The last time the NFL made defensive holding and illegal contact with receivers a point of emphasis in 2004, the number of flags thrown for both fouls increased from 79 to 191.
Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib doesn’t believe this year’s emphasis on those fouls will result in a similar uptick.
“They always talk about it but once it’s September and the real games start, it will probably be regular,” Talib told reporters on Friday. “It’ll probably go through preseason and die out. It doesn’t matter, it is what it is. We’re just going to come out here and play football.”
It probably won’t die out, especially if teams like the Seahawks commit those fouls under the impression that the officials won’t throw a stream of flags for fear of bogging down the game. The officials are under orders to throw the flags, and they apparently will.