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Old 08-24-2004   #1
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Default New Defensive Emphasis

One thing annoying me about the emphasis on contact past 5 yards is the overreacting from DBs and defensive coaches. Here is a sample of their cries (emphasis mine):
Quote:
"It's so unfair," Poole said. "If you're an aggressive corner, or an aggressive defense, it's going to be an adjustment. To me, they're just trying to get more points on the board. They want to take away the edge from the defense. Why not just tie our hands behind our backs?"

All of the corners interviewed for this story said that the one player who would benefit most from the change is the Colts' Marvin Harrison. The Patriots mugged him in the title game, holding him to four catches.

Harrison is thin and frail, with the book on him that he can be beaten up. Now that the contact is strictly limited to inside 5 yards, Harrison should be free to run in the secondary. As a precise route runner, that's trouble for the team trying to shut him down.

"Marvin's going to go wild," Bryant said. "This change was made for him."

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/7605181/2
So these guys are complaining because Marvin is such a good route runner that they can't cover him without clawing, grabbing and mauling? Oh, they're lives are so hard because Randy Moss is 6'4", blazing fast, can jump out the roof and catch whatever floats his way? Well, tough luck. If you can't cover Marvin's precise routes, then study more film and work on your technique. Or double team him. But it is ridiculous to depend upon rule bending and "grey areas" as the basis of your coverage technique.

The reason this new emphasis was made is because these guys were abusing these grey areas instead of just becomming better technicians or the coaches becomming better schemers. The NFL is basically reversing what were de facto interpretation changes favoring DBs due to bigger, faster, stronger receivers like Moss, Owens, Boston, Andre Johnson, etc. The problem is that what was once allowed to deal with athletic freaks like Moss was allowed to be use against technicians like Harrisson. Not every CB is Deion, so just shut up and get some double team help.

I think the Miami DBs have the best take on this so far (from same article):
Quote:
The rule will be especially tough for teams that play their corners off. In Miami, where Surtain and fellow starting corner Sam Madison play a lot of press man -- meaning up at the line of scrimmage -- the thinking is the rule won't affect them as much.

Madison and Surtain are terrific at redirecting a receiver off his route near the line using their hands. Inside 5 yards, that's legal, and they excel at it. That won't change.

"We're allowed to jam inside 5 yards, so we'll be fine," Surtain said. "It's the guys who play off that will have the trouble. We'll play our same style. ... The coaches are preaching if we play our style, use the same technique, it shouldn't be a problem for us."
In other words, corners who have real talent and technique will still play tight man coverage, all the pretenders are just gonna have to get saftey help.
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Old 08-24-2004   #2
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I agree 100%. One funny thing is that I keep hearing people refer to this as a new rule. It's always been a rule, they're just going to enforce it more. What they are doing now is what they should have been doing all along. I think they should do this with offensive line holding as well. There's holing on nearly every play, but it is seldomly called. Then people will say, ''Let the players play." They can play they just need to do it within the rules.
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Old 08-24-2004   #3
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The one aspect of this "renewed enforcement" of this rule that I don't like is the ease at which it can be called. As discussed in other threads on this board, why not just send your receivers blazing toward the defenders forcing them to touch you?? Automatic penalty and a first down.

Is there such a thing as a penalty for the receivers "forcing" the defender to touch them? Can the receiver be flagged for initiaing the contact? .. or will it always be the defender's fault?

In my opinion, this "renewed enforcement" is going to result in a whole lot of penalties this season if the pre-season bombardment of flags on this call continues.
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Old 08-24-2004   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwallaia
The one aspect of this "renewed enforcement" of this rule that I don't like is the ease at which it can be called. As discussed in other threads on this board, why not just send your receivers blazing toward the defenders forcing them to touch you?? Automatic penalty and a first down.

Is there such a thing as a penalty for the receivers "forcing" the defender to touch them? Can the receiver be flagged for initiaing the contact? .. or will it always be the defender's fault?

In my opinion, this "renewed enforcement" is going to result in a whole lot of penalties this season if the pre-season bombardment of flags on this call continues.
I think DBs and coaches will adjust. There won't be a rash of lags after week 8. Once the playoffs are on the line, along with the jobs of several coaches, the players and coaches will stop resisting. This has happened before in the league and the coaches always yield when the prize (and paycheck) is on the line.

