Carroll says refs will help Seahawks figure out Patriots’ formations

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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is confident that his defense won’t be confused by the Patriots’ unusual formations in the Super Bowl, thanks to some help from the officials.

The Patriots have successfully disguised which players are eligible receivers and which players are ineligible receivers in this year’s playoffs. But Carroll said at his press conference today that he’s been told that the officials will do a more thorough job of making it clear to the defense which receivers are eligible, and which players are lined up in ineligible positions.

The NFL rules are clear: Players with ineligible jersey numbers must report to the referee if they’re going to line up as eligible receivers, and players with eligible jersey numbers must report to the referee if they’re going to line up in ineligible positions. The referee, in turn, must announce those declarations. But in this year’s playoffs, both the Ravens and the Colts have been confused by the Patriots’ formations, which have included trick plays with running back Shane Vereen lined up as an ineligible lineman, and plays with lineman Nate Solder lined up as an eligible receiver.

Now, according to Carroll, the officials will change their mechanics so that it’s clearer to the defense whether each player is eligible or ineligible. That’s an advantage to the Seahawks, and something the Ravens and Colts wish would have been done for them.

162 responses to “Carroll says refs will help Seahawks figure out Patriots’ formations

  1. Good grief. God forbid the Patriots run legal formations. Will the refs tell the Patriots whether Wilson will hand off to Lynch or keep it himself? Bet big on Seattle. There is no way the league allows the Patriots to win this game.

  2. This being a neutral site makes this possible via much less noise in the stadium. I’m also glad to hear all the little things the Pats due to skew the system are being recognized by the league, it’s going to be game over for them sooner than later.

  3. That’s nice, but there is virtually no chance of the Pats running those plays in the Super Bowl. The Colts were prepared for those formations and even their anemic pass rush was able to get a sack and force an incompletion on the two occasions the Pats used it.

    Pulling an offensive lineman out of the game against the Seahawks’ fearsome defense when they will no doubt be prepared for it would be suicide. Trick plays only work when they come as a surprise. When the defense is ready for them, they turn into blown plays, at best, if not outright disasters.

  4. Belicheat has foreseen this development and has several other underhanded tactical schemes already devised which he will unleash upon the super bowl. If he cheats in the big one and wins the game then it will take them weeks to figure out what he’s done, and it will still chalk up as a win. It’s all about the rings, right?

  5. “…officials will do a more thorough job of making it clear to the defense which receivers are eligible…”

    If yelling out “34 is ineligible do not cover him” wasn’t a thorough enough job in making it clear….what are the Officials going to do? Physically drag the cover to their proper spot to line up against who is eligible?

  6. Shouldn’t this have been done all along ?? The refs have once again created a situation that if it was handled correctly from the beginning would not have been allowed to fester and grow.

  7. Makes me wonder what will change since the player number is announced.

    Will they point at the player?

    Hold the hands of the defense, individually walk them over and introduce the to make sure it is understood?

    Beyond the announcement and giving them sufficient time (10 seconds should be enough – – 1/4 of the play clock).

  8. The refs did do that durring those games already….. Not sure what Pete is saying here except that maybe the refs will slow the game down so his idiot players know what to do….
    That would be an unfair advantage for Seattle as it would not allow the Patriots to play at their up tempo pace!!!

  9. Awww, the poor crybaby Seachickens are already crying to the refs to help them defeat the big bad Patriot bullies!!! Would you Seachicken team members and fans like some cheese with that enormous whine????? It would take all of the cheese in Wisconsin to satisfy it. Ahahahahahaha.

  10. This is incredible! What a mess the NFL has become!

    In effect the league is saying the refs didn’t do their job correctly in the playoffs? Or are they now giving Seattle extra help that was unavailable to the Ravens and Colts?

    Either way, this smacks WAY too much of changing the rules during the season. Which is clearly unfair.

  11. It’s not that complicated. It’s just that Harbaugh got caught with his pants down and was embarrassed. I’m convinced that was the genesis of this farce called deflategate. They ran it 3 times against the Ravens (not in the hurry up, they huddled each time). They ran it twice against the Colts, who defended it well. One sack, one incompletion. May not even see it Sunday.

  12. Vareen was announced as “ineligible” in the stadium by the ref. He even said “don’t cover 34”

  13. It’s not rocket science for Christs sake.
    1. It’s announced OVER THE LOUD SPEAKER.
    2. What’s so hard about the guy at the end of the line and anyone else OFF the LOS are eligible?
    How are you a head coach and can’t figure that out? Beyond me.

  14. Everyday on here I read about how the Pats are the NFLs darlings, and everything is slanted in their favor, and the league bends over backwards for them, etc etc etc…

    And yet, more often than not, these are the stories that I read. The NFL is changing their procedures to negatively affect the Patriots. You could argue it is bringing the playing field back to even, but even if that were the case, this is still the NFL poitively affecting the Seahawks and negatively affecting the Patriots.

