football news and perspective from the other sideline

Posts tagged ‘Penalty (American football)’

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell denies appeal of New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt

Who Dat? Well, Roger Goodell, says Me!  No surprise here — Roger Goodell handed out the suspensions and Roger Goodell heard the appeal. While I agree that some punishment was necessary for the Saints’ bounty for hits policy, I think it’s also safe to say that the concept of democracy has not found its way to the hallowed halls of the NFL. Goodell did say he would consider reducing financial penalties: “If they embrace the opportunity and participate in a constructive way.”

Goodell also said that he would consider modifying the penalty to have the team forfeit their 2013 second-round draft pick. Head Coach Sean Payton’s suspension will begin Monday, April 16th, while GM Loomis’ and Asst HC  Vitts’ suspensions will begin after the preseason ends.

Crackback Blocks — What’s it all about?

This past Wednesday, NFL owners approved the proposal to extend the defenseless player rule to include recipients of a crackback block. After I made this post about the new rule changes, a couple of people asked me, “What is a crackback block?”

Though there are variations, basically a crackback block is a block by an offensive player (often a wide receiver) who first heads downfield then turns back toward the middle of the field to cut down, typically, a linebacker or defensive back from the side. Defensive backs will sometimes yell, “crack” to alert the intended targets to this play.

One such play that caused quite a bit of controversy occurred in October 2008 when then Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward delivered a crackback block on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers. Ward, who was actually playing a slot receiver position at the time, had run downfield, then cut back and laid a crushing, blindside block on Rivers which broke Rivers’ jaw, forcing him out for the season. A controversy arose when Hines was neither flagged nor fined for the hit that some deemed as unnecessary roughness/ illegal. However, the next year, the owners did pass what was often called, The Hines Ward Rule that made a blindside block illegal “if the block came from the blocker’s helmet, forearm or shoulder and lands to the head or neck area of a defender.” Which is essentially what Wednesday “new” rule does though the difference may be in the penalty and that it now includes players on defense.


photo by Peter Diana/Post Gazette 10-14-08


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