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thunderkyss
12-11-2012, 04:57 PM
Do you know what that means? I've heard it explained a time or two, but it's not something I keep in my mental bank. It's not something we're guilty of often, so I don't have to reference it often. However, last night I heard it called on Duane Brown and I needed to refresh my memory. I know this will end up being a Texans conversation, but I'm not bringing it here as a Texans' issue. I'd like to understand this rule, what's it's purpose, & why it happens.

Now I don't know if this is all inclusive, but this sight (http://www.teamspeedkills.com/2010/8/11/1617766/know-your-annoying-penalties) lists two reasons why illegal formation can be called.

You have less than 7 men on the LOS
You do not have 5 people with numbers between 50 & 79 on the LOS


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a159/Thunderkyss/20121211_162837.jpg

They called the penalty on 76, but it was actually 83 who was not lined up on the line. That's 81 lined up as the H-back, 86 in the slot (looks like he's trying to tell someone to get on the line) & 80 down at the bottom.

infantrycak
12-11-2012, 05:04 PM
What they said was 76 was uncovered which means 83 was not far enough forward. It was a stupid call. The rule as written v. practiced is absurd - nobody but the center is on the LOS typically.

ArlingtonTexan
12-11-2012, 05:42 PM
Walter is a clear step off the line of scrimmage (however you want to define it). you should be able to draw a straight line from Andre Johnson to kevin Walter and that does not work. WRs can and do ask the line-judge if they need to inch up a bit. No excuse for the "guy who does all the little things well."

infantrycak
12-11-2012, 05:51 PM
Walter is a clear step off the line of scrimmage (however you want to define it). you should be able to draw a straight line from Andre Johnson to kevin Walter and that does not work. WRs can and do ask the line-judge if they need to inch up a bit. No excuse for the "guy who does all the little things well."

While I agree with this (and have mentioned AJ always doing it and then was disputed that every WR does it which is BS) I don't get the rule which is why I called it stupid. #1 - Walter being back a yard gives him no advantage. #2 how are there not 5 ineligible receivers not on the line and #3 if we are being literal, there is only one person on the line? - AJ is a full yard back from the ball.

Every team in the league uses the staggered center formation. Sometimes you see a stagger from C to G and then G to T. The other four OLmen are clearly behind the center. How is that on the line?

HJam72
12-11-2012, 06:01 PM
We should've gotten 6 illegal formation penalties. :kubepalm:

ArlingtonTexan
12-11-2012, 06:10 PM
While I agree with this (and have mentioned AJ always doing it and then was disputed that every WR does it which is BS) I don't get the rule which is why I called it stupid. #1 - Walter being back a yard gives him no advantage. #2 how are there not 5 ineligible receivers not on the line and #3 if we are being literal, there is only one person on the line? - AJ is a full yard back from the ball.

Every team in the league uses the staggered center formation. Sometimes you see a stagger from C to G and then G to T. The other four OLmen are clearly behind the center. How is that on the line?

The reason the center is further up is that he allowed to technically be in the neurtral zone by holding/snapping the ball. The space (from sideline to sideline) the ball occupies is considered the neutral zone. Even having a hand in this zone (by offense or defense) is considered off-sides. The OLmen are actually on the line of scrimmage and center is the off one.

On the WRs, way back when football used to have seven olmen with the two on either side being called end and those were allowed to catch passes. Football has never changed that from yester year.

You are going lawyer on something that functionally everyone understands (the english dude side of me agrees with poorly worded)

infantrycak
12-11-2012, 06:24 PM
The reason the center is further up is that he allowed to technically be in the neurtral zone by holding/snapping the ball. The space (from sideline to sideline) the ball occupies is considered the neutral zone. Even having a hand in this zone (by offense or defense) is considered off-sides. The OLmen are actually on the line of scrimmage and center is the off one.

On the WRs, way back when football used to have seven olmen with the two on either side being called end and those were allowed to catch passes. Football has never changed that from yester year.

You are going lawyer on something that functionally everyone understands (the english dude side of me agrees with poorly worded)

Ummm, not buying the first assertion. The nose of the ball is on the line of scrimmage. Unless you can show a rule I know of none which says the OL has to be a half to a yard back. The neutral zone is defined as the length of the football. But yes slightly lawyerly - the rule should be worded as not lined up on the NZ since technically you are not allowed to line up on the LOS.

In any event, it should have been a non-call IMO. Lots of OT's line up back from the OG's when facing fast pass rushers. Either call it all the time or don't jack with something like Walter putting himself at a DISadvantage.