    Somehow this means Belichick is a cheater…

  15. I’m sure it’ll look the same during the game. The ref will make the announcement, like they always do, like they did during the Ravens game… Right before “Hike” when Vinovich pointed the now-non-eligible player lined up at receiver. That’s all the defense will get.

  16. Pete’s translation: “I’m too stupid to figure it out on my own!” We know Pete, we remember how while in N.E. you took a Super Bowl team and RUINED THEM!!

  17. But….. Tommy said we all just had to read the rule book better. Right before (or maybe after) he said they weren’t engaging in deceptive plays.

    By changing the notification system, the refs and League are admitting the Pats were doing something that was contrary to the point of the rules.

  18. It was clear in the Ravens game the referee wasn’t doing his job and that was a huge disadvantage to the opposing defense.

    Belichick was basically doing one of those exploit glitches in Madden you would punch your friend in the face for using. Lets hope the officials make the announcement of eligible and ineligible.

  19. Yup, lets not allow the Patriots to use legal formations without walking the defense through it. “Hey lets take away legal plays from the Patriots because the other teams aren’t smart enough to figure it out”. Sounds fair. Next year the 12th man has to be quiet because it’s hard for the other team to hear themselves. Stupid stupid stupid…

  20. Yeah, talk about changing the rules midstream… anyway, nothing that a backwards pass to an inelegible receiver at a key point in the game can’t cure.

  21. Teams should report to referees before every fake punt, fake FG, … and report to referees which WR will be targeted on the next play… and the exact run route…
    – John Harbaugh and Pete Carroll

  22. Changing the procedures in midstream, how NFL of them! Not a Pats fan by any means, but let them play against Seattle the same way they have the playoff run. Not only not fair to the Pats, but not fair to the Ravens or Colts. Now the talk will be the NFL wants Seattle to win and if they do, that victory may be viewed as contrived, and why would the NFL put themselves in that position? Really question much of the decision making at the Shields HQ.

  23. They won’t use it against the Seahawks. You people do know that right? The Seahawks defense actually has something that the Ravens defense doesn’t have intelligence. Plus if screaming don’t cover 34 chances are you don’t cover him. Hell the two times the Pats used it against the Colts Lafell dropped one and Brady got sacked on the other. It isn’t complicated to defend which is why they won’t try it against Seattle.

  24. Shanahammer says:
    Jan 29, 2015 12:59 PM
    How do you change procedure mid season???
    __________________

    In 1988, the Bengals were the first team to run no-huddle, and were using it with great success. In the playoffs, Marv Levy and the Bills complained about no-huddle being an unfair advantage.

    The league forced the Bengals to stop using no-huddle during the playoffs and then went on to lose the Super Bowl to the 49ers, 26-21. Had the Bengals been able to use their no-huddle, they’d probably be champs back in ’88.

    The Bills went on to copy the no-huddle idea (naming it K-Gun) and rode the offense to 4 straight Super Bowls.

  25. And if that fails, there will undoubtedly be some mysterious power outage or game clock failure to give Seattle’s defense what amounts to free timeouts.

  26. If the refs were doing this and it was going to benefit the Patriots, everyone would be crying about how unfair it is.

    If Carroll ran the same LEGAL ineligible/eligible plays, everyone would be saying he’s a genius.

    The double standards continue to crack me up.

  27. By changing the notification system, the refs and League are admitting the Pats were doing something that was contrary to the point of the rules.

    Except what they said they are going to do they already did in those games.

    Nice try though

  28. sm4shed says:

    Changing the rules during the season? Really?

    ————————————————————-

    there’s not a rule change, they are simply going to make sure the D has heard all the receiver declarations when before they were sometimes unable to hear them

    sorry the Pats won’t be as effective at pushing the rules to the complete edge again and effectively cheating…. but tough.

  29. sm4shed says:

    Changing the rules during the season? Really?

    ————————————————————-

    there’s not a rule change, they are simply going to make sure the D has heard all the receiver declarations when before they were sometimes unable to hear them

    sorry the Pats won’t be as effective at pushing the rules to the complete edge again and effectively cheating…. but tough.

  30. i understand how all of the patriots fans are upset, and no im not a Seahawks fan, but Belichick exploited a technicality. Don’t reveal to the ref until after breaking the huddle who is ineligible. Pats then run hurry up offense, giving the defense no time to react. Forced with two options, waste a time out, or play defense and hope the defenders recognize who to cover. The basis of the 12 men in the huddle penalty is the same basis for this rule. You cant have 12 men in the huddle on offense, because the defense cant substitute based on who they see on offense. So its an AUTOMATIC penalty whenever there are 12 men in the huddle. So BB smartly so recognized instead of having 12 men in the huddle, I wont declare who is eligible and in eligible until after we start walking to the line of scrimmage. Thus not allowing the defense to know who’s a RB/Receiver, vs. a Guard or Tackle. Pretty damn smart by belichick if you ask me, but just as the league came up with the no 12 men in the huddle rule, they will come up with a rule to disallow declaring who is ineligible at the last second. I think all the league is saying, is in the SB, they will ensure the defense knows immediately who is ineligible, and if they deem its not enough time, they will stand over the REF decides the offense can snap the ball.

