David’s gaffe comes from failure to understand the rules


When Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David shoved Jets quarterback Geno Smith out of bounds, the first guy I thought of was former Browns linebacker Dwayne Rudd.

It was, as it turns out, 11 years to the day since Rudd threw off his helmet to celebrate a Week One win over the Chiefs.  Rudd was flagged, giving the Chiefs 15 more yards and an untimed down and Kansas City won the game.

For David, the untimely penalty didn’t involve using his arms to throw his helmet into the air but throwing his arms into Smith.

Smith was still in bounds when the hit was applied.  The problem is that Smith was running out of bounds.

Per a league source, the NFL’s position on plays of that nature is that, if a guy is running out of bounds, any forceful pushing or shoving will be viewed as unnecessary roughness.

It’s similar to the slide.  The player in that situation is giving himself up.

If Smith had been running along the sidelines, he would have been fair game.  But he was clearly running out of bounds.

So if, as David said after the game, he believes Smith was in bounds, it shows that David simply doesn’t understand the rules.  Yes, Smith was in bounds.  But he was going out of bounds, and he shouldn’t have been shoved.

It means that he either hasn’t been taught the rules properly, or that he ignored the information the team provided to him.

Either way, it was the difference between 1-0 and 0-1.

68 responses to “David’s gaffe comes from failure to understand the rules

  1. The rule is flawed, because there’s nothing to say the QB can’t stick his arm out to gain another yard or so, which could be the difference between a 1st down and turnover on downs, as an example.

    It still isn’t even the worst rule of the day. See: Calvin & Cruz.

  2. Every preseason we hear the same thing about TB. This is their year…Freeman will finally breakout… all the high-priced free agents will finally help them turn the corner. Blah, blah, blah.

    And you can’t beat the Jets?? The JETS??

  3. He didn’t understand the rules is a cop out. As a professional, it is his job to understand the rules. His job depends on it.

    I feel for the guy, but he really hurt his team because he either didn’t know or didn’t care to follow the rules. Either way this is on him.

    Hopefully he learns from the error, and doesn’t have the problem again.

  4. That’s a terrible rule. The player could appear to be going out of bounds and then cut back toward the middle of the field.

  5. Enough of STOOPID players doing STOOPID things and announcers saying what a shame it is it happened to them – such a fine young man?????

  6. It’s even simpler. Grab him with two hands and help him out of bounds upright instead of shoving him with two hands. David had that option.

  7. It’s a stupid, and relatively new rule, so ease up on the kid. And in that situation, with each yard moving the Jets closer to field goal range, Geno Smith, being a mobile QB, could have pump-faked and run another yard or two along the sideline. David simply shoved him, jesus christ this league is getting more pussified by the minute.

  8. Smith was running along the edge of the sideline looking to get an extra yard or two. It was a clean play-bad call.

  9. or a failure by the NFL to consistently enforce that rule. I see that happen 50 times a Sunday. this is the first time I recall that being flagged.

  10. It’s a dumb rule. How is a defender going to know if the runner is headed out of bounds or going to either lower his shoulder or cut back in for extra yards? Should we put extra lines on the field for when a runner can and can’t be pushed out of bounds?

    Also, at the end of the game clock management becomes extremely important. Are defenses powerless to try to stop the runner from the stopping the clock by running out of bounds? Can runners knocked out of bounds petition for a flag and say they were trying to get out of bounds.

    It’s football. We don’t need anymore gray areas. Either you are in bounds or out. If you’re in you can get hit. If you are out you can’t. If you don’t want to take the hit you should have started going out of bounds a yard or two earlier. Or maybe choose a different sport.

  11. It was not a “gaffe” it was a gift from the refs to the Jets, along with the two clean hits that were called penalties. The NFL is becoming a joke….any hard hit is now a 15 yard penalty. Good on the Jets for accepting the gifts and pulling out a win…bad on the Bucs for allowing it to be that close at the end for it to matter.

  12. Ironically, isn’t it Schiano who preaches discipline and playing through the whistle and all that? Wasn’t he the guy who took a lot of flack for trying to disrupt the QB during the “victory” formation last year?

  13. Cannot wait to see defenders give up on a QB heading out of bounds only to see him change direction and sprint to the endzone…

  14. Great rule until a mobile QB is heading towards the sideline then divides to cut it upfield and scores a touchdown. If he’s inbounds I don’t see a problem with a push Id be more concerned with a players getting tackled and dragged to the ground as they are heading out of bounds.

  15. What? He wasn’t “out of bounds” when he was hit? Please look again at the tape. He was out of bounds. And geez, even if he was a split second, and I mean a split second, from his foot hitting the ground, which is questionable, to complain that this is a “bad call” is nothing more than blatant homerism and/or myopic vision.

  16. it’s really simple actually. dont hit or shove a player when he is ALEADY OUT OF BOUNDS. it was clearly a penalty. go watch it again. it’s clear as day. just a bonehead play.

  17. Stupid call…agreed. But with the talent this team has, this game should of never been close. The defense played tremendous – but our offense did SQUAT. I am the biggest Freeman fan in the building but i saw throw after throw that was off target, not to mention staring down every slant route. Our offensive line is supposed to be one of the best? Yikes. Awful. If this was any other D than the Jets, we coulda been in for a much longer day. Bad teams deserve to lose – we got what we asked for.

    It is only week 1 but unless there is some serious changes made this week, we are in big trouble. Ogletree stinks, Lorig needs to get back on the field ASAP, and our offensive play calling needs to improve.

  18. Regardless if it is a bad rule or not, at that point in the game you have to play with discipline and not put your team in a bad position.

  19. Watch the film. He was a step out of bounds when David hit him. Want to talk about BS penalties is the hit on Williams in the end zone the jets got flagged for.

  20. Earlier in the game, pretty sure it was first qtr, Smith was scrambling and appeared headed towards the sideline. The Bucs defender, #29, stopped dead in his tracks, thinking that if he hit him, he’d get flagged. Smith then turned upfield and gained seven more yards and the first down.

    Mick Vick has been doing this “slow down/speed up” move for years.

    So at this point if you’re in pursuit of a running quarterback near the sideline, your choices are A) ease up and let him get more yards or B) make a hit and get flagged.


  22. I thought it was a clear penalty at the time and a pretty stupid one at that given the circumstances. However, to David’s defence, there was a play earlier in the game where Geno appeared to be heading out of bounds, the Bucs player slowed up, and then Geno cut back in-bounds for another few yards before getting knocked out… such plays put the D in a tough position when QB’s take advantage of rules designed to protect them.

  23. I never realized Clay Matthews is a dirty player until I saw the play where he hits the QB who is clearly out of bounds. I feel the NFL must ban such players. We don’t need the crappy stuff in the NFL.

    I am thrilled that the Pack had its butt kicked. Their defense sucks. And A-Rod is as much of a blot to football as his namesake in baseball.

  24. Freeman looked like Sanchez – inaccurate as could be and to help he had a few drops. Penalty call was 100% accurate! If it wasn’t for the blown coverage on Jackson the call wouldn’t have mattered.

  25. You can’t let a runner think they can just “have” that extra yard.

    I like making the game safer but maybe instead of this rule they should back the sidelines up another 5 yards and let plays finish without going into the bench.

  26. If the guy is going out of bounds anyway, what does a push really accomplish? Show that you are a man? Let out some frustration that you can’t contain a rookie in his first game ever with a crappy team? Play like a pro please.

  27. You’re in bounds, you’re fair game. You play til the whistle.

    Yeah, he should have known the rule. No, it should not be a rule.

    Ultimately, though, when you’re so close to losing that a penalty makes the difference, there is plenty of blame to go around.

  28. I guess most people commenting on this didn’t even see the play. Geno is clearly out of bounds, in fact David has one foot on the sideline when he shoved him.

  29. It’s a bad rule, but it was also a stupid play by David. At that point in the game, Smith was absolutely NOT going to cut it back to the middle of the field and him getting an extra yard or two by extending his arm out was immaterial. A player’s gotta understand the game situation and he didn’t.

  30. Yesterday was the first time I really questioned what the NFL will look like in five years. I understand protecting the players, but there isn’t enough information being taken into consideration and it’s resulting in hypocritical changes to the sport. Players are essentially being forced to hit receivers low, and you can be sure that we’ll see an increase in ACL injuries, which will ultimately shorten the careers of the players the NFL is supposedly so concerned about protecting.

    Say what you will about Lavonte David; he should have slowed down like Gerald McCoy did on the play, but without David’s contribution (1 INT, 1 sack and 8 tackles), the Bucs aren’t in a position to hold onto the win. He’ll bounce back, he’s too good not to. I’m more concerned about the way the officials handled the tackling of Dashon Goldson. Watch the tape; Goldson had about three hard hits and was flagged for two of them. The hit on Cumberland that dislodged the ball resulting in an incompletion was clean; Goldson didn’t use his head to lead and his form was correct, except that it wasn’t in the eyes of the NFL. The same NFL that used to celebrate these hits and still does in the form of their exclusive video game license with EA Sports, which has a ‘hit stick’ function to highlight vicious, but supposedly clean hits in a product that nets the NFL millions of dollars.

    So what should Goldson do? As Rodney Harrison stated on Football Night in America, Goldson will have to hit the player low, which will actually increase the chances of an even more serious injury taking place. And just you watch; in the next five to ten years, as the ACL injuries begin to mount, what’s to say that a new round of legislation will be presented by players who feel that the NFL acted haphazardly in changing the rules in a half baked attempt to show concern toward head injuries, which in turn resulted in a surge in ACL injuries. Football is a contact sport. I’m all for not leading with the head when tackling or running, but this is getting out of control. At what point do we tuck in flags at the waist of offensive players to just remove the element of full contact from the sport? New York can celebrate today; the highlight of their season took place yesterday afternoon. As for the rest of us, I’d be worried about the direction of the NFL and would hope that your favorite team’s star receiver or running back isn’t carted off with a torn ACL in the weeks to come because a safety is afraid to hit someone in the chest for fear of penalty or fine.

  31. All you guys claiming he was in bounds when he pushed him need to look at the play on Youtube. Pause it where he makes contact and you can clearly see Gen0 is out of bounds.

  32. This may be the only time I get to say this all year so here we are “Jets win, tied for first place” got that off my chest, and now it’s off to NE where the Pats will probably win by 30, oh well…

  33. They should add a 1 yard marker along the OB line. Within that yard you can get hit. That would prevent cut backs. David’s hit was illegal but he made initial contact with Smith while he was inbounds. It was called correctly, as that’s the way it’s been, but what if Geno cuts back? The David’s a fool for not hitting him.

  34. My only issue with that rule would be that the QB – if still behind the line of scrimmage – could technically still release a pass and it would be considered legitimate. Now grant it, most defenders would LOVE to see any QB stupid enough to make a jump pass while flying out of bounds – but the point is defenders should be able to defend for every instant the offensive player could make an offensive play.

  35. Some of these comments are just too funny.

    Geno’s body had clearly broken the out of bounds plane (just like on the goal line) & his momentum was clearly not taking him anywhere else but deeper into out of bounds territory. He was pushed just as his foot actually touched down on the out of bounds turf. So you got to be kidding me that Geno was in any posture or had any opportunity at that point to turn it up the field for more yardage!

    Bottom line David got greedy for that little extra punishment that he wanted to dish out!!! I’ve seen it a million times players acting out that mindset in the out of bounds territory!! I have no sympathy for him. Its his responsibility to know the rules. Unfortunately I don’t think it has anything to do with understanding the rules. He just wanted that last little lick on Geno. He & his team got what they deserved.

  36. Just because you are heading toward the sideline doesn’t mean you are going to step out. Getting shoved out of bounds prevents the ball carrier from getting that extra yard. If you are not allowed to touch them because they are “heading” towards the sideline, what prevents them from cutting back and going for extra yards or from stretching the play. This is an absurd rule! are you going to flag the runner if they turn and try to stretch the field? These guys get paid millions of dollars KNOWING they will take these his. If this is now touch football, let’s lower wages, tickets, apparel, etc. accordingly!

  37. I’d like to think that people just can’t see well, but the sad truth is that most people are just stupid.

    He was clearly out of bounds. It actually wasn’t even close.

  38. So, does that mean a runner can be penalized if he fakes going out of bounds, the defender lets up, and then the runner cuts back for more yardage?

    If they’re going to penalize the defenders then runners shouldn’t be able to take advantage.

  39. Watching the replay, you can clearly see that he had not touched out of bounds with either of his feet yet. He is definitely going out of bounds and his body had crossed the line, but he had not touched. I don’t think that line is like the goalline; you do have to touch to be out of bounds, not just your body. With today’s running QB’s, we need to allow defenders to attack them and not assume they are just going to run out of bounds and/or slide. When a defender’s momentum is moving forward that fast, you have to allow them a little leeway when an opponent runs out of bounds. If that’s Peyton and all of the old style pocket passers, they are definitely going out of bounds. These new QB’s aren’t and our defenders need to be able attack them agressively if they are going to be able to stop them.

  40. First of all, the rule is the rule. Good rule or bad rule, the penalty being called was correct.

    Second, this is about game situations – in all honesty, let’s say he follows him to the sideline and Smith reaches out for another yard. It is still highly unlikely that makes any sort of material difference in the outcome of the game. Smith could not reach fifteen yards down field as the penalty ultimately cost the team.

    Third, and we see this all the time, as opposed to shoving Smith, David simply could have played defense and achieved the desired result by riding him out of bounds uprght.

    Fourth, with the atmosphere and emphasis on player and quarterback safety, I’m amazed whenever something like this occurs and there is some element of shock. I personally think the game is being cheapened by all this initiative, but you need to be aware of it at minimum.

  41. What if the QB or RB or whoever is running forward but to the sideline? Do you have to pull up then too? Basically conceding the extra yardage? Where does it stop with the rules purported to be for safety but really is about saving the league from future litigation? Now a shove is unnecessary roughness. No wonder I don’t watch much football anymore these days. It is slowly beginning to resemble something other than football.

  42. Mr. PFT: the fact that you call David’s action a “gaffe” clearly designates a mistake was made. That mistake, however, was not from failing to understand the rules.

    That blunder was a result from failing to pull your head out and not hit a player who was unequivocally out of bounds.

  43. It also shows what morons most commenters on this site are , as they all claimed Smith was out of bounds at time of contact

  44. Bad call gave the Not Yets the game. The NFL that we knew and loved is no longer in existence. All he was doing was pushing him out to make sure he didn’t cut it back in. He even let up. I couldn’t care less who won. Their making a football game with all the flags and bad calls and non calls, difficult to watch.

  45. So when a runner is headed out of bounds and stops and runs up the field the refs are going to call him down right. No why not. And what happens to the defender who doesn’t shove him and he doesn’t go out. Is the NFL going to be paying his salary after he gets cut.

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