Pete Carroll: NFL admitted error on 105-yard return flag


As soon as it happened, Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon thought the penalty that wiped out his 105-yard interception return for a touchdown was a bad call.

After a few days, the NFL apparently agreed with him.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said on 710 ESPN’s “Brock and Salk” show that the league informed him Monday that Simon should not have been flagged for illegal contact on the play.

“If you look at the game, there’s so many opportunities when guys engage just kind of as they’re moving into their positions when hands are on guys,” Carroll said. “And it goes both ways now because they did emphasize offensive pass interference as well as the defensive issues. And so what’s happened is that now that it’s an elevated awareness, they’re seeing so many more contacts that they would have considered incidental in the past and so we’re getting those calls that really don’t have any bearing on the play recognized as penalties.”

Carroll said he was told officials were calling illegal contact at seven times the previous rate this preseason, which has turned a number of games in slow parades marched off in five-yard increments.

“This is just a very sensitive call right now and it’s not the officiating. I don’t blame the officials for this,” Carroll said. “This is really an emphasis that came from the competition committee, which is our coaches primarily. And so what I’m really curious to see is what happens in the next two weeks, how do they respond to these numbers, because there’s no way that we want this many penalties called. That’s ridiculous. I think the Saints might have had 20-something penalties last week or something crazy. That’s a bad game to watch.

“So I’m hoping and I’m trying to get involved in the conversation right now to find out what’s going to happen because we need to start talking now so something happens by opening day. So we’ll just have to work through it.”

It’s interesting for Carroll to take that stance, since his team is the main reason it’s being cracked down upon. But whether officials or players adapt, someone is going to have to, or the days of the three-hour game are history.

64 responses to “Pete Carroll: NFL admitted error on 105-yard return flag

  1. This is not the “Legion of Boom Rule”. This is the lets get “Peyton Manning Another Ring Rule”. The last time poor Peyton had a horrendous game, they changed/adjusted the rule too.

  2. The perception that the Seahawks are a bunch of grabbing, holding maulers is falsely held (despite the Browner vs Garcon cage match in the Washington playoff game a couple years ago.) They chuck you for five yards, then bail and challenge you to throw over their 9 foot tall corners. If you do complete the pass, their 300lb safety nails you.

    This “adjustment” by the league, particularly coming off of the biggest scoring year ever, is terribly misguided and will harm other teams more than Seattle.

  3. In the first two games of the preseason, the starting defense of the Seattle Seahawks has yet to receive one illegal contact penalty.

  4. Seattle and coach Carroll are the front runners in every aspect of this beautiful game of football; competition, player development, fundamentals, respect and integrity. they host 19 free on field clinics on how to be a championship organization for the rest of the league every year.

  5. Refs are getting to the point where they’re dictating games, and it’s making the game less fun to watch because it’s just flag after flag. Classic Roger, ruining football one stupid rule change after another, and he couldn’t care less what the coaches, players or fans think as long as he keeps lining his pockets with money. All the rule changes may not have an immediate repercussion, but I think it will over time.

  6. It is hard to watch. For us fans it is nearly unbearable. The combination of Goodell and the Incompetent Committee is bad for football and football fans alike. 3rd and 20 – now a 5 yard penalty and 1st down. I’m tired of it already. When normally I have watched nearly all preseason games, I have already cut off nearly a dozen due to the slow death march.

    Thanks Roger Goodell…and you too, Incompetent Committee.

  7. So this is all because of the Seahawks?


    Its all because of Peyton Manning.

    And the fans of anyone but the Broncos and Niners will tell you that witnessing a dominant D was much more satisfying than watching Manning dink and sunk his way to another Lombardi.

  8. It’s interesting for Carroll to take that stance, since his team is the main reason it’s being cracked down upon

    Yes, just like the Hawks said they purposely committed penalties, confident they wouldn’t be called.

    You reference other stories, why don’t you reference the NFL saying this was due to Hawks or that the Hawks ever said their plan was to do it on purpose.

    While you’re at it, why don’t you show the DB calls by team in preseason so we can see it’s all Hawks.

    Didn’t think so.

  9. The fans in that stadium booed after that call for about 10 minutes. In a preseason game. With backups playing. I think their fans take P.E.D.s too. On a second note, that stadium wouldn’t be as loud as it is if weren’t for the echo. If you dont believe me try and listen to music in that place, worst acoustics ever but great for reverb.