  31. If the refs helped the Pats figure out legal formations the Seahawks used there would be massive claims of “cheating”

    Helping the Seahags is ok I guess.

    That’s called a double standard.

  32. This whole thing is the biggest bunch of nonsense. The rules of football – which have been the same for decades – set forth the basic requirements for formations and make it clear who is eligible on any given play based on where they are lined up with respect to the line.

    Any professional football coach or player should be embarrassed to admit that they find anything about this confusing. In fact, I would be embarrassed to admit that if I were a high school coach or player.

  33. Similar to allowing the referees to get in position.
    If the Pats don’t announce it in enough time for the ref to inform the defense and get prepared they can force the offense to wait until they are ready.

  34. Since when do players high on PED’s need help from the refs? The SeaChickens couldn’t comprehend what a ref was saying anyway.

  35. Patriot fans can’t say nothing about refs helping us , you guys want to talk about inflated balls in both playoff games? What is the nfl gonna do? Nothing, oh but if lynch wears a beast mode hat made by NEW ERA he could be facing a fine? Talk about taking sides, have fun with roger goodell
    GO HAWKS!!!

  36. LOL!

    #Refgate has started.

    #NFLfixgate is already in full swing!

    Seriuosly, though. This sounds pretty bad…

    Carroll: I’m getting confused by the legal plays the Pats are running.

    NFL: That’s ok. The whole nation is against the Pats right now, so we’ll just bend the rules for you and allow the refs to help you out on these legal plays so your more ready for what their Offense dials up.

    C: Sweet, thanks!

    NFL: Don’t thank me, thank the media that blew this whole #Deflategate thing so high, we can’t do anything else. Haha, ok, actually, you can thank us. We’ve been trying for years to find something to de-fang the Patriots a bit. They win too much. Parity can’t be championed if they keep making Superb Owls.

    C: Wait, so what happens in my team starts winning these Superb Owls or getting here a few more times.

    NFL: Oh, look, I have a lunch date, gotta go!

  37. What’s next?

    Brady must announce who he will be throwing to. He cannot call an audible because that would be cheating.

  38. Funny, the Seachickens don’t mind having an unfair advantage during home games with their “12th Man” shenanigans, yet here comes BB with a scheme that is perfectly within the rules, and spirit, of the game and the big bad Legion of Boom goes crying to the refs.

  39. Um… were the Colts really confused by it? Didn’t the Patriots run it twice? and both times were negative plays?

    It shocked the Ravens because they hadn’t prepared for it. Guess what the Colts coaches researched it, figured it out, probably then spent an extra 10 minutes relaying their findings to the players at practice and the formation was no longer useful.

    There’s a reason it won’t be run often, its not a good system. Great for a surprise but I would be the over/under at 2 plays for how often the Patriots will run one of these formations Sunday.

  40. Ohhhh isn’t that nice? The NFL has decided to change the rules for the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

    Wow, can’t recall ever seeing something like this in any sport. First of all, the Patriots did not break any rules, which was confirmed by the head of NFL referees. Secondly, this is something that has been run in College so it’s not like they re-invented the wheel. But thirdly, and most importantly, it is quite obvious that the NFL does not want to the Patriots to win this game. The fix is in before the game has even been played. The Patriots will be playing both Seattle and the guys in stripes. Might as well just hand them the trophy now.

  41. So blatant CHEATING by the refs, favoring the Ravens by actually TELLING them who to cover wasn’t enough??

  42. flash1283 says:
    Jan 29, 2015 1:17 PM
    By changing the notification system, the refs and League are admitting the Pats were doing something that was contrary to the point of the rules.

    Except what they said they are going to do they already did in those games.

    Nice try though
    ____
    Except that “Carroll said at his press conference today that he’s been told that the officials will do a more thorough job of making it clear to the defense which receivers are eligible, and which players are lined up in ineligible positions”, which means they are doing something additional to/different than they did before.

    It’s pretty clear.

    Nice try, though.

  43. It wasn’t the reporting of players that was the issue for Harbuagh, it was the fact that there was not much time between the announcement and snap. When the offense makes a substitution the D gets time to do the same. The identification in a timely manner is all that was in question, not the fact that the Patsies were trying to use the rules to gain a legal edge.

    I say next time a RB or WR lines up as a lineman we just have Ngata and Suggs both knock him on his ass hard. Next time he will either fold or false start. You counter these types of things with other legal tactics. The reason you like big boys on the line is so that they don’t get run over or hurt, so when someone else lines up in that spot make a point out of running him over, hard.

