I'm curious how the Williams' rule will affect Seattle's zone-blocking techniques and now, especially, how the (Dick) Sherman rule
will affect their secondary.
Sports referee analyst Mike Pereira tweeted that illegal contact and defensive holding are among several points of emphasis for the 2014 season.
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FOX Sports analyst, and former NFL VP of Officiating, Mike Pereira had some interesting tweets last night while in attendance at the league's officiating clinic. Pereira mentioned various areas where the league would have "points of emphasis" for the 2014 season. A "point of emphasis" is basically taking an existing rule and doing a better job of enforcing it to the letter of the law.
Mike Pereira ✔ @MikePereira Follow Last time the NFL had this as a major emphasis was 2004 and the number of illegal contact fouls went from 79 to 191
.8:42 PM - 18 Jul 2014
Mike Pereira ✔ @MikePereira Follow NFL says they are offsetting this emphasis with an emphasis on calling offensive pass interference. Not an even trade in my opinion
.8:46 PM - 18 Jul 2014
Mike Pereira ✔ @MikePereira Follow Honestly, I don't remember there being so many points of emphasis. Also, false starts, taunting, and others. I cover more later
.9:07 PM - 18 Jul 2014
Let's just call this what it is...the Sherman Rule. IF the NFL is serious about actually enforcing their own rules (finally), this could have profound effects for press-DB's who rely heavily on this tactic well beyond 5 yards. As it stands right now, even if there is P.I. a ref usually reverts to the initial holding prior to the pass and only calls a 5 yard penalty and an automatic first down. No biggie. Hawks/Ravens know 9 out of 10 times this won't be called at all is there is no risk. The REAL question is if this will actually be enforced...and for how long...and in what stadiums? Most coaches just want to know what paramaters to coach within prior to the game. Obviously, there is an outcry here b/c this rule has no been enforced and has not been enforced equally for every team.
Here is a look at the illegal contact and defensive holding penalties from the NFL rule book:
Section 4 - Legal and Illegal Contact With Eligible Receivers
LEGAL CONTACT WITHIN FIVE YARDS
Article 1 - Legal Contact Within Five Yards.Within five yards of the line of scrimmage, a defensive player may chuck an eligible receiver in front of him. The defender is allowed to maintain continuous and unbroken contact within the five-yard zone, so long as the receiver has not moved beyond a point that is even with the defender.
ILLEGAL CONTACT WITHIN FIVE YARDS
Article 2 - Illegal Contact Within Five Yards. Within the five-yard zone, if the player who receives the snap remains in the pocket with the ball, a defender may not make original contact in the back of a receiver, nor may he maintain contact after the receiver has moved beyond a point that is even with the defender.
ILLEGAL CONTACT BEYOND FIVE-YARD ZONE
Article 3 - Illegal Contact Beyond Five-Yard Zone. Beyond the five-yard zone, if the player who receives the snap remains in the pocket with the ball, a defender may use his hands or arms only to defend or protect himself against impending contact caused by a receiver. If the receiver attempts to evade the defender, the defender cannot initiate contact that redirects, restricts, or impedes the receiver in any way.
INCIDENTAL CONTACT BEYOND FIVE-YARD ZONE
Article 4 - Incidental Contact Beyond Five-Yard Zone. Beyond the five-yard zone, incidental contact may exist between receiver and defender as long as it does not materially affect or significantly impede the receiver, creating a distinct advantage.
Article 6 - Defensive Holding. It is defensive holding if a player grasps an eligible offensive player (or his jersey) with his hands, or extends an arm or arms to cut off or encircle him.