  10. The Seahawks are not the main reason for the emphasis. The over-the-top media hysteria hyping it up all last season (despite official review at the end of the season concluding only 2 more holding penalties should’ve been called) & the fact the the NFL’s golden boy Peyton got humiliated on the NFL’s biggest stage were the primary reasons.

    The current “emphasis” is turning imcidental contact (or “locating” the WR, which has been a basic DB skill for decades) into game-changing penalties. Combined with the fact that the “emphasis” on offensive PI hasn’t happened, the result is frustration league-wide watching our teams’ best defensive plays draw 5-yard penalties when those plays should be highlight material. Not exactly the best way to market the NFL.

  11. Yea but good corners adjust. Seattle doesnt seem to have as much of an issue, not like New England, New Orleans who had almost 20+ calls on them and the whiners they cant even play Def anymore. LOL

  12. Combined with the fact that the “emphasis” on offensive PI hasn’t happened

    And this surprises you?

    Denver’s entire offense is predicated on pick plays and offensive PI. There is no way they want to call those plays.

  13. Well it has always been part of the rules its just that this year they decided to really enforce them is all. I hate to think of it as the Seahawks rule but there were several teams they mugged using questionable tactics.

  14. If it were replacement referees making all these calls, the media would be all over them and labeling it a “travesty”… I just find it humorous how these “full time” guys get a pass.

    Even in 2014, An Employment Union has it’s benefit.

  15. it’s funny listening to these front running, 12th man copying fans act like they know about football when they have only been watching for a couple of years.

  16. But the defender lost the positional advantage late in the first five yards and grabbed him that to me should constitute that the receiver is “even” with the defender since the term is left undefined and therefore its up to referee judgment to make that determination as to whether that element is being met. What exactly does the NFL mean by
    “even” then? So what now they are going to allow unlimited contact and holding as long as its within 5 yards and even if the ball is in the air too? Something seems off here.

  17. The calls in the Saints game were justified and weren’t all defensive penalties. Lol at Pete reaching to back his story.

  18. You have to adjust your style of play to be within the rules. You can’t just throw your hands up and say “Come on, you can’t call that many penalties” knowing that your team will benefit from how they mug receivers.

  19. This rule doesn’t matter because 1) We have the best secondary ever to play the game, and 2) it will be called on both teams.

    Last nights Browns-Redskins game was a joke with so many flags. It wasn’t football, it was penalty ball.

  20. To me a defensive struggle is every bit as compelling and beautiful as a 41-34 blitzkrieg. Reference the Seattle/Niners championship game last year. Fantastic, riveting spectacle.

  21. Seahawks fans went from lovable underdogs to more obnoxious than Ravens and Steelers fans combined. I’m sure most of the non-bandwagoners and people who don’t feel the need to make inane comments like “the Super Bowl Champions are the best team in the NFL!” on PFT are fine folks, but your PFT representation is abysmal. (this from an NYJ fan who is regularly embarrassed by his fellow Jets fans).

  22. hey Peetie… quit whining!!!

    You were cheating in college, and you’re trying to find ways to cheat now. Play within the rules and you wont have any problems.

  23. The new stronger enforcement has nothing to do with Denver. IT is all about the Seahawks. Everyone in the league knows that Seattle DBs hold on every play. They bragged about it last year. There’s even a youtube video showing one DB teaching a rookie how to hold without the refs seeing it.
    Maybe Seattle will adjust and it will be OK for them, but I doubt it. ONce the regular season starts and they start getting torched by WRs, they will go back to their old habits.

  24. Don’t blame Goodell, blame Jeff Fisher. He heads the competitition committee and the “safety movement/offensive explosion” has as much if not more to do with him than anyone else in football.

  25. RegisHawk says:
    Aug 19, 2014 9:50 AM

    I see the whining by other teams has begun…
    Pot, meet kettle.

  26. And Carroll is only concerned about all of the penalties because it will slow the game down. Riiiiiiiiight. I believe that.

    Seattle uses holding as an effective technique. They grab a jersey and then can turn around to look for the ball. IF the receiver makes a cut, they can feel it as the jersey gets yanked.

    This year will be different.

  27. therealtruth210 says:
    Aug 19, 2014 9:39 AM

    it’s funny listening to these front running, 12th man copying fans act like they know about football when they have only been watching for a couple of years.

