Baltimore “practice kick” shouldn’t have resulted in a penalty

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When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tried to excuse his decision to ice kicker Matt Bryant, Carroll said that officials told him before the game that “practice kicks” would not be allowed.

But there’s a difference between the “practice kicks” that happen when a kicker is iced too close to the snap of the ball and a literal “practice kick” performed by the kicker sneaking onto the field at a time when he shouldn’t be out there.

That’s what happened on Saturday in Denver between the first and second overtime periods.  That’s what Carroll and the officials talked about before Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and Falcons.

Justin Tucker did just that for the Ravens.  And while it shouldn’t have happened, NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos explained during Monday’s PFT Live that no penalty should have been assessed.

Instead, it just shouldn’t have happened.  Specifically, the officials should have stopped it from happening.

The problem is that the situation isn’t addressed in the rule book.  Now that it has happened, look for the Competition Committee to consider expanding the articles and sections to impose a five-yard or 15-yard penalty for illegal practice kicks.

But not for “practice kicks” that happen when someone ices the kicker too late.

32 responses to “Baltimore “practice kick” shouldn’t have resulted in a penalty

  1. Seahawks fan here. Pete has no one to blame but himself. I’m not one for icing a kicker, but if you’re gonna do it, why wait until the very last nano-second? You have nothing to complain about, Pete!

  2. Of course it shouldnt. Tucker did nothing wrong. In fact, it was a smart heads up play to take advantage of the change in field and transition to the 2nd overtime. Props Tucker. What a pickup for the Ravens. Hope he delivers the dagger to the Patriots as well.

  3. You see kickers and punters come out of the locker room at halftime to take practice kicks all the time. What’s the difference between halftime and the change in quarters? As long as there’s nothing going on in the field, and there’s a ridiculously long TV commercial break anyway, I don’t see the issue with the practice kick.

  4. Not sure how this is fixed without forcing a TO to be called a few seconds left on the clock.

    Maybe add three seconds to the clock in that situation to allow a coach to call the TO with three seconds left to hike the ball.

    Then teams may hike early to prevent the ice.

    Either way coaches should just call the timeout before their own team goes out to the field.

  5. Not very complicated. It’s unsportsmanlike conduct.
    It’s like walking up to the first tee and hitting a practice shot… Which I’m sure a lot of guys do.

    Shouldn’t be Mulligans in football.

  6. I’m still waiting for a coach to pull a fake…maybe run 15 yards to a ref acting as if they will becalling a timeout. I’m sure kickers are prepared or sense these timeouts are coming before they do so they may be caught off guard a lil.

  7. Why didn’t someone from the Broncos stop him? All a player would have to do is stand between Tucker and the ball and refuse to move.

  8. I thought since it was an official timeout (end of quarter) that is was supposed to be ok. Team timeouts seem to be more about strategy or lack of.

    A change of quarter seems like anything goes – dog with a Frisbee or marching band, practice kicks.

  9. What’s up with these idiots blaming Carroll for losing because an NFL kicker made an NFL kick? The guy should be Coach of the Year, he pulled the only card he had to play KNOWING NFL kickers make NFL kicks. What he did or didn’t do doesn’t impact anything.

    Kudos to he and the Seahawks for a great run – they were the most entertaining team of 2013.

  10. Pete Carroll should settle down. It’s not like Baltimore won the game because of a missed Pass Interference and Interception in the end zone or anything.

  11. If Carroll really wanted to ice Bryant, he should have called timeout as soon as he trotted out for the kick and then called his snapper, holder, and kicker over to the sidelines to re-enact the Trey Junkin roller from the NYG-SF playoff game (when Bryant was the kicker then). If that didn’t bring back a botched playoff kick situation and ice Bryant, nothing would have.

  12. Vikings fan here. One of the games when they were getting ready to punt, someone called a timeout or a penalty and the ref ran to the punter and got in front of him so he couldn’t punt. When icing a field goal, the coach stands on the side with a ref and calls the timeout, then that 1 ref has to get everyone attention to stop the play. No time to run 25 yards to stop the snap and kick. Also, I would coach my team to snap the ball immediately on hearing the whistle and get the “practice shot” in. I do something similar with my wife, she says I’m playing dumb. But she will never know because I’m good at playing dumb.

  13. if the Pats had made a practice kick like that between periods there would be hundreds of posts about them cheating.

    The Ravens do it and its ok because its in a grey area. The double standard strikes again.

