NFL officials to emphasize offensive holding in '19

soxhop411

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Offensive holding will be a significant point of emphasis for NFL officials this season, raising the possibility of a spike in penalties as players adjust to elevated rule enforcement.

According to guidance released over the weekend, existing rules on holding "will be more strictly enforced this season, particularly on the backside of the run play or line of scrimmage." Referee Adrian Hill, who visited the Chicago Bears training camp Monday, said the league is trying to eliminate a technique sometimes known as the "lobster block," where offensive linemen grab defenders around the torso or shoulders to prevent them from flowing to the play from the backside.

"Certain teams do it," Hill said, "and [the league] is trying to basically legislate it out of the game."

A video to be shown to every NFL player and coach offers three examples from recent history that would be penalized this season: blocks by the Los Angeles Rams' Andrew Whitworth, the Miami Dolphins' Laremy Tunsiland the Washington Redskins' Trent Williams.


So how many weeks until the NFL ditches this new “point of emphasis” after the league and fans freak out, like they did last pre-season?
 

Blue Monkey

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Wow... the way the league has called offensive holding in the past I would have thought it was already a point of emphasis. Can’t imagine where this will go. There’s offensive holding on every friggin play.
 

DanoooME

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So how many weeks until the NFL ditches this new “point of emphasis” after the league and fans freak out, like they did last pre-season?
Week 2 of preseason
 

InstaFace

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Penalties on every play will be great...yawn...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the nature of the conduct that gives rise to the "could call offensive holding on every play!" trope is usually about fine judgments as to where the lineman is holding his opponent (centrally vs radially) and when he lets go (while in front or at least parallel, as opposed to clinging when he's past you). The conduct we're talking about here sound like it's a more cynical and blatant choice, where they're exploiting the fact that holding isn't supposed to be called when it's occurring "away from the play" to basically bear hug the defenders.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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You have this literally backwards.
I think he has it right. If offensive holding is called more frequently on the backside of running plays then that increases the value of throwing the ball. This looks like a solution that is in search of a problem or it’s another way for the NFL to incentivize teams to pass more. The NFL generally is stupid so I’ll concede that their motivation here could really be either in this instance.
 

mauf

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I think he has it right. If offensive holding is called more frequently on the backside of running plays then that increases the value of throwing the ball. This looks like a solution that is in search of a problem or it’s another way for the NFL to incentivize teams to pass more. The NFL generally is stupid so I’ll concede that their motivation here could really be either in this instance.

The new rule on blind-side blocks will have a much bigger effect in this regard than the emphasis on calling obvious offensive holding away from the point of attack.


In an effort to enhance player safety, it’s now a foul “if a player initiates a block in which he is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm or shoulder.” Previously, a foul was only supposed to be called in this instance if the block was targeted to the head or neck area.
If this is enforced as written, I’m not sure how you can block on an outside run. If, in practice, they only flag “crackback” blocks where the player isn’t hit in the head, then obviously it will have much less impact, as players are already taught to avoid making those blocks.
 

cornwalls@6

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Are the fucking idiots who make up the competition committee ever going to give the game a year or two to just breath? No new rules. They're simply ruining the product for the early season every year now, until they inevitably have to back off of these ridiculous rule changes in the second half/playoffs. All in the name of somehow thinking they can make an inherently unsafe activity, safe. Unless you outlaw blocking and tackling, you cannot make football safe. I applauded their initial efforts to clean up the game around the margins, by eliminating flagrant, targeting/helmet to helmet hits. I think mandatory recovery times for concussions should be longer than they are now. Keep working to improve equipment technology. But at some point soon, it's getting to be shit or get off the pot time with football. It's a dangerous sport. Be fully transparent about the risks, and then let the participant, and viewer, proceed at their own caution.
 

CFB_Rules

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If you are interested in NFL officiating issues, Terry McAulay is a good follow on twitter. His top 5 officiating storylines for this season were:

NFL Officiating Story Line #5: The catch rule: Yes, there are still issues. The league reversed far too many catches in 2017 to incomplete passes based on a very technical interpretation of “control”.
NFL Officiating Story Line #4 Offensive Holding: There is a strong emphasis on penalizing backside holding and a technique known as a lobster block where the blocker initially engages around the back of the opponent.
NFL Officiating Story Line #3 Illegal Use of Helmet Foul: Will on field officials consistently and accurately penalize the illegal use of helmet foul?
NFL Officiating Story Line #2 Blindside Block: How broadly will the new blindside block rule be implemented? Like the helmet rule, we understand there are specific plays that must be eliminated, mostly on punts and interceptions.
NFL Officiating Story Line #1 Pass Interference Replay Review: How intrusive will pass interference reviews become and how technically will it be judged using slow motion HD replay?

#3 has been basically forgotten about because the officiating department decided to not call the foul last year after the hysteria of the preseason. So far the guidance this year is different.

People are going to whine a LOT about the blindside block being eliminated. This is a new rule for college this year as well, and will virtually eliminate the de-cleater at that level. The rule is pretty simple: If a player can't see you, you can't hit him forcibly. Forcible is up to the official to decide. You are explicitly allowed to block with extended arms / open hands and you are allowed to stand in his way like a pick in basketball.
 

joe dokes

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"Lobster block" is going to become the new go-to for lousy tv analysts who only know 11 words.