Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is still unhappy about the field goal block attempts of Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner from Sunday night’s 6-6 tie.
Wagner twice leaped over Cardinals long snapper Aaron Brewer in an attempt to block kicks. Wagner succeeded in blocking the first one while Chandler Catanzaro’s 24-yard field goal hit the left upright to thwart Arizona’s chances to win the game in overtime. Arians was livid after the blocked kick and was seen screaming at officials on the sideline. He also lost a timeout for attempting to challenge the play, which is not reviewable.
In an interview with Tom Pelissero and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Arians believes that such plays are dangerous and shouldn’t be legal in the first place.
“The Competition Committee went through that play and the officials wanted it taken out,” Arians said. “The committee left it in, but it cannot be officiated. Whether he touches, whether it was leverage, was his foot within the framework of the defensive lineman’s feet before he jumped, all those things that go into that call, I think it’s bad for football.
“Because what you’re going to have to do now is start having centers raise their face up and get kicked in the face and things that are just dangerous to the players. I think it’s a dangerous play as it is and should be taken out of the game.”
Wagner grazed Brewer’s back with his left foot on his first attempt to leap over the line. His second attempt had guard Earl Watford attempt to block him with an extended arm, but he still cleared the line into the Arizona backfield. If Wagner had landed on Cardinals’ linemen in either attempt, it would have been a penalty. Incidental contact isn’t considered to be enough to warrant flags. Players also can’t use teammates or opponents as leverage either when attempted to block kicks in such a way.
Arians believes it creates a safety issue for long snappers. If such plays are going to be legal, then the offense will need to compensate to block leaping players. That could prove problematic in Arians’ mind.