  14. Haven’t these coaches learned by now that icing the kicker doesn’t work? All it does is give the K a practice FG. I’m good with a penalty for practice kicks but if a coach wants to ice the K right before the snap then the K gets to have that practice kick.

    I loved watching Pete squirm when he was bitching about that practice kick. Shouldn’t have tried to ice him dummy. O well they would have lost at SF anyway.

  15. What I don’t understand is why the Broncos let the practice kick happen. If Tucker wanted to practice a kick, why didn’t a Bronco walk up and practice blocking it? No rule against that either.


  16. Football is a game of rules … dozens and dozens of strange little rules. I’m still flabbergasted as Tiki about the rule that says if a coach simply throws a challenge flag at the wrong time, an illegal touchdown gets to stand and the coach gets a 15-yard penalty. Just wondering how much Peppermint Schnapps was poured before the Competition Committee came up with that one.

    So I think it’s hilarious that no one ever wrote a rule to say kickers can’t come onto the field and practice during a timeout. And it’s doubly hilarious that Justin Tucker took advantage of that omission Saturday while the officials stood around looking dumbfounded and Champ Bailey went “What the heck?”

    Pretty heads-up play for a rookie kicker.

  17. Icing the kicker had nothing to do with the Seahawks loss and all of this is irrelevant. The Seahawks made a valiant effort and the comeback by Wilson was incredible, but the loss of Clemons and lack of a pass rush just killed us. Seahawks losing had nothing to do with a kick.

    Atlanta won the game, they came prepared and played a great game of physical football. They outplayed Seattle. They should be getting more love from the media. As a Seahawk fan, they get my respect and I hope they destroy the 49ers. Don’t think they will, but I sure hope so.

    Go Falcons!!

  18. i think it should have been an usportsmanlike conduct. think about it, if going to the ground celebrating a td is unsportsmanlike, or if by challlenging a call that is already going to be reviewed is a penalty, then this violation should also be a penalty. craziness.

  19. I really hate the way coaches will try to wait for the last possible moment to call a timeout to ice the kicker, like waiting until the moment the center raises up his head before the snap.

    I think there should be a rule where you can’t call a timeout to ice a kicker with less than 10 seconds on the play clock, and if you do, it’s either delay of game or unsportsmanlike conduct. This would force them to either call the timeout or don’t.

  20. There is a rule that should have been enforced.

    Rule 4 Section 1 Article 2 states that during intermission – no player shall enter the field that is not either a substitute or an coach or an assistant set to check on the welfare of a player. A violation shall result in a 15 yard penalty.

  21. The Broncos honestly should have just kicked the ball away or stood in and around the spot that Tucker was trying to kick. They had just as much right to be on the field right where Tucker was kicking as Tucket did. If the refs weren’t going to stop it, the Broncos should have.

  22. As a Ravens’ fan…. Speaking objectively, I’d be pretty mad if another team pulled that against us. I thought it was kind of messed up.

  23. At least the Ravens have a kicker that knows how to kick, that loser Pratter from the Broncos should be thrown to the curve better yet kick to the curve, what a Loser.

  24. I’ve been a season ticket holder for Ravens games for 12yrs now. Stover always kicked fg after the quarters to check the wind but always on other end away from play. It’s never been an issue before and has gone unnoticed, that’s all. But it has been going on for awhile now.

  25. I just laughed and laughed. Pete Carroll outsmarted himself on this one. The better team lost, thanks to their coach.

  26. This has happened for years… By multiple teams.

    Hell… A team brought a
    Snowblower out to clear the field for a kick before! How long ago was that?

    This isn’t a penalty, nor should it ever be. All of a sudden teams can’t practice during dead tv time in a game?

    How about we worry about abolishing much worse things like the “tuck rule” that came out of nowhere and was completely made up on the spot in the Super Bowl.

    Or how about finally penalizing offensive players for facemasking defensive players when they “stiff arm” ? If you can force a defensive player to “aim” his tackle then shouldn’t you force a ball carrier to simply not punch/grab the head/facemask of a tackler?

    I thought it was all about player safety?

  27. Um yeah, that was a crap move, the guy went and lined up his kick in Denver. Its different than just going out and practicing for a random kick. But then again what wasn’t called or not called that was in baltimores favor on Sunday?

  28. Refs would have let the ravens get away with murder on saturday, the officiating wasthat bad…course i guess ray lewis is used to that..

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