NFL admits ref wrongly applied new rule on defenseless receivers

AP

The NFL implemented a new rule this offseason protecting receivers from being hit in the head immediately following an interception. But when a referee applied that rule this offseason, it was not done correctly.

NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino admitted as much in a video distributed to the media, saying that in an unnecessary roughness penalty called on Bills safety Aaron Williams last week against the Browns should have been enforced under the old rule that already protected the intended receiver from taking a hit while he’s in a defenseless position. Instead, the referee applied the new rule as if the hit had taken place after the interception, awarding the ball to the Bills when it should have stayed with the Browns.

“We talked about the new rule that was instituted this year, the intended receiver in that action during an interception gets the defenseless player protection,” Blandino said. “But this is not the intended receiver after an interception. This is a receiver trying to catch a pass. This receiver has always been protected under the defenseless player rule. This foul should be enforced on the previous spot, and the offense should keep the football. It was not enforced correctly. The defense kept the football.”

No one is going to get too worked up about that because no one cares who wins or loses in the preseason, but a call like that could cost a team a game if it’s called wrong in the regular season. The officials have to work out some kinks in the preseason, too.

31 responses to “NFL admits ref wrongly applied new rule on defenseless receivers

  1. So basically all you can do is wait for the receiver to catch the ball, then wait for him to start running, and in a very kind manner drag him down from behind. Oh I miss football circa 1992

  2. The NFL rule book is getting to be as thick and complicated as the IRS income tax instructions.

  3. they need to stop making bad calls and no calls like when the receiver in the end zone was tackled by revis before the ball got there stopping the touchdown that would have put the Ravens in the SB instead of patriots. Now only does belicheat and his team cheat, they have the refs join in with them.

  4. These are some of the worst rules ever implemented. These rules changes are killing the game. The league needs to just stop they are never going to make it compleatly safe it’s a rough game and that’s why we as fans watch it. If we wanted a safe sport to watch and admire then bowling or tennis would be the most popular sports in America. We as fans wanna see the hard hits and gladiator mentality. Granted we hate to see guys get hurt but it’s part of the game and it’s fate that comes with playing it. Since the early 90’s the nfl has made this game worse not better when they turned the league into the air show instead of the ground and pound. Smash mouth football where have you gone how this fan for one misses you

  5. Having a hard time believing anything that comes from the league office. NFL is as corrupt of organization as there is in America today. Not just sports

  6. These “rules changes” are being implemented to protect the NFL (as much as, coughs loudly) the WR’s and player themselves.

    In other words, the genie is out of the bottle…and in order to cover the shield’s ace from future law suits, these types of new rules MUST EXIST. Never mind how well, when or if, they are enforced at this point, but the must be in the rule book to protect the league. the “agreement” err, settlement that is in place now will continue to be challenged, and eventually, be re-written. Too many players are going to suffer from post-career head injury issues for that not to be the case, and the league knows it, so face it, this isn’t your father’s Nfl anymore (or even yours, if you can remember watching Jack Lambert, Randy White or even Lawrence Taylor play.)
    Today’s world is all about being P.C. and making & blocking “money-grabs”, whether they are justified or not. It amazes me MMA can thrive these days the way it does, but probably only a matter of time before it is outlawed, really. In the mean time: “Go team- fight-fight-fight!!”

  7. What is the point of having a commissioner if everything is just labeled as being implemented by the NFL When was the last time Goodell actally released a statement on anything?

  8. @redrew,

    Of course, no one (STILL!) has explained why framing a key face of the league on the superbowl champions would in any way be to the league’s advantage.

    But I suppose one should not let logic get in the way of a good whine. And that tinfoil hat does bring out your eyes.

  9. Cue all the Pats fans using this as yet another opportunity for some Goodell bashing… this goes back to James Harrison but back then Goodell was cheered by the Boston media and fans. NOW they have a prob with the out of control Commish. NOW they have a prob.

  10. How about working on a better, safer helmet. If auto racing can come up with inventions to protect the head like the HANS device, then you would think that the NFL can order designers to build a better helmet. With all these concussions, not enough has been done to get a better helmet.