Rey
12-11-2012, 06:37 PM
The reason the center is further up is that he allowed to technically be in the neurtral zone by holding/snapping the ball. The space (from sideline to sideline) the ball occupies is considered the neutral zone. Even having a hand in this zone (by offense or defense) is considered off-sides. The OLmen are actually on the line of scrimmage and center is the off one.


That's not accurate.

Linemen are taught to line up like that so you have room to operate when the ball is snapped. You can pull, pass set, or move laterally...or have more room to fire off.

Also, you will notice that in short yardage situations linemen will move further up and crowd the ball and there's no penalty.

They crowd the ball because when you need a yard or an inch you don't want to concede any ground.

ArlingtonTexan
12-11-2012, 06:42 PM
http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/definitions

Neutral Zone: The space the length of a ball between the two scrimmage lines. The offensive team and defensive team must remain behind their end of the ball.
Exception: The offensive player who snaps the ball.

Rey
12-11-2012, 06:45 PM
While I agree with this (and have mentioned AJ always doing it and then was disputed that every WR does it which is BS) I don't get the rule which is why I called it stupid. #1 - Walter being back a yard gives him no advantage. #2 how are there not 5 ineligible receivers not on the line and #3 if we are being literal, there is only one person on the line? - AJ is a full yard back from the ball.

Every team in the league uses the staggered center formation. Sometimes you see a stagger from C to G and then G to T. The other four OLmen are clearly behind the center. How is that on the line?

No that's not what was said. I said lots of wr's do what Aj does. You were trying to make it sound like he was doing something super special, when it is common practice. Kids in highschool do it all the time. It's something they are taught to do when up on the line to make sure they are good.

The call at the time was nit picking...they could have just given a warning...

ArlingtonTexan
12-11-2012, 06:48 PM
Ummm, not buying the first assertion. The nose of the ball is on the line of scrimmage. Unless you can show a rule I know of none which says the OL has to be a half to a yard back. The neutral zone is defined as the length of the football. But yes slightly lawyerly - the rule should be worded as not lined up on the NZ since technically you are not allowed to line up on the LOS.

In any event, it should have been a non-call IMO. Lots of OT's line up back from the OG's when facing fast pass rushers. Either call it all the time or don't jack with something like Walter putting himself at a DISadvantage.

I won't argue the idea of an advantage or not, but as followed walter is clearly in violation of the rule. also, OLT do get called for leaning to far back off the line of scrimmage (probably not as much s they should by the "rule").

HJam72
12-11-2012, 06:50 PM
It does seem like starting a game right off just trying to frustrate the visiting team, but that's why we need HFA. Referees are punks. :)

Dutchrudder
12-11-2012, 08:12 PM
This whole formation rule is stupid. Just make it 5 men at the LOS on offense and let the other team do whatever they want. There is no advantage to having 6 guys in the backfield, why the hell do they require 7 on the line? It's pointless in today's NFL and it's just another ticky tack rule that makes the game bog down.

infantrycak
12-11-2012, 08:19 PM
No that's not what was said. I said lots of wr's do what Aj does. You were trying to make it sound like he was doing something super special, when it is common practice. Kids in highschool do it all the time. It's something they are taught to do when up on the line to make sure they are good.

And your reference to HS kids is as irrelevant as it was then. I said AJ was unusual, not super special - no cape involved, for doing it and it is true.

I won't argue the idea of an advantage or not, but as followed walter is clearly in violation of the rule. also, OLT do get called for leaning to far back off the line of scrimmage (probably not as much s they should by the "rule").

Agreed although I agree with Rey that this would normally be dealt with by the ref warning Walter instead of throwing a flag, especially a 1st down removing flag.

thunderkyss
12-11-2012, 09:10 PM
I do know it's easier for a Receiver to get off the LOS if he is not on it. If the CB is jamming it makes it harder to get a hand him.

76Texan
12-11-2012, 09:12 PM
There's an article out there about Tebow's TD a year or two ago.
You can google something like illegal formation to pull it up.

The second TE lined up with his feet right about where Walter's were.

Mike Pereira says it's normal.
The league office also had a statement saying that it was not illegal formation.

They really need to get these things clear; otherwise, the refs can just do as they damn please.

That Article also mentioned a play in the Bengals-Texans play-off game when no call was made on a similar formation.

Wolf6151
12-12-2012, 02:05 AM
This whole formation rule is stupid. Just make it 5 men at the LOS on offense and let the other team do whatever they want. There is no advantage to having 6 guys in the backfield, why the hell do they require 7 on the line? It's pointless in today's NFL and it's just another ticky tack rule that makes the game bog down.


I agree completely. I'm not sure how, why, or when this rule came into affect but it's got to be one of the dumbest and least applicable rules in the modern NFL.

Luv_ya_blue
12-12-2012, 08:47 AM
The rule (as applied in HS ball) is that the HAND of each person on the LOS must pass between the neutral zone and the leg of the center.

