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  #61 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2013, 09:47pm
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It takes more than just contact to be considered DPI. He must be impeded. I'm also pretty sure the rules include something to the effect that the receiver must be making a "bona fide" attempt to reach the pass. Take away the contact and Gronks own momentum will still carry him deep. You can see him taking steps on his own that weren't the result of the contact. The contact was minimal. A still photo isn't conclusive. The video shows how minimