Simon disputes call that wiped out 105-yard interception return


The NFL has made illegal contact and defensive holding a point of emphasis for 2014, which is a diplomatic way of saying, “We haven’t been applying the rules as written.  Sorry.”

The Seahawks should be the ones apologizing.  Their strategic decision in 2013 to push and shove and grab and hold on pretty much every passing play dared officials to turn games into penalty party.  They didn’t then; they are now.

And while the Seahawks apparently have made the adjustment, with only three illegal contact fouls and no defensive holding penalties in two preseason games, an illegal contact penalty called on cornerback Tharold Simon wiped out his interception and 105-yard touchdown return.  (It was a different kind of illegal contact than the blow to the head that got Simon ejected from last week’s game against the Broncos.)

“To be honest, I think it was a very bad call,” Simon said after Friday night’s game against the Chargers, via Terry Blount of  “I know for a fact I didn’t initiate [contact].  He has one hand on me, but I know they are trying to emphasize that call, so it’s OK with me, for right now.”

Coach Pete Carroll wasn’t ready to call the call a bad one.

“The official said that [Simon] had his hands on him seven yards down the field instead of five,” Carroll said.  “I’ve got to see it again, but I thought it was a perfectly executed two-hand jam, press, and turn and roll with the ball.  It was a great play.  We’ll see if it was seven yards down the field.  I don’t know.  If it was, it was a legit call.”

Even though Carroll’s team hasn’t been victimize by Flag Fest 2014 (yet), Carroll realizes it quickly is becoming an issue for the NFL.

“It doesn’t seem quite right,” Carroll said.  “It seems like there are too many calls being made and too many incidental calls that seem to be affecting the game, so we’ll see.

“It’s obviously different.  So the question is, is it better?  I don’t know.  Hopefully we’ll have a good conversation about it.”

The conversation will likely go like this:  The rule will now be enforced as written.  Adjust or force us to throw flag after flag after flag.

As Eagles coach Chip Kelly said after a 21-penalty extravaganza at Gillette Stadium, the teams that adjust and play with discipline will succeed in the current climate.  But since it’s the officials who are getting the blame for throwing the flags and not the players and coaches for committing the fouls, teams could be tempted to keep pushing the envelope once the regular season starts, in the hopes that the officials eventually will push the flags deeper into their pockets for fear of incurring the wrath of fans and making the games last too long.

55 responses to “Simon disputes call that wiped out 105-yard interception return

  1. barsfordays says: Aug 16, 2014 6:07 PM

    Hopefully this dude has what it takes to cover No.1 WR’s, cuz Sherman will stay on his side covering third-stringers.

    sherm only covers sorry receivers, like crabtree

  2. Anyone who’s knows anything about football knows that the call (Among countless others around the league) was completely absurd. The NFL is desperately trying to hand feed Peyton one last ring for his legacy so he can at least be tied with Eli. Pathetic.

  3. Oh please, Florio. Seahawks played great, tight coverage all season long with a consistent pass rush. Peyton Manning should be apologizing as he’s the one that went crying to the league office just like he did in 04 when he got embarrassed in the playoffs.

  4. I have watched football a long time and that was as well played as it could get for a defender. People think this hurts Seattle but its the teams without Kris Richard and his 3 All Pros at secondary that are gonna to be put to a far higher test. In that same game the former KC CB who is now a Charger got hit with a questionable one to draw a flag to put Seahawks on the 1 where they ran it in for a score. If NFL stays the course games will be unwatchable due to flags and others are going to riot because refs not players determine outcomes of games on favorite teams.

  5. “The Seahawks should be the ones apologizing. Their strategic decision in 2013 to push and shove and grab and hold on pretty much every passing play dared officials to turn games into penalty party. They didn’t then; they are now.”

    flashback to a few years ago when we had replacement officials at the start of the season. teams were coaching players to bend the rules as much as possible to see what they could get away with. there were no articles written that teams should be apologetic for daring the replacements to throw the flag, despite it happening league-wide. you would think the real refs would have been able to handle calling illegal contact the way the rule was written without having the league to step in and announce a new “emphasis” on a rule that is already there.

    you write plenty of articles stating what the league “should” do and “needs” to do. why don’t you run for commissioner?

  6. As Nathan Explosion would say, “Brutal!”

    I mean watching these games. You feel like a flag is thrown on every play, now.

  7. Leave it to a P Manning team to cry for new rules. He belly ached against the Pats D & now doing the same for Seattle’s. And of course NFL does anything for their sub 500 playoff & Super Bowl golden boy.

  8. It all seems wrong. How are all of these offenses putting up record yards but yet the defense has been getting away with illegal contact? It doesn’t add up. Other then the fact that Manning whined & the Seahawks bragged, it didn’t really seem like the defense had an upper hand

  9. If they want to throw this many ticky tacky flags then they should also make them challengeable calls.

    we get your point about enforcing the rules. Great. Unfortunately there have been some really bad calls to go along with them.

    my thoery is that the officials were told to throw flags on anything they’d remotely question in preseason as a way to review those calls then have a conversation about where to draw the line regular season.

    as far as the Seahawks doing any apologizing I imagine that will happen as soon as Tom Brady apologizes for the tuck rule.

  10. The other illegal contact penalty that was called on Seattle wasn’t even on the receiver who the ball was thrown. Hopefully the refs will make adjustments before the regular season or the games are gonna be hard to watch. I already thought the refs were too flag happy the last 5 years or so. The last thing the fans want is more yellow.

  11. Simon is wrong. I reviewed this play myself and the contact he made was just barely within 5 yards so the announcer got that part wrong, but the rule is more than just the right to certain types of contact within that first 5 yards, once the receiver has become even with the defender there is language in the rulebook that describes the different ways you can’t use your hands to restrict a receiver from developing the play. Very clear penalty and it was called correctly.

  12. Lets see here…So no more illegal cut blocks because of how dirty the seacheats are! Now no holding thanks to Richard Sherman And the so called good cbs they have on their roster….and now ped testing is witnessed and sighned off on…
    Sounds like good old pete is up to his old cheating tricks again…..All most make u wonder if the nfl is all ready tired of the seacheats….lol
    49ers out class these guys hands down!
    49ers 5 trophy Dynasty!!
    seacheats 1 cheating team with no legacy!!!!

  13. This team has a chip on its shoulder, and has an “us against the world” mentality. It will play with discipline AND succeed, to the displeasure of the Eastern Seaboard Propaganda Network, Roger Goodell, Skip Bayless and Mike Florio.

    Seattle Seahawks: DEAL WITH IT, AMERICA!

  14. barsfordays says:
    Aug 16, 2014 6:07 PM

    Hopefully this dude has what it takes to cover No.1 WR’s, cuz Sherman will stay on his side covering third-stringers.

    Hey, the reason Sherman doesn’t automatically move to cover the opposition’s best receiver is because he doesn’t have to. But if the opposition wants to avoid the left side of the field, that is their choice, Maxwell is more than capable of shutting down any receiver in the league.

    btw- Simon is predominantly a nickel cover back taking the slot receiver and he is every bit the legit LOB smother corner!

    Go ‘Hawks!!

  15. I love the Seahawks fans crying about this. Weren’t their players last year bragging about how they hold every play knowing that the refs weren’t going to call it every time?

    Well, the NFL says “No More”… Enough said.

  16. Talk about “cheating.” The Niners during their “winning” years used cut-blocking to damage the knees of opposing team’s defenders.

    The Niners. A dirty, classless team with a dirty, classless legacy!

  17. That defensive back basically molested the receiver in the endzone. At the very least, he got to 2nd base. Might as well have bought him a dozen roses and given him his phone number.

    It was a good call, crybaby.

  18. For those of you who call it a penalty, go to They have the replay of the play there, along with the rulebook. According to the rules, Simon played textbook perfect coverage.

  19. lol so funny how the nfl is so tired of the seacheats and their overated team and fans….
    seattle is now the new raiders but with a cheating legacy……

  20. Ahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!! Look at all of the cheathawk “fans” crying like the little momma’s boys they are. Suck it up, buttercups! Your scrub team is in for a looooooong season of penalties on the PEDS infested CB’s.

  21. Petey bought this rule enforcement upon himself as he had to brag about what every team complained and fan (of the other 31 teams) saw last year…..pushing, shoving, holding, tripping etc. on every pass play because as Petey so righteously claimed, “they’re not gonna throw a flag on every play so keep holding etc……” You made this bed Petey so you should be the last person to complain about it.

  22. Looked like the reciever ran a really poor route that turned right into him. Expect offensive coordinators to start teaching WRs to initiate as much contact as possible. Why not take an automatic first down on every play? And yes, Seattle’s All Pro secondary has made the adjustment.

  23. Gotta love these hawk fans who give a thumbs down to a comment that only states the facts by reminding them of Pete Carrolls own statement to his players that they should hold, grab etc. as the refs aren’t gonna throw a flag every play. To thumbs down is beyond homerism, it’ s utter stupiity. Class would be not to even acknowledge but no one has ever said that hawk fans have class even if they can’t deal with reality.

  24. “Simon is wrong. I reviewed this play myself…”

    Oh well then, that’s that isn’t it?

    “…and the contact he made was just barely within 5 yards so the announcer got that part wrong, but the rule is more than just the right to certain types of contact within that first 5 yards, once the receiver has become even with the defender there is language in the rulebook that describes the different ways you can’t use your hands to restrict a receiver from developing the play. Very clear penalty and it was called correctly.”

    This was PFF’s take, with a nod to the actual rule:
    “Cornerback Tharold Simon was the recipient of one of the worst calls of the new officiating’s crackdown on illegal contact. He had otherwise perfect coverage when his pick-six was flagged for illegal contact as he defended a route into the end zone, gaining perfect position on the receiver and catching the ball himself. The officials have been at pains this preseason to throw flags on anything they deem illegal in the secondary but the bottom line is the official NFL rulebook points out the following when discussing permissible acts when the ball is in the air:

    (d) Laying a hand on an opponent that does not restrict him in an attempt to make a play on the ball.
    (e) Contact by a player who has gained position on an opponent in an attempt to catch the ball.
    Note 1: When the ball is in the air, eligible offensive and defensive receivers have the same right to the path of the ball and are subject to the same restrictions.”

    Anyone who loves football doesn’t want to see that fantastic play negated. It was a nonsense call, just like the one that went against the Chargers in the first half.

  25. NFL is going to realize shortly here that this “rule enforcement” is both (1) going to kill Manning’s long-term legacy since he will be blamed for having inflicted this on the league – cause it isn’t a coincidence this has been done twice after he got embarrassed in the big game and (2) going to hurt a lot of other teams more than the Seahawks.

    Florio has his constant griping about the Hawks but the fact is that the league didn’t show clips of the Hawks as part of the roll out for this change and they have not been getting burned by it nearly as much as other teams. LOB plays press the way it is meant to be right at the line, it is other teams that are trying to mimic with press coverage but who don’t have the personnel to do it right up at the line that are going to feel the wrath of this in term of flags. Fans don’t want to see these garbage games, coaches don’t want to have to prep for them and eventually Manning is going to have to suck it up and learn how to not choke on his own without daddy Roger coming to help.

  26. What a big, fat coincidence that when the golden boy in denver loses yet another big game, rules suddenly are changed, or are emphatically enforced the next season. It’s embarrassing how this guy is treated like royalty, perception is everything.

  27. Did you see the Raider game?
    What a joke … helmet to helmet hit on the Raider TE … he even lost his helmet and fumbled the ball which should be an automatic personal foul but hey it’s the Raiders so NO foul and the Lions get the ball.

  28. I love the new rules because they will help the Hawks.

    Just look at the stats this season. So far Hawks are the least penalized D backfield.

    The league should just admit it… “No one can stop the Hawks so we’re going to try to flag them out of contention.”

    But like many such things, it will backfire. Manning will have an even bigger year, games will all be in the 30s, but Manning will still lose and barring injury, the Hawks will win even bigger.

  29. This is a bad move by the NFL. Who will stay interested in a sport where one side of the ball doesn’t matter? It’ll effect the way team’s draft, it’ll completely devalue CBs and safeties to some extent. Defensive backs are already at enough of a disadvantage against these athletic freaks teams have at WR. Why do they need to have even more of a disadvantage? It’s fun watching a team with a great offense going up against a team with a great defense and finding out which side wins. With rules like this every team will start to become an offensive based team and we’ll start seeing arena league scores. The NFL has had 8 5,000 yard passers in history and they’ve all come recently, so it’s safe to say offenses aren’t struggling to put up yards, points and excitement. The amount of viewers and popularity rises each year to now astronomical amounts. So please Mr. Goodell, stop making rule changes that you think the fans want, which they clearly don’t if you check ANY sports forum, and start making (or stop touching) rules that benefit the game itself. Rant over.

  30. Interesting how only Seahawks fans disagree with the call. But…you guys just started watching football two years ago and cheating is all you know. I mean, your coach’s legal name is Pete “the cheat” Carroll. It just makes sense.

  31. When the receiver is climbing the back of the DB for the ball, it is hard to see why the defender should be flagged for pass interference. The defender has the same rights to the ball as the WR. It was a horrible call.

  32. I didn’t think the call was correct when I saw the play, but it could’ve gone either way. The players DO have to make adjustments,though, simple as that. My issue with the refs this preseason isn’t their willingness to make ticky-tacky calls (they’re “emphazing” remember?), it’s that they are inconsistent in those calls. Can’t tell you how many illegal hands to face have been called on linemen, but when a tackler rips a helmet off a receiver and no call is made, that’s not consistent. Either make the calls all the time or don’t.

  33. It’s Harbaugh crying about the rules, not Peyton. Remember how he complained to the league before we even played last year? I’m sure that he’s a huge catalyst for this emphasis.

  34. I think the fact that you cannot have your hand on them past 7 yards is stupid. You should not push and pull, but just having your hands on someone is different than pushing and pulling.

    Again, another lame rule making it harder to play defense.

  35. Yeah I called this one wrong, but the rulebook says once a receiver gets “even” then you can’t use certain types of contact to restrict him from developing the play. It looked like Simon had lost his positional advantage in the 4-5 yard range and then used cheap contact which at that point I think it’s fair for the referee to determine that both players are on an “even” footing at that point, and thus the contact is no longer valid. I still don’t see this rulebook being specific and clear enough and we will see more plays this year where it’s confusing to figure out and disagreement runs rampant. Let’s see if I’m wrong then and if all future penalties are cut and dry.

    You win this round 123456ui!

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