  44. “The Patriots have successfully disguised which players are eligible receivers and which players are ineligible receivers in this year’s playoffs.”
    ————————————————————

    Um, no. A ‘successful’ disguise would not include the refs announcing it over the PA system.

    koenig61 says:
    Jan 29, 2015 1:21 PM
    i understand how all of the patriots fans are upset, and no im not a Seahawks fan, but Belichick exploited a technicality. Don’t reveal to the ref until after breaking the huddle who is ineligible. Pats then run hurry up offense, giving the defense no time to react. Forced with two options, waste a time out, or play defense and hope the defenders recognize who to cover. The basis of the 12 men in the huddle penalty is the same basis for this rule. You cant have 12 men in the huddle on offense, because the defense cant substitute based on who they see on offense. So its an AUTOMATIC penalty whenever there are 12 men in the huddle. So BB smartly so recognized instead of having 12 men in the huddle, I wont declare who is eligible and in eligible until after we start walking to the line of scrimmage. Thus not allowing the defense to know who’s a RB/Receiver, vs. a Guard or Tackle.
    ————————————————————

    The eligible/ineligible player tells the ref themselves of their change in status and would not know until the play is called in the huddle if their status would be other than what it normally is, as the play comes through the QB. That’s why it happens after the huddle is broken. Additionally, the fact that they huddle, by definition, means it is not a ‘hurry up’ offense. Against the Ravens, there was a 7-10 second delay from the announcement of eligibility (which disproves your ‘defense not know who’s a RB/Receiver, vs. a Guard or Tackle’ theory), which equates to 20%-25% of the 40-second play clock. How much time does the defense need? Finally, the defense, rather than burning a time out or ‘hoping’ the defense covers the right guy could audible to zone, and avoid worrying about who is covering which individual.

  45. God forbid that we should expect the refs to enforce the actual rules, like clearly announcing which receivers are eligible and checking psi pressure in game balls.

  46. Hearing a lot of fear in the Patriot fans comments. The ONLY difference will be that the referrees will allow the opposing team a couple of seconds to identify the eligible/ineligible player’s number instead of the Patriots snapping the ball as the number is announced. It’s not a change in the rules, and even idiot Patriot fans know this. They just don’t like it because it puts their opponent on equal footing. Patriot fans in their heart of hearts know that their team is overmatched and headed for another SB disappointment.

  47. I have always hated this verbiage the ref points to one player and goes “this player is ineligible receiver” then points to a different player and says “this player is an eligible receiver” alright now GO!!

  48. Bill is brilliant. Maybe Pete should teach his players who’s eligible. This should be like teaching a 2 year old the ABCs……..on 2nd thought……

  49. Next thing you know, they’ll have to announce flea flickers, end arounds, or when a player other than the quarterback plans to throw a pass. Heaven forbid confusing a defense or vice versa.

  50. “Please please please someone explain how the ref announcing “number so and so is ineligible, don’t cover him” isn’t sufficient.”

    Because the frothing mouth masses need an excuse for getting beat. Plain and simple.

  51. There is no way the league allows the Patriots to win this game.

    ————–

    Starting to think this myself. The NFL are on to the Patriots.

    It’s karma though for when teams go to Foxborough and the refs almost always favour the Patriots.

  52. achillesofwooters says:Jan 29, 2015 1:47 PM

    Hearing a lot of fear in the Patriot fans comments. The ONLY difference will be that the referrees will allow the opposing team a couple of seconds to identify the eligible/ineligible player’s number instead of the Patriots snapping the ball as the number is announced. It’s not a change in the rules, and even idiot Patriot fans know this. They just don’t like it because it puts their opponent on equal footing. Patriot fans in their heart of hearts know that their team is overmatched and headed for another SB disappointment.

    —–

    They weren’t snapping the ball as the refs were saying the numbers. The Ravens had like 7-9 seconds to figure it out. These days, if a Defense can’t figure it out in that kind of time, well, they have more problems than a new wrinkle trick play.

    It’s no different than when Miami unleashed the Wildcat on the Pats and beat them because the Pats didn’t know what to do. Did the Pats complain to the refs to bend the rules so that they would have more time to figure it out? No, they said they got beat and then worked on figuring it out for the next meeting.

  53. It’s not that the formations are so tricky, the defense just doesn’t have time to adjust and to me this is bush league. In the Ravens game, Brady snapped the ball 5 seconds after the ineligible reported, this is not enough for the defensive captain to relay signals.

  54. Can’t you all just hear ball-slurping love fest Phil Simms and the rest of the sports media would reign down on Chip Kelly if it were him running unbalanced formations in his hurry up?

  55. I’m sure that’s not the only help the Seahawks will get from the refs this Sunday. The game is already in the bag. I’m just waiting for the Pats to get screwed somehow. No way the NFL lets them win

  56. God forbid that we should expect the refs to enforce the actual rules, like clearly announcing which receivers are eligible and checking psi pressure in game balls.

    —-

    In the Pats/Ravens game, the referees said over the loudspeaker to the entire stadium:

    “Number 34 is ineligible. THE DEFENSE SHOULD NOT COVER NUMBER 34.”

  57. Shanahammer ..its not mid season anymore. And Carroll needs to figure out the formations by himself. Its not the job of the officials to help him.

  58. So Seattle already gets a helping hand from the officials by them turning a blind eye towards all the pass int and holding calls the legion of bust do, now they get an extra advantage? Why not just announce the play NE is running for them?

    Like someone said before, can NE’s defense get told who is keeping the ball on option plays?

  59. “It’s karma though for when teams go to Foxborough and the refs almost always favour the Patriots.”

    In 2014 the Patriots averaged 7.7 penalties per game at home. 27th in the league.

    You were saying?

  60. Why would Carroll say this? Do we know exactly what the referees said, based on this article and the Carroll quote? Is it possible that Coach Carroll is the one who is getting inside the heads? Whatever is done will apply to both sides – remember that the Seahawks had an eligible lineman catch a touchdown two weeks ago. Enjoy the game, including the pre-game tactics, football fans.

  61. “LOL at NE fans getting mad at the league for ‘changing the rules’ before the end of the season. Ever heard of the Tuck rule?”

    My god you people are insufferable. No idea what you’re talking about as usual.

    The tuck rule was instituted in 1999 two years before that game and was called in favor of the Jets when the Pats played them earlier in the season.

    Anything else I can teach you today, sport?

  62. The Pats were scheming cheaters against the ravens and colts–which of course is their style. Anybody who thinks it’s ok to run players to run out and tell officials they are eligible/ineligible, two seconds before the ball is snapped is a pats boob. The freakin’ officials didn’t even know what was going on–which is why Harbaugh rightly got pissed. There is fair play and unfair play. This is the usual new england BS.

  63. Blount is going to run over that wuss Sherman.

    After the play is over:

    Brady to Sherman: You cryin’ bro?

  64. I see a formal rule change coming this off season to put an end to the Patriots deception. The defense certainly is entitle to know prior to the snap who is eligible. That was the purpose of numbering the ineligible players between 50 and 79. I expect from now on only eligible numbers will be allowed to align in an eligible position. What the Pats are doing should be an illegal formation.

  65. You can tell the Refs are totally on the Seahawk’s side by the way they changed procedures and will now keep an eye on football PSI levels. So unfair.

  66. Oh okay, we can set up a rule during the Super Bowl to favor the defense without going through the rules committee or waiting after the season.

    I hope Edelman throws more touchdowns than Brady just rub salt in everybody’s wounds.

  67. dirtyback says:Jan 29, 2015 2:11 PM

    LOL at NE fans getting mad at the league for ‘changing the rules’ before the end of the season. Ever heard of the Tuck rule?

    ————

    How was that a changed rule exactly? It was already in the rulebook and it had been caled in a game that same year.

  68. Anyone that thinks unbalanced formations that use tackles (or guys with “ineligible” numbers) as eligible receivers is anymore deceiving than a play action pass never played football. End of story.

  69. nite2al says:Jan 29, 2015 2:02 PM

    It’s not that the formations are so tricky, the defense just doesn’t have time to adjust and to me this is bush league. In the Ravens game, Brady snapped the ball 5 seconds after the ineligible reported, this is not enough for the defensive captain to relay signals.

    ——————–

    He didn’t snap it in 5 seconds. It was 10. More than enough time. Also, when the ref says “Don’t cover number 34” and you do, that’s really dumb.

  70. Since when are the refs supposed to tell a coach what the other team is doing? I’m well aware that most of the US population wants the Pats to lose,but this is ridiculous. If a team can’t figure out that they’re flipping the script,that’s on them.

  71. I’m sure the Hawks will get more “help” too tonight and another fire alarm will go off in patriots hotel. Patriots are such dirty cheaters though hah.

  72. I’m fine with that, as long as an extra official is assigned to watch the Seapigeons secondary for PI.

  73. The Patriots or whoever should have to declare eligibility of each respective player before EVERY play.

    Pats tried to use this option with a no-huddle, quick snap.

    This is just another example of BB looking for unfair advantage within a fraternal organization that absolutely relies on everyone following the rules in a spirit of good sportsmanship.

    If the NFL loses that…. if anything goes….. then it loses even further its integrity….which does not seem to concern TB. BB, and their fans

  74. koenig61 says:
    Jan 29, 2015 1:21 PM
    i understand how all of the patriots fans are upset, and no im not a Seahawks fan, but Belichick exploited a technicality. Don’t reveal to the ref until after breaking the huddle who is ineligible. Pats then run hurry up offense, giving the defense no time to react. Forced with two options, waste a time out, or play defense and hope the defenders recognize who to cover. The basis of the 12 men in the huddle penalty is the same basis for this rule. You cant have 12 men in the huddle on offense, because the defense cant substitute based on who they see on offense. So its an AUTOMATIC penalty whenever there are 12 men in the huddle. So BB smartly so recognized instead of having 12 men in the huddle, I wont declare who is eligible and in eligible until after we start walking to the line of scrimmage. Thus not allowing the defense to know who’s a RB/Receiver, vs. a Guard or Tackle. Pretty damn smart by belichick if you ask me, but just as the league came up with the no 12 men in the huddle rule, they will come up with a rule to disallow declaring who is ineligible at the last second. I think all the league is saying, is in the SB, they will ensure the defense knows immediately who is ineligible, and if they deem its not enough time, they will stand over the REF decides the offense can snap the ball.

