Ref Brad Allen: We’ll err on the side of calling helmet penalties in preseason

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Expect to see plenty of penalties relating to the new rule against lowering the helmet to initiate contact. At least in the preseason.

Whether those penalties will be a major factor when the regular season begins remains to be seen, but referee Brad Allen said the league’s officials will be flagging anything that’s even borderline in the preseason.

“Up until now, we haven’t seen these plays,” Allen said, via NESN. “The players haven’t experienced this rule. We’re going to have to get a library, and frankly, in preseason, we may throw and then go back and say, ‘No, this is really not what we want. . . . In the preseason, we want to err on the side of putting the flag on the ground and then evaluating if it’s correct. We want to be right by the time we get to the season. So, will it be subjective to some degree? I think it will. We have to remember that safety is a priority, but there are a number of fouls that are subjective.”

When the regular season begins, however, there will be more pressure on officials not to go overboard throwing flags. It won’t be surprising if the flags decline dramatically once the games start to count — both because players have learned what to do to avoid getting flagged, and because officials decide not to be quite so flag-happy.

17 responses to “Ref Brad Allen: We’ll err on the side of calling helmet penalties in preseason

  1. For the first time in my life I am not excited about the NFL season. I really feel like it’s become too difficult to watch, for many reasons. I’ve just lost interest. Thankfully the fall fishing season is pretty decent around here.

  2. This is actually a good thing. It will allow the coaches, players and refs to all be on the same side as to what is acceptable and what is not in terms of the new rule. This way there shouldn’t be any surprises in terms of penalties when the season starts and the outcome of few games will be changed from these penalties.

    The changed rule itself is a different story….

  3. This is actually a good thing. It will allow the coaches, players and refs to all be on the same side as to what is acceptable and what is not in terms of the new rule. This way there shouldn’t be any surprises in terms of penalties when the season starts and the outcome of few games will be changed from these penalties.

    —-

    Not really. He said they’re going to call everything a penalty in the preseason, then go back and determine if the calls were right or wrong. Which means that they will be calling them differently when the regular season begins and nobody will know what’s a penalty and what isn’t. This will be a disaster.

  4. So. “Even if we don’t know, we’re throeing a flag”.

    That’s literally what he just said. The NFL should be ashamed of themselves. I’m all for player safety, but you can’t tell your refs to throw a flag if they think it’s a penalty. An NFL official should never have to think about it, they should either be 100% certain it’s a flag or don’t throw it.

  5. I feel like an ex-boyfriend that just won’t let go. I am not planning on watching any games this year, yet here I am on PFT every day…

  6. But how will they ever learn the 20 new penalties if they aren’t called in preseason? That would mean an iffy called penalty in the regular season could affect a crucial ga—oohh….

  7. Damn. Get it out of your system in the Pre-Season. Then swallow the whistle in the regular season. Nobody wants this rule!!! The ratings will be down because of this rule! Then hopefully the NFL revisits this next offseason and realizes they made a huge mistake by putting in this stupid rule. Be careful NFL, its going to be hard to get back all the fans who are turned off by all these silly new rules. GET BACK TO REAL FOOTBALL!!

  8. You Know NASCAR kept tinkering and adjusting their rules until they actually took racing out of the race. It looks like the NFL is doing the same thing. This rule is going to cost games to teams because it is so subjective.

  9. The ‘Lowering of the Helmet’ penalty is more ‘Mind-Numbing’ to the fans than any hit incurred by a player. Basically, they are eliminating Football, converting it to flag football, with the goal of keeping fans involved throughout their long, protracted transition. Basically, they envision the game evolving into aerial soccer…

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