In other words, if you were to draw a straight line from the hip of the center straight down to the ground--perpendicular...as long as the hand of the guard, tackle, tight end, etc. is in front of that line and behind the neutral zone--then they are "on the line of scrimmage" and not off.

I see illegal formation ALL THE TIME in the NFL, and as Cak pointed out--it's the staggered line. And it DOES allow the lineman to gain an advantage; particularly if you're pass blocking. It gives you an extra step or two to anticipate the move. I know that it sounds foolish to most, but it actually does allow an unfair advantage to the OL.

I've had coaches try and convince me (in HS games) that as long as the hand of the tight end is in front of the leg of the tackle...and the tackle is in front of the guard...and the guard intersects the center's leg...then it's legal. Bologna!

Now with that said, I'm not familiar w/the way the NFL rule is written, so take it fwiw.

76Texan
12-12-2012, 09:12 AM
Yeah, but Walter is a receiver and it was a run play that went the other way.
Walter didn't gain any advantage in blocking or anything; he wasn't involved in the play.

And if the refs normally don't call it, why do it now?

HJam72
12-12-2012, 09:26 AM
Yeah, but Walter is a receiver and it was a run play that went the other way.
Walter didn't gain any advantage in blocking or anything; he wasn't involved in the play.

And if the refs normally don't call it, why do it now?

Because it's Foxboro and Tom Brady is the home-field QB.

thunderkyss
12-12-2012, 10:03 AM
Does anyone listen to 610 am anymore?

I was listening to them last night & Barry Warner was going on & on about how our best OLman made such a "stupid mistake" & used that as evidence of how "deer in the headlights" we were.

I agree with the deer in the headlights thing, but there was nothing 76 could've done on that play. The offending player was actually 83.

Luv_ya_blue
12-12-2012, 12:56 PM
Yeah, but Walter is a receiver and it was a run play that went the other way.
Walter didn't gain any advantage in blocking or anything; he wasn't involved in the play.

And if the refs normally don't call it, why do it now?

I couldn't see the pic that was posted earlier in the thread (little red "x" and all), so I'm not sure what exactly happened...but my guess is that they saw something more out of the ordinary than usual.

Can't be sure since I didn't see the play.

infantrycak
12-12-2012, 01:01 PM
I couldn't see the pic that was posted earlier in the thread (little red "x" and all), so I'm not sure what exactly happened...but my guess is that they saw something more out of the ordinary than usual.

Can't be sure since I didn't see the play.

AJ is lined up wide right about a yard off the ball. KW is lined up wide left about two yards off the ball.

Luv_ya_blue
12-12-2012, 01:02 PM
AJ is lined up wide right about a yard off the ball. KW is lined up wide left about two yards off the ball.

So basically they just didn't have enough on the LOS?

infantrycak
12-12-2012, 01:14 PM
So basically they just didn't have enough on the LOS?

The call was odd. My understanding is if 5 ineligible receivers are on the LOS then you are fine. There were definitely 5 OLmen on the LOS (putting aside the staggering issue). What the ref said was "76 was uncovered." Not sure if he meant Walter was ineligible because he wasn't at the LOS but was a receiver although it was a run play so him being eligible was irrelevant.

76Texan
12-12-2012, 01:27 PM
The call was odd. My understanding is if 5 ineligible receivers are on the LOS then you are fine. There were definitely 5 OLmen on the LOS (putting aside the staggering issue). What the ref said was "76 was uncovered." Not sure if he meant Walter was ineligible because he wasn't at the LOS but was a receiver although it was a run play so him being eligible was irrelevant.

This is it!

76Texan
12-12-2012, 01:34 PM
The official game book called Walter for the illegal formation infraction.

Within the rules, it's all well and good.

But they don't normally call that; especially when it's a running play and the receiver has nothing to do with the play.

The problem I had is that if you start out the game calling penalty by the book, then you need to do it throughout the game with no exception.

Luv_ya_blue
12-12-2012, 02:17 PM
The call was odd. My understanding is if 5 ineligible receivers are on the LOS then you are fine. There were definitely 5 OLmen on the LOS (putting aside the staggering issue). What the ref said was "76 was uncovered." Not sure if he meant Walter was ineligible because he wasn't at the LOS but was a receiver although it was a run play so him being eligible was irrelevant.

The ref could've stated "76 was uncovered" in the place of saying "not enough men on the LOS." There are a variety of different ways you can have an illegal formation--that's why I was asking.