    *******************************************************

    Yeah, really can’t do that since the play is called in the huddle, thus you can’t declare until you know you’re going to be ineligible or eligible.

    The Pats gave plenty of time for the defense to react, go back and time it. This is just Ravens whining and blaming someone else for his not being able to adjust. The Colt’s did a fine job at covering the formations. John H is just a little cry baby.

  75. You guys are forgetting one thing. Everyone need to remember this from now on:

    Pete Carroll is smarter than you.

  76. The Patriots have NOT used these formations in the hurry-up or without huddling. They’ve even gone as far as doing substitutions before it.. and even if they did do it in the hurry-up, IT’S NOT ILLEGAL as long as the players report.

  77. EEERRRH AHHHH? Isn’t that cheating? I mean referees openly helping the opposing team in the smarts area? So let me get this straight. Is Pete saying the NFL Officials are going to cheat the Patriots, because his players and staff may not be smart enough to counter the NE Patriot formation schemes? Nothing in this goofy Goodell league surprises me anymore.

  78. “Patriot fans in their heart of hearts know that their team is overmatched and headed for another SB disappointment”…

    EXACTLY!! Let’s grasp at imaginary straws Pats fans. Seattle is by no means afraid of your SOFT team. They will line up the same way on defense every snap and dare you to beat them. Your gimmick formations and “legal” ineligible/elgible receiver plays aren’t fooling this D. I strongly suggest preparing yourselves for an epic beatdown courtesy of the Hawks come Sunday.

  79. wimpyburgers says:

    The Patriots or whoever should have to declare eligibility of each respective player before EVERY play.

    Pats tried to use this option with a no-huddle, quick snap.

    This is just another example of BB looking for unfair advantage within a fraternal organization that absolutely relies on everyone following the rules in a spirit of good sportsmanship.

    If the NFL loses that…. if anything goes….. then it loses even further its integrity….which does not seem to concern TB. BB, and their fans

    *****************************************

    In every occurrence of the ineligible receiver, they huddled before then lined up, then snapped the ball. Watch the tape.

  80. You guys must understand. The Patriots are like a man that needs steroids to compete. They will find a way to cheat. Period. There is no integrity on this team. You know your reputation and the rumors about the team cheating and still take another chance breaking the rules. There is no hope.

  81. the refs tried to help the colts by ignoring numerous fouls both offensively and defensively,,,(3 consecutive holds on the goal line in the 1st half) it didnt help.. #goodellmustgo

  82. koenig61 says:
    Jan 29, 2015 1:21 PM
    i understand how all of the patriots fans are upset, and no im not a Seahawks fan, but Belichick exploited a technicality. Don’t reveal to the ref until after breaking the huddle who is ineligible. Pats then run hurry up offense, giving the defense no time to react. Forced with two options, waste a time out, or play defense and hope the defenders recognize who to cover. The basis of the 12 men in the huddle penalty is the same basis for this rule. You cant have 12 men in the huddle on offense, because the defense cant substitute based on who they see on offense. So its an AUTOMATIC penalty whenever there are 12 men in the huddle. So BB smartly so recognized instead of having 12 men in the huddle, I wont declare who is eligible and in eligible until after we start walking to the line of scrimmage. Thus not allowing the defense to know who’s a RB/Receiver, vs. a Guard or Tackle. Pretty damn smart by belichick if you ask me, but just as the league came up with the no 12 men in the huddle rule, they will come up with a rule to disallow declaring who is ineligible at the last second. I think all the league is saying, is in the SB, they will ensure the defense knows immediately who is ineligible, and if they deem its not enough time, they will stand over the REF decides the offense can snap the ball.

    *******************************************************

    Yeah, really can’t do that since the play is called in the huddle, thus you can’t declare until you know you’re going to be ineligible or eligible.

    The Pats gave plenty of time for the defense to react, go back and time it. This is just Ravens whining and blaming someone else for his not being able to adjust. The Colt’s did a fine job at covering the formations. John H is just a little cry baby.
    __________________________________________________________________
    Read the rules again Pats fan. They must announce who the eligible receivers and the ineligible receivers. They break those rules if announced after the huddle.

  83. You have to be a real fool not to understand that Carroll only said this to get into Belichick’s, and fans apparently, head.

    Seattle is the fastest team defense NE has ever played in a playoff game. If you don’t think that matters, you’re only fooling yourself again.

    We don’t care what you say, or how much you hate US, we’re the CHAMPS…and to be the CHAMPS, you’ve got to beat the CHAMPS!!

    Go HAWKS!!

  84. What he is saying is that the refs will hold up the game and coach the Seahawks players on what they need to do before allowing the ball to be snapped. You are making the mistake of tying the confusion created on the defense to some sort of trickery, and your inference is it was not legal, when in fact it is not only legal, but the refs announced it. The Ravens were just confused by it. The Colts weren’t, and the plays the Patriots ran with those formations resulted in no benefit.