    LOL. The 12th man are a bunch of newbies as far as fans go. You make me laugh with your comments. THe Steelers, Patriots, Niners, Giants, Dallas and others have had large, loyal fan-bases far longer than the me-too Seahawk fair-weather fans.

  28. see the whining by other teams has begun…

    The whining always starts with the bandwagon Hawk fans, insert RealityCheck . If the Hawks have already adjusted why haven’t you astute fans done the same. I thought football was for men not whining ..cough..cough..12th men?

  29. The Peyton Manning II rule. If the greatest marketing machine in NFL history can’t win, we will change the rules so he does, again. Money Reigns.

  30. It isn’t that the refs call too many penalties. It’s that there are TOO MANY THINGS THAT ARE PENALTIES.

  31. What we have is the NFL basically ruining the game for the fans so they can get their refs up to speed on the new rules which is a joke. What we need are full time officials that go to school then travel to team OTA’s teaching and explaining to coaches and players what is legal. Full time!!! Got that Goodell.

  32. Slow the game down. Longer games. More commercials. Longer concession time. Chaching.

    Watch it NFL.

  33. chargersdiehard says:
    “The fans in that stadium booed after that call for about 10 minutes.”

    Because it was one of the worst calls in the history of the NFL.

    “that stadium wouldn’t be as loud as it is if weren’t for the echo. If you dont believe me try and listen to music in that place, worst acoustics ever but great for reverb.”

    REALLY? I saw U2 there in 2011 and the acoustics were perfect.

    Mike, bandwagoner since 1976

  34. Haters: just watch the Superbowl. Seattle’s Legion of Boom didn’t hold or grab. They did smash, bang, intercept, cause fumbles….dominate!

    It’s all too easy to blame Seattle in a mob mentality way. Do some research before you spout off!!!!

    Go Hawks!

  35. -inane comments like “the Super Bowl Champions are the best team in the NFL!”

    Hey micknangold, maybe you’re missing the concept of what Superbowl Champion means. It literally means they are the best team in the NFL.

    Now they get to defend that title. We’ll see how it goes starting Sept 4th. Its going to be fun.

  36. Is rather see the holding and grabbing going on. When Boldin was with the Ravens he was held a bunch but was physical and tough enough to fight for the ball. I agree with everyone who says the league wants Peyton to throw for 5,000 yards and have a chance at another ring.

  37. radar8- Notice something about all the teams you mentioned that have had “real” fan bases longer than the Seahawks? Yeah, they all won championships in the PAST. Of course the hawks will pick up new fans when they start winning. You are all just band wagoners from previous generations. Get over yourself. It’s the Hawks’ time!

  38. Love to see so many are afraid of the Broncos after just 2 preseason games, that they are already making up conspiracies to dismiss any potential SB win by the Broncos as “It was fixed by Goodell’s LOB rule”. Hahahaha, sorry if your team can’t compete but the Broncos are bound by the rule just like the other 31 teams. As far as I know, EVERY team has QBs and EVERY team passes the ball. Go cry to your mommas!

  39. Can someone please explain face guarding? Why is it illegal? If you are not touching the rec. why is this a flag?

  40. If the nfl wants to loose a mass amount of money they will keep the refs calling all these dumb penalties like the therold simon interception for 105 yards these rules they have put in place give the refs to much leeway on who scores or not like therolds interception if that was in the regular season we would have lost a touchdown and let the other team score becuse of a vary bad call??? No no no if it’s like this then everyone know that Payton manning will get all the calles going his way cuz a he is so old and week they want him to win another ring so they can say he’s there best ever. But hawk fans know that by the time mr. Wilson is done playing football he will have Ben the best ever!!!!

  41. Pretty soon, there will be no defense in football at all. Mr. Wonderful in Denver will be able to pad his stats all he wants, and get the ring that the league so desperately wants him to have. I have no doubt in my mind this is all about His Royal Highness. He complained about NE’s defense in 2003, and now, the Seattle’s D, so it’s not the first time rules have been “emphasized” to his benefit, can’t have the golden boy embarrassed in the twilight of his career. I have lost all respect for him, and “meltdown” in big games will be his legacy. Seattle fans: if your team had played anyone but Megahead, this wouldn’t be an issue right now.