  11. New NFL

    DB: Pardon me good sir, could you be a sport and not catch the ball?

    WR: No

    REF: 15 yards on DB for unnecessary roughness.

  12. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Aug 29, 2015 4:07 PM

    Cue all the Pats fans using this as yet another opportunity for some Goodell bashing… this goes back to James Harrison but back then Goodell was cheered by the Boston media and fans. NOW they have a prob with the out of control Commish. NOW they have a prob

    Yeah, Harrison’s career ending style compared to an accusation about air in footballs,

    exactly the same thing

  13. The reason the NFL doesnt have a safer helmet is the designers wont give in to the strong arm Mafia-like NFL demands.

    The guy that developed safer helmets for NASCAR said the NFL doesnt want safer helmets unless they pay the NFL boatloads of money

  14. Trust me , if it was your QB that was treated the way TB12 has been , you would be upset too. Those of you who do not see the lies & mis justice that are still coming from the NFL office are just headline readers.

  15. If you think about it, the rules that have opened the passing game have lead to the type of hits that the NFL is now changing rules to prevent. There are nearly not as many “highlight reel” hits in a ground and pound game. You are working in smaller spaces, man on man and the big run ups to hits are less frequent. Certainly big hits happen in the running game, but if the passing game was slowed a bit by allowing some pre-reception contact, the defenseless receiver problem would likely be reduced.

  16. The NFL has purposly complicated the rules so they can pretty much make whatever call they want whenever they want and fix the teams that get into the playoffs. Just look at how the Packers got in the last 2 years

  17. Mention NFL and expect a boat load of whing Pats fans to begin crying.

    Your owner paid fines and gave up picks TWICE for cheating, yet you never did anything wrong.

    Keep crying Pats, keep crying.

    The rest of us will wonder how you’re cheating next.

  18. vegasbearfan says:
    Aug 29, 2015 3:19 PM
    they need to stop making bad calls and no calls like when the receiver in the end zone was tackled by revis before the ball got there stopping the touchdown that would have put the Ravens in the SB instead of patriots. Now only does belicheat and his team cheat, they have the refs join in with them.
    _______________________________________________

    How’s it feel to be OWNED by the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots…. I mean this article had absolutly nothing to do with them & you’re STILL making it about them… TOO FUNNY!!!

  19. Every time Blandino speaks, he muddies the water.

    Add in the fact that every time Dean Blandino speaks, I recall him stumbling off Jerry Jones Cowboy Party Van, THE MOST CLASSLESS VEHICLE SINCE THE GREMLIN.

  20. Complaining about the league while continuing to contribute to their ratings and revenue will not bring about change. Put your money where your mouth is and boycott the NFL if you are so discontent. Yeah, I didn’t think you’d do that…… #hypocrisy

  21. danceformemarionetteboy says:
    Aug 29, 2015 4:48 PM

    Mention NFL and expect a boat load of whing Pats fans to begin crying.

    Your owner paid fines and gave up picks TWICE for cheating, yet you never did anything wrong.

    Keep crying Pats, keep crying.

    The rest of us will wonder how you’re cheating next
    —–
    love this new pre-emptive comment style, whining about pats fans who have yet to comment. there’s no crying here, except tears of joy each time I see Lynch stoned At the 2 yard line followed by Butlers pick FTW.

  22. The NFL refs have been blowing calls for years! Funny how we keep seeing the same guys year after year who make bone head calls year in and out. If the league replaced these guys like the owners do players who don’t perform it might change the culture in the officiating circle. As big as the league haa gotten and with all the technology available there should never be a mistake. Mistakes shouldn’t be just changed when challenged the league should be on the headset correcting their refs while the game is being played. This incident in the article is an example, no one on the field knew they were blowing the call? Seems like a simple rule change to follow, bet it happens again in a critical situation during a regular game. Making judgement calls on flags is one thing but imposing the penalty the wrong way should never happen. Tired of seeing over the hill guys ruining my sundays because they cant keep up with the action or remember how to call the correct penalties.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.