    I think there is a strong possibility that the Patriots will have to fight through a flurry of marginal penalty flags in this game because the refs are not going to want to be confused themselves on anything. They will want to slow the game down. There may even be a tendency for them to throw flags to get even for being portrayed in the media as not doing their jobs. Throw in the football PSI issue and the perception that if the Patriots win it is some sort of conspiracy with Goodell, it won’t surprise me if there is some sort of attempt to prevent them from winning.

    On top of that, the snow storms in New England this week may have resulted in some people not being able to make it to the game, and their tickets being sold online to Seahawks fans. Many people in Seattle have second homes in Arizona. This may have the feel of a home game for Seattle.

    As if all that were not enough, the PSI issue stole a lot of preparation time from the Patriots, and it stole a lot of emotional energy from them. Do they have time to recover? Will it all be too much? Can they overcome the obstacles AND the Seattle Seahawks? Seattle seems to have all the advantages.

    Stay tuned….

  85. i understand how all of the patriots fans are upset, and no im not a Seahawks fan, but Belichick exploited a technicality. Don’t reveal to the ref until after breaking the huddle who is ineligible. Pats then run hurry up offense, giving the defense no time to react. Forced with two options, waste a time out, or play defense and hope the defenders recognize who to cover. The basis of the 12 men in the huddle penalty is the same basis for this rule. You cant have 12 men in the huddle on offense, because the defense cant substitute based on who they see on offense. So its an AUTOMATIC penalty whenever there are 12 men in the huddle. So BB smartly so recognized instead of having 12 men in the huddle, I wont declare who is eligible and in eligible until after we start walking to the line of scrimmage. Thus not allowing the defense to know who’s a RB/Receiver, vs. a Guard or Tackle. Pretty damn smart by belichick if you ask me, but just as the league came up with the no 12 men in the huddle rule, they will come up with a rule to disallow declaring who is ineligible at the last second. I think all the league is saying, is in the SB, they will ensure the defense knows immediately who is ineligible, and if they deem its not enough time, they will stand over the REF decides the offense can snap the ball.

    *******************************************************

    Yeah, really can’t do that since the play is called in the huddle, thus you can’t declare until you know you’re going to be ineligible or eligible.

    The Pats gave plenty of time for the defense to react, go back and time it. This is just Ravens whining and blaming someone else for his not being able to adjust. The Colt’s did a fine job at covering the formations. John H is just a little cry baby.
    __________________________________________________________________
    Read the rules again Pats fan. They must announce who the eligible receivers and the ineligible receivers. They break those rules if announced after the huddle.

  86. This isn’t so much a “change” — it’s simply making sure the officials correct their mistake and communicate who is eligible/ineligible to the defense. In the Baltimore game, the Patriots took advantage of the refs’ incompetence to gain an advantage (I won’t call it “cheating,” but they certainly gamed the system). I watched Vereen report as ineligible right after the Patriots broke the huddle and as both the Patriots and Ravens were lining up for the play. The ref then announced Vereen as ineligible and the Patriots rushed to start the play — it was clear the Ravens could not hear the announcement and also did not have time to substitute or set their defense accordingly. The refs should have stood over the ball under the substitution rules.

  87. They are announced when they enter the game lol. Each time the opponent has had 7 or more seconds after the player was declared.

    How u gonna change the mechanics for the superbowl? What a joke.

  88. LOL at NE fans getting mad at the league for ‘changing the rules’ before the end of the season. Ever heard of the Tuck rule?

    yeah, that’s the obscure rule the Jets benefitted from in a game vs the Pats in 2001.

  89. Kenrobinson said:

    say next time a RB or WR lines up as a lineman we just have Ngata and Suggs both knock him on his ass hard.
    ————————————————————–

    yup, they had that option, but they didn’t know what to do. the raven great d-line, how many sacks did they have in that game?

    by the way the best play the ravens had was where everyone went left and flacco rolled right and had a back coming the other way, was that not a deceptive play?

    i think next year the refs should be alerted of that play and then they should tell the opposing team.

    you have a cry baby head coach, who apparently does not remember he has a player out there with a green dot on his helmet who he can talk to.

    Ed Reed never would have fallen for that play, you know that.

  90. Obviously the Ref’s won’t be able to tell the Seahawks defense who’s ineligible by the normal means because it will be too loud. Hope you practiced your silent count Brady! Hah!

  91. I would love to see an independent firm do a study on Patriots games and see exactly how much the refs favor the Pats.

  92. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN THE REFS ARE GOING TO HELP THEM??????

    the refs have a specific job to call out who is eligible and ineligible, nothing more

    in fact during the Baltimore game the refs were adding to their announcement to please not cover specific players.

    I think the refs should also inform them who the mike linebacker is!!

    this is a joke just like everything under the roger goodell tenure

  93. So Pete is SPECIFICALLY telling everyone the league will be helping Seattle? Interesting. I hope the Patriots beat the Palmer out of Seattle AND run up the score too.

