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NFL to consider targeting ejections

Discussion in 'Blinded by the Lombardis: Patriots Forum' started by tims4wins, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

    The NFL will discuss the possibility of adding a targeting rule that would require mandatory ejection for players who hit defenseless opponents above the shoulder. The framework of the rule, in place since 2013 in college football, is on the February 2018 agenda of the NFL's powerful competition committee.

    "I think it's something that we have to consider," said Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, during a conference call Wednesday with reporters.

    "We've seen it work. It's worked to a degree. It's clean. That play is a reviewable play at the collegiate level. But we think there's been some positives, talking to some of the conferences and the officials [at the NCAA level] and also some of the student-athletes, that it is a deterrent. It's something that we will consider. It is on our agenda."


    Figured this was worthy of its own thread. Would be a positive step IMO.
  2. OurF'ingCity

    OurF'ingCity Member SoSH Member

    I agree this would be a positive step, but only if they allow the hit to be reviewed like in college. Otherwise there is just too much room for referee error.

    I don't really see why reviewing those hits would be a particularly big deal but Vincent has a couple of quotes in that article where he seems to indicate it would be a significant hurdle to make that step.
  3. PaulinMyrBch

    PaulinMyrBch Don't touch his dog food Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I think the college targeting ejections are wildly inconsistent. I'll try to pull some youtube vids to make that case. But I do think if the NFL reviews are all decided by the central command center in NY then the NFL has a chance at better consistency. I don't disagree with it at all. With the roster limitations, a guy leaving the game is going to have serious implications on the game roster.

    It was pretty shocking to me that in a game where a guy left without feeling in his legs, that we saw helmet to helmet hits like we did. Granted it was the Thug Life Bowl, but even considering that, at some point as a player, I'd be concerned about my own head.
  4. Mystic Merlin

    Mystic Merlin Member SoSH Member

    Officials may eject (or, as it is referred to in the rulebook, 'disqualified') a player that commits a personal foul if the official deems it to be 'flagrant'.

    What would this rule add in terms of the officials' discretion to eject players who commit illegal hits, exactly? Further empower the officials by formally allowing them to review the hit using replay? I think the league does a shitty job of empowering officials to act as it is (probably because they'd be accused of 'inserting' themselves into the game by removing popular/impactful players from action), so I don't have a ton of faith that overlaying replay onto the existing rules is going to result in a massive improvement.

    From the NFL Operations Manual:

    There shall be no unnecessary roughness. This shall include, but will not be limited to:

    1. Using the foot or any part of the leg to strike an opponent with a whipping motion (leg whip);
    2. forcibly contacting a runner when he is out of bounds;
    Note: Defensive players must make an effort to avoid contact. Players on defense are responsible for knowing when a runner has crossed the boundary line, except in doubtful cases where he might step on a boundary line and continue parallel with it.

    1. a player of the receiving team who has gone out of bounds and blocks a kicking team player out of bounds during the kick. If this occurs on a kick from scrimmage, post-possession rules will apply if appropriate (9-5-1);
    2. running, diving into, or throwing the body against or on a runner whose forward progress has been stopped, who has slid feet first, or who has declared himself down by going to the ground untouched and has made no attempt to advance (see 7-2-1-a, d);
    3. running, diving into, or throwing the body against or on any player on the ground either before or after the ball is dead;
    4. throwing the runner to the ground after the ball is dead;
    5. unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who (1) is out of the play or (2) should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead;
    6. a kicker/punter, who is standing still or fading backward after the ball has been kicked, is out of the play and must not be unnecessarily contacted by the receiving team through the end of the down or until he assumes a distinctly defensive position. However, a kicker/punter is a defenseless player through the conclusion of the down (see 12-2-7-7)
    7. using any part of a player’s helmet or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily; or
    8. grabbing a helmet opening of an opponent and forcibly twisting, turning, or pulling his head.
    Penalty: For unnecessary roughness: Loss of 15 yards. The player may be disqualified if the action is judged by the official(s) to be flagrant. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic first down.

  5. simplyeric

    simplyeric XTC Fan SoSH Member

    Isn't the point to somewhat reinforce that rule, but to make a point of enforcing it more often?

    I totally agree with additional ejections. It's the only way to start to change things. Throw the flag and move on, unless it's totally obvious (IMO the Gronk hit should have resulted in ejection). If the ref thinks it's a close call, let the booth review it...it's fine to eject the guy a play or two later. The whole game doesn't have to stop in the mean time.

    I suppose under 2 minutes in the 4th you might have to stop to review? I don't know. But the game needs to accommodate it.
  6. uncannymanny

    uncannymanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Hey, it worked for the catch rules.
  7. CFB_Rules

    CFB_Rules lurker

    Here is the college targeting rule, which requires an ejection. Note that it is actually two distinct rules, both separate acts, either of which would be ejectable. By my count, I saw at least three targeting fouls in the Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game (Shazier's hit was targeting under Article 3, Smith-Schuster's hit and Antonio Brown's hit would be targeting under Article 4).

    Targeting and Making Forcible Contact
    With the Crown of the Helmet

    ARTICLE 3. No player shall target and make forcible contact against an
    opponent with the crown of his helmet. This foul requires that there be at
    least one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below). When in question, it is a
    foul. (Rule 9-6) (A.R. 9-1-3-I)

    Targeting and Making Forcible Contact to Head
    or Neck Area of a Defenseless Player

    ARTICLE 4. No player shall target and make forcible contact to the head
    or neck area of a defenseless opponent (See Note 2 below) with the helmet,
    forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder. This foul requires that there be at least
    one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below). When in question, it is a foul
    (Rules 2-27-14 and 9-6). (A.R. 9-1-4-I-VI)

    Note 1: “Targeting” means that a player takes aim at an opponent for
    purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a
    legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting
    include but are not limited to:
    • Launch—a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an
    upward and forward thrust of the body to make forcible contact in
    the head or neck area
    • A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with
    forcible contact at the head or neck area, even though one or both feet
    are still on the ground
    • Leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack
    with forcible contact at the head or neck area
    • Lowering the head before attacking by initiating forcible contact with
    the crown of the helmet

    Note 2: Defenseless player (Rule 2-27-14). Examples of defenseless players
    include but are not limited to:

    • A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass.
    • A receiver attempting to catch a forward pass or in position to receive
    a backward pass, or one who has completed a catch and has not had
    time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier.
    • A kicker in the act of or just after kicking a ball, or during the kick or
    the return.
    • A kick returner attempting to catch or recover a kick, or one who has
    completed a catch or recovery and has not had time to protect himself
    or has not clearly become a ball carrier..
    • A player on the ground.
    • A player obviously out of the play.
    • A player who receives a blind-side block.
    • A ball carrier already in the grasp of an opponent and whose forward
    progress has been stopped.
    • A quarterback any time after a change of possession
    • A ball carrier who has obviously given himself up and is sliding feetfirst.

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