I believe there is still incidental contact and the WR senario-in which the WR just runs at a defender--will fall under that. Anyway, these rules won't be a problem for the talented DBs.
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Old 08-24-2004   #5
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The old rule allowed for incidental contact. I don't think that's allowable under the new rule. It seems that any contact, whether incidental or prohibited, will be flagged. The new rule blows.
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Old 08-24-2004   #6
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The old rule did allow for incidental contact. The new emphasis is also supposed to allow contact that does not inhibit a WR's route. Problem is, and what the DB's and coaches are upset about, is the enforcement so far--for instance a DB in the St. Louis/KC game was flagged for brushing (and I mean lightly touching) the back of his hand across the WR's bicep to keep track of the WR as they ran down field together. Some of the refs appear to have thrown out the inhibiting the WR's route part of the rule which would be a huge change.
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Old 08-25-2004   #7
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I've seen incidental contact not be called in games I've seen thus far (49er, Raider, Raven, and Eagle games). The vast majority of play I have seen hasn't been a 100% "no touch" rule. I've seen DBs not get flagged for having a WR run into them so long as the DB didn't reach out to the WR. So a few tight/questionable flags don't make a rule.

The problem is when you allow a player to "brush" against a WR and then that "brush" evolves into a light grab. DBs knew they could "feel" for the WR so they have used reaching out to track the WR as a means to arm bar, jersey grab, etc. DBs have been relying on that grey area to inhibit WRs. The DBs and coaches over-abused the grey area and now it is mostly gone. They have noone to blame but themselves. They violated the spirit of the rule--all the way to the Superbowl--so the league has to clamp down and start getting literal with it. No need to punish WRs who master their art and the teams lucky to have them just because the non-Charles Woodsons, non-Champ Baileys of the world can't cover them man-to-man.

I don't think the DBs and coaches are so upset about this "brushing" thing so much as they are about the fact that a bunch of DBs are about to be exposed as lacking real talent. The DBs in the article weren't angry about brushing. They were upset because they need more than a brush to deal with Marvin Harrison. And that might mean some coach's jobs will be on the line when their once brilliant defensive schemes no longer work since you can't maul the receiver 10-15 yards down field.

And I do agree with the coach who commented that this rule is gonna be like "Globetrotters" to Randy Moss. He is gonna have a ridiculous season going against those teams with undistinguished 5'10" defenders, unless there is dedicated saftey help. And that is where this is gonna get interesting. Against some teams, there can be no 8/9 in the box.

Anyway, do any of you guys think the college game is gonna start "finding" 6'+ CBs to match these huge receivers?
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Old 08-25-2004   #8
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Here's an article out of a Detroit paper that helps clarify:

http://www.mlive.com/lions/stories/i...5801132450.xml
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Old 08-25-2004   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj.
Here's an article out of a Detroit paper that helps clarify:

http://www.mlive.com/lions/stories/i...5801132450.xml
Thanks. Here are some quotes from the article:

Quote:
"It's no change in the rule, it's a change in how we enforce it," referee Tommy White said. "Five yards is 5 yards now. The best thing to do is when (the receiver) gets beyond 5 yards, leave him alone."
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"It's going to affect the way everybody plays," Lions cornerback Fernando Bryant said. "If they're going to enforce it the way they say they're going to enforce it, you can't touch (the receivers). You're going to have to adjust the way you play but you can still play aggressively and make (officials) make the call. They've emphasized this before but never to this level. If you can move your feet and play the ball you're going to be all right. If not, you're going to have a problem."
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Incidental contact after 5 yards is allowed, but a defender is not permitted to chuck or extend an arm or to hook the receiver if it redirects, restricts or impedes him in any way.
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"They're trying to eliminate the pulling and holding up field," cornerback Dre Bly said. "If you try to be physical within the 5 yards and you just happen to go past the 5 yards, that's hard to officiate. They just have to let us play football. But if you're holding guys 10 yards up the field, that's ridiculous."

The New England Patriots, winners of two of the last three Super Bowls, seem to have inspired the crackdown. Many believe their physical and aggressive DBs stretched the existing rule during the 2002 Super Bowl against St. Louis and in last year's AFC Championship game vs. Indianapolis.

"New England was jamming (Colts receiver) Marvin Harrison 10 yards up the field last year. That's illegal," said Bly, a former Ram. "That's what they did to (Rams receivers) Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce when they played us (in the Super Bowl)."
From this, it doesn't seem like too big of a deal. Of course, Detroit, with the Rogers-Williams tandem, is gonna benefit from enforcement a lot. The DBs just have to be technicians and they will be fine. I can't wait to see how Bellichick alters his D (even with the illegal stuff he is a good coach).
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Old 08-25-2004   #10
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Suposedly (as heard on the herd) this may have a pretty negative inpact on the "Cover 2" teams.
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