NFL on taunting rule: “We’re right where we need to be”

NFL: OCT 10 Eagles at Panthers
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A Friday night Associated Press article trumpeted a self-serving NFL narrative without requiring that anyone from the NFL attach a name to it. A Saturday AP article trumpeted a self-serving NFL narrative with quotes that carried a name.

NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent went on the record to address the impact of the renewed emphasis on taunting, through five weeks and one game.

“We’re right where we need to be and we’re now seeing the correction we were looking for,” Vincent told the AP. “We saw the spike the first three weeks and now we’re seeing the decline. The coaches and the NFL Competition Committee are pleased. Coaches have told us their players are adjusting, they’re thinking about what they’re going to do, knowing it may cost the team. These are game-changing penalties for a selfish act.”

The reduction in taunting penalties doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a reduction in taunting. It’s possible that the fan and media blowback has prompted some officials to keep their flags in their pockets. For example, when Rams linebacker Terrell Lewis applied a rib-breaking hit to Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski in Week Three, Lewis stood over Gronkowski in a way that, based on the rule has been explained, could have drawn a flag. It did not.

It’s impossible to know, without studying every post-play interaction between every player from every game, whether there’s less taunting or whether the league (after hearing the intense criticism) has subtly adjusted the standard, in order to result in fewer calls — even if there aren’t fewer instances of the kind of taunting for which officials previously called penalties in the first two weeks of the season.

10 responses to “NFL on taunting rule: “We’re right where we need to be”

  1. They love patting themselves on the back as the game has become a yawner more than not .

  2. I like what the league is doing. The action between the lines is awesome. The crap that takes place after the whistle is not. The sponsors probably have a lot of input, and the fans that are buying new cars and trucks must not be fans of immature actions on the field.

  3. Old guys ruining the game. They hate the culture of running your mouth and trash talking. all things that make the game more interesting.

  4. They’re getting it right if the idea is to call it whenever it might affect the game like last Sunday when the Eagles were called for taunting after Fournette headbutted an Eagles defender. No penalty on the Tampa Bay Bradys for the initial, deliberate head-to-head contact.

  5. It would be even better if the NFL let the refs and coaches fight each other on the sideline…headsets and hats off hockey style.

  6. CeeDee Lamb waved bye-bye right in the face of the Pats player after that OT touchdown. Meanwhile 2 weeks ago Darren Waller was flagged because he spiked the ball in the open after making a big play. BUT, since it was near the Chargers sideline, it was taunting.
    NFL is nothing but a big bunch of hypocrits.

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