So it was something like this:

---------------D E F E N S E --------------

----------------O O X O O-----------------
O---O-------------- O --------------------
---------------------------------------O--
-------------------- O --------------------
-------------------- O --------------------

If only 5 were on the line then it's IF all day. I wouldn't get hung up on exactly what the ref said per sai. I know that I've given explanations when mic'ed up that I thought (after I said it) "what the crap does that even mean?" lol Caught in the moment, sometimes the white hat's explanation can be lacking.

silvrhand
12-13-2012, 06:35 AM
Guys, Kevin was off the mark at least 2 yards, it's clearly the right call all Kevin has to do is ask the Line Judge to check, and he'll clearly get a response from the line judge.

I'm not sure what we are arguing about here.

Vinny
12-13-2012, 10:24 AM
So basically they just didn't have enough on the LOS?you have to cover the tackle with an end. You have to have an "end" on the line. Either a TIGHTend or a SPLITend...but you have to have an end. You can't have two "ends" on the line either...just one end on each side of your tackles.

thunderkyss
12-13-2012, 10:51 AM
you have to cover the tackle with an end. You have to have an "end" on the line. Either a TIGHTend or a SPLITend...but you have to have an end. You can't have two "ends" on the line either...just one end on each side of your tackles.

So what do you do when we have two receivers on one side? Are you saying I have to have a TE on the other side, on the line?

Vinny
12-13-2012, 10:52 AM
So what do you do when we have two receivers on one side? Are you saying I have to have a TE on the other side, on the line?
how long have you been watching football pards? One moves back. Catch a game this weekend. ONE end over the Tackle. Period. Guys perfect this in the 5th grade.

thunderkyss
12-13-2012, 11:00 AM
how long have you been watching football pards? One moves back. Catch a game this weekend. ONE end over the Tackle. Period. Guys perfect this in the 5th grade.

Well I ask, because I thought that was the rule. I started this thread, because I know there are different "interpretations" One includes having to cover the end. the other is that you have to have 7 men on the LOS.

If you are in a two receiver set & they are both on the left, who's covering the right tackle?

With the understanding that you "have" to cover the end over the tackle, then that means you have to have a TE on the right if you have two receivers on the left & I don't believe that is true.

Vinny
12-13-2012, 11:53 AM
if you have two wr's on one side then one has to be off the line or the inside wr isn't eligible for a pass since only an end is eligible to catch a pass on the line. Is the RT eligible on the other unbalanced side then?

thunderkyss
12-13-2012, 11:57 AM
if you have two wr's on one side then one has to be off the line or the inside wr isn't eligible for a pass since only an end is eligible to catch a pass on the line. Is the RT eligible on the other unbalanced side then?

In that case you only have 6 men on the LOS which is why we got the penalty.

I guess you have to have a TE on the right side.

Rey
12-13-2012, 11:58 AM
The official game book called Walter for the illegal formation infraction.

Within the rules, it's all well and good.

But they don't normally call that; especially when it's a running play and the receiver has nothing to do with the play.

The problem I had is that if you start out the game calling penalty by the book, then you need to do it throughout the game with no exception.

They will usually call that regardless because it affects who is eligible.

And who is eligible affects how the defense plays.

But the story here is that the texans played a little league game and made a little league type of mistake.

Vinny
12-13-2012, 12:02 PM
In that case you only have 6 men on the LOS which is why we got the penalty.yeah, Jerry Markbreit I'm not huh? 7 men on the line is needed, but if you run an unbalanced line you just wont have as many eligible receivers. :truck:

infantrycak
12-13-2012, 01:16 PM
Don't know why it won't let me cut and paste. The rule is on page 36 - Link. (http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/rulebook/pdfs/2012%20-%20Rule%20Book.pdf)

While I agree the rule was violated, this kind of thing is typically handled by refs warning players and that should have been done here.

76Texan
12-13-2012, 01:43 PM
They will usually call that regardless because it affects who is eligible.

And who is eligible affects how the defense plays.

But the story here is that the texans played a little league game and made a little league type of mistake.

Check out the reference on the Tebow's TD pass to Thomas.
The Bronco's did not have 7 men on the LOS.

The Te who was in violation of the rule, was involved in the play, as he was blocking.

The league issued a statement saying that it was a legal formation; ie. They don't enforce that rule.

They can't just interpret the rule as they see fit.
They are the ones that need to be held accountable.

You can't have a rule where you only enforce "sometimes" while doing the exact opposite some other times.

That's called rules of the jungle.

silvrhand
12-13-2012, 10:41 PM
Don't know why it won't let me cut and paste. The rule is on page 36 - Link. (http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/rulebook/pdfs/2012%20-%20Rule%20Book.pdf)

While I agree the rule was violated, this kind of thing is typically handled by refs warning players and that should have been done here.

IMHO, it's up to the player to ask the ref as they are lining up, not the other way around.