Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has vowed to ignore the new rule banning goal-post dunks during games. And while it remains to be seen whether Graham will go through with a plan that would sacrifice 15 yards of field position and cost him money via a league-imposed fine, he dusted off his signature move after scoring a touchdown during Saturday’s intra-squad scrimmage.
Referee Gene Steratore, who has spent the past few days at Saints camp and sat down with PFT Live in an interview to be broadcast on Monday, threw a flag — to the loud disapproval of the fans in attendance.
Steratore explained that any use of the goal post during celebrations will result in a penalty during games.
“If it’s a clean dunk or a finger roll, I mean, come on,” Steratore said, via the New Orleans Advocate. “[That's a] prop. We just have to go prop.”
The goal-post dunk and the Lambeau Leap survived the NFL’s prior ban against props. Graham’s violent dunk during a Thursday night game last year, which knocked the crossbar askew, prompted the NFL to include the maneuver within the reach of the rule.
So who will be in charge of stopping Graham from doing a dunk during games?
“Nobody,” Saints safety Jairus Byrd told PFT Live in an interview that will be shown on Monday. “Listen, as long as he’s in the end zone, that’s what we want. So that’s his decision to make but as long as he’s getting in the end zone, you know, that’s a great thing.”
Kicking off from the 20 instead of the 35 won’t be a great thing, especially if it results in the opponent matching Graham’s visit to the end zone.
[Photo credit: New Orleans Saints]