  42. bronco1st- Hawks will smoke the Broncos week 3. Peyton won’t be comfortable with our 1st Dline in and slant passes won’t work when bambamkam is on the field to smash your receivers. Ask Demaryius how it feels!

  43. Hey Radar8, did a Seahawk fan steal your lunch money and knock up your girlfriend or something? Goodness man, get a grip. The Seahawks have been selling out all of their home games for like 10+ years. Just because the team is now relevant doesn’t mean that they’ve never had fans. Get over yourself. They’re fans of their team just like you are of yours. They just won the superbowl… wait… they just dominated the superbowl. Quit crying and making excuses and let the Seahawks have their time, they earned it.

  44. Of course Carroll wants his secondary to be allowed to play physical. But that doesn’t mean that’s all they can do. Those guys are smart. They spend many, many hours in the film room. Sherman runs the route better than the guy he’s covering most of the time. Chancellor is as intimidating a SS as there has ever been in this league. Thomas is arguably the best defensive player in the game. Maxwell is a student of the game and credited as a technician and perfectionist by his teammates. Change the rules all you want and these guys will still be the best secondary around. Points are going to go up for everyone. But Seattle’s defense will still be top 3. And the Seahawks dynamic running game coupled with the play-action pass will be pulling defensive backs towards the line of scrimmage. So when Wilson fakes the hand off and looks down the field, there’s going to be a lot of DBs out of position for one of the smartest, more accurate, and best long ball throwers in the NFL. Seattle will be the beneficiary of this rule “emphasis” more than the victim. Count on it.

  45. radar8 says:
    Aug 19, 2014 10:21 AM
    RegisHawk says:
    Aug 19, 2014 9:50 AM

    I see the whining by other teams has begun…
    Pot, meet kettle.


    I’m not the one complaining. I’m the one laughing at all you whiners who crowed about emphasis on this rule giving your teams an edge over the Seahawks. Well, the only crow is the one you’re eating.


  46. So, his team is the main reason defensive holding and illegal contact is being cracked down upon? The Legion of Boom rule?

    And the flags are flying like confetti across the NFL.

    Except for the Seahawks: zero flags for def holding or illegal contact last week, and this week the league admitted a bad call was made that had negated a perfectly executed pick-6.

    Maybe SOMEbody should look around at all the other teams getting these flags and reassess their reasoning for why we have #pointofemphasis.

  47. Amazing that the beneficiaries of one of the worst regular season calls ever are getting all hot and bothered about a practice game call.

  48. Are there really this many hating fans that they don’t realize EVERY SINGLE DB AND LINEMEN AND WR ARE TAUGHT HOW TO HOLD SECRETELY! Every player has a reason to hold and all are taught how to do so without making it blatantly obvious . It’s no less a skill than learning how to tackle ! Do you really think Seattle is the only team that plays this way ? Seattle is just better at football so you find a way to complain . It’s not a coincidence they have the least amount of flags on the secondary this preseason , u wanted this noise now deal with it! All cbs hold all wrs hold all linemen hold all rb hold all lbs hold . You’d think at least one of the above people have ever played a lick of organized football in their life . Not knowing this immediately disqualifies you to comment further ! Excluding the trolls who know this but want to get a rise out of people !

    Please know what your talking about or you end up embarrassing yourself as some blind fan boy !

  49. I can’t stand listening to salk (no surprise that he got fired in boston) if he disagrees with you, he sounds like a whining child. Bring back danny.

  50. The fans in that stadium booed after that call for about 10 minutes. In a preseason game. With backups playing.

    This is why Seattle is the biggest home field advantage in the NFL and other than maybe KC, it’s not even close.

  51. The whining always starts with the bandwagon Hawk fans, insert RealityCheck . If the Hawks have already adjusted why haven’t you astute fans done the same. I thought football was for men not whining ..cough..cough..12th men?

    They like me.

    They really like me.

    Talk to us when your team makes the playoffs.

  52. The best part about the Pete Carroll Seahawks is that we’ve had just as many bad calls against us as any other NFL team. And yet, they just don’t matter. Seahawks still find a way to win.

    And we get the added benefit of watching other fans, like Green Bay fans, crying for years about it. While the NFL called us whiners for a few fans yelling about a horribly-officiated Superbowl XL, it’s amusing that nobody calls out Packer fans for continuing to whine some 2 years later about a game that happened in Week 2 of the regular season.

    It’s great to be champions. In every sense.



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