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NFL rules you might not know
The NFL rulebook is thick enough to compete with a New York telephone book _ cellphone numbers included.
There are rules, and then there are subsections and points of emphasis to many of those rules. Supreme Court justices might have trouble memorizing the lot of it.
Yet game officials are expected to be well-versed in anything and everything they might have to call.
Fans know all about the major fouls such as pass interference, holding, illegal motion. About some others they are, well, clueless.
We offer a Pick 6 of rules fans should know more about, or would like to have known more about when they were enforced:
PUSHING A TEAMMATE ON PLACEMENT KICKS: This one is at the head of the class right now, especially after Patriots coach Bill Belichick claimed the Jets were doing the same thing earlier in the game that his team got whistled for in OT.
Where did this rule come from? Mainly the players’ union.
When the NFL’s competition committee met with the players in Indianapolis at the combine last February, the union brought it up. Washington’s Will Montgomery was injured when four players were coming down on him, with two behind pushing two in front.
“It’s interesting, because it is a new rule implemented for 2013,” explained Dean Blandino, supervisor of NFL officials. “The genesis was we were looking at field goals and extra points and players in a vulnerable position. There’s interlocked legs, a number of bodies, players pushing others into the formation. So the competition committee felt it needed to be addressed.”
ROUGHING THE HOLDER: The holder, really?
Yep, there are not just penalties for running into the kicker or roughing the kicker on placements, but also for hitting the holder.
And because nearly every team has, for years, used the punter as the holder, isn’t that almost the same as roughing the punter?
THE TUCK RULE: Yeah, this one is gone, and most fans _ particularly those of the Oakland Raiders _ say good riddance. They would like to have seen the rule disappear in 2001, when it helped Tom Brady and the Patriots in an AFC playoff game.
While it existed until this season, it was among the hardest calls to make, even with replay reviews.
By Donald Lambro
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