  94. drhoudini says:
    Jan 29, 2015 2:16 PM
    Why would Carroll say this? Do we know exactly what the referees said, based on this article and the Carroll quote? Is it possible that Coach Carroll is the one who is getting inside the heads? Whatever is done will apply to both sides – remember that the Seahawks had an eligible lineman catch a touchdown two weeks ago. Enjoy the game, including the pre-game tactics, football fans.
    ***********
    He said it because a reporter asked him about it in his press conference today. Unless you want PC to go Marshawn and say: “you know why I’m here.”

    The NFL informed Pete what they will do, as they’ve mentioned to Bill what the will do, if this scenario comes about.

    Not sure what everyone is getting riled up about. Both sides know of the changes.

  95. raideralex99 says:
    Jan 29, 2015 3:51 PM

    I would love to see an independent firm do a study on Patriots games and see exactly how much the refs favor the Pats.

    **************

    You don’t have to go that far back. Go ahead re-watch the Ravens game from a few weeks ago. 2 absolutely horrible calls on Revis, a guy who almost never gets flagged, and then a horrific non-call on 3rd down as Gronk gets absolutely mauled coming across the middle.

    Go cry in your Cheerios. The refs don’t favor the Pats anymore or less than any other team. They are just infinitely better than your Raiders. Period.

  96. It’s like people here don’t get that it’s the Ref’s job to tell the opposing team that a player is declared as ineligible. Like Brady said, read he rule book.

  97. Let’s see, trumped up scandal. Check.

    Helping Seattle defense figure out legal formations. Check.

    Harassing fire alarms in Patriots’ hotel. Check.

    SEATTLE BY 4.

  98. “in fact during the Baltimore game the refs were adding to their announcement to please not cover specific players.”

    —————————————-

    Damn straight altee!!

  99. The point is that they tell the refs at the last moment and the refs may get a chance to tell the D and then the D may have time to adjust. If ever the Pats tell the refs at the last moment the refs should stop the clock and inform the D and then after a few seconds restart the clock.

    This is not a new rule but changing a procedure so that the D has a chance to react. Kind of like if the O is doing the hurry up and quickly changes personnel at the last moment the D then has a right to stop the clock to change its personnel.

    It is called not letting one side have an unfair advantage or in other words not allowing one side to CHEAT.

  100. “It’s like people here don’t get that it’s the Ref’s job to tell the opposing team that a player is declared as ineligible. Like Brady said, read he rule book.”

    It’s like people have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

    They DID tell the team and the ENTIRE STADIUM who was eligible and ineligible. Every. Single. Play. And then the defense had between 5-10 seconds to adjust. They didn’t. Whiny babies.

    Go back and watch the game.

  101. keltictim: Its because they weren’t actually doing that until the ball was about to be snapped. Like Num 32 is ineligible-snap. At that point the defense was already factoring him as eligible and has 0 time to react. It needed to be announced as soon as they break the huddle and the other new eligible player needed to be announced then as well. Those are the rules. The last second changes are never allowed.

  102. “keltictim: Its because they weren’t actually doing that until the ball was about to be snapped. Like Num 32 is ineligible-snap. At that point the defense was already factoring him as eligible and has 0 time to react.”

    Wrong. They had between 5-10 seconds to adjust on each of those plays.

    Maybe we should start having the snap delayed after a guy goes in motion too.

    How many seconds should it take a MLB in the NFL making millions of dollars a year to adjust to a formation regularly run by 12 year olds in Pop Warner?

  103. THIS ONGOING CRAP RIGHT HERE HAVING THE REFS IN YOUR BACK POCKET AND MEDIA BAMBOOZLING THE PATS LAST THREE WEEKS OVER A DAMN BALL IS THE VERY REASON PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE WASTING THERE TIME AND MONEY ON A GAME THAT IS GOING TO BE HANDED TO THE SEAHAWKS ON A PLATTER . WHO IN THE HELL WANTS TO PLAY IN A GAME WHERE EVERYONE IS OUT TO CUT YOUR THROAT!!!!!!

  104. This reminds me of the year that Marv Levy tried to get Cincy’s No Huddle ruled illegal prior to the AFC title game. Looks like Pete got the better end of that deal.

    Of course, Levy went on to declare HIMSELF the inventor of the No Huddle. What a PAB he was…

  105. One thing is certain — if two weeks ago was the first time you ever heard of an unbalanced formation you have no business commenting on this issue because you are essentially clueless.

  106. All I know is after a player reports as ineligible he has to sit out the next play unless there’s a timeout. There was once or twice that didn’t happen. And also eligible /ineligible players are supposed to be announced BEFORE the Huddle. Either way it’s wrong for the refs to do this now after failing to do so properly in the divisional game.

  107. I’m in Glendale right now. There are about 30-40 Seahawk fans for every single Patriots fan.

    I don’t care what the refs do. This game won’t be as close as I originally thought it might be. This will be a home game for the Seahawks and #12 will be bringin it!

  108. Only the Patriots can be accused of cheating for following the rules.

    Yeah ok internet, “You’re Winner”

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