. This falls on the league to better train officials to equally enforce all of the rules, starting with making sure they’re all aware what the rules actually are. I don’t think most of is are aware of some rules until they’re flagged for the first time in a televised game.

  74. flash1287 says: Jul 25, 2014 2:58 PM

    politicallyincorrect says:
    Jul 25, 2014 2:20 PM
    who cares what BB thinks?

    guy is mostly a fraud reliant on cheating to win

    we’ve been duped


    You apparently do otherwise you would not have commented.

    You haters aren’t that smart are you?

  75. sumkat says: Jul 25, 2014 3:28 PM

    he doesn’t understand why he isn’t allowed to record other teams practices anymore either

    once a cheat, always a cheat. Hasn’t sniffed a title since he was caught, but I’m sure that’s a coincidence

  76. atthemurph says: Jul 25, 2014 3:46 PM

    penthousepauper1960 says:
    Jul 25, 2014 1:38 PM

    I hope you never have to go in front of a judge, or get pulled over by a cop that might have “tendencies, and biases.”
    ——————————————————-

    Every human does so that would be impossible. The judge (ref) is supposed to try to be as impartial, unbiased and void of tendencies and to follow the rule of law (NFL Rules) but we all know they stray.

  77. tigerlilac says: Jul 25, 2014 8:33 PM

    Is there anyone, in any industry, who is at the pinnacle of performance, who calls out the powers that be more than Bill Belichick does? Just imagine how much better off we would be as a nation if leaders in business and government who both performed at the highest level and spoke out like Belichick speaks out.

  78. marima07 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:54 PM

    I’m guessing the ‘Push Rule’ on field goals will not be a point of emphasis this year.

  79. pastabelly101 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:03 PM

    PFT- please set the record straight about spygate, it was filming of an opponents sideline during a game in clear view. It was not filming of practices or listening in locker rooms, this lie is perpetuated by a bias New York centric media

  80. mackie66 says: Jul 26, 2014 8:41 AM

    Theres way to many rules, penalties in every NFL game. WR not being covered, RT not being covered, what drool. Waste of time and the fans money. The rule that runs off 10 seconds in the 4th quarter because of an injury simply hurts the fans who pay a ton of money to enter the stadium to watch a 60 min game, then see their time being flushed down the toilet by a silly rule.

  81. aljack88 says: Jul 26, 2014 9:34 PM

    frenchysgoldfish says:

    ….Filming your next playoff opponent’s practice is maybe on the fence. Listening in on half time adjustments in the visiting teams locker room and spying on walk throughs, maybe we need to interpret that as “grey area”…

    ———————————————————

    Facts. Just state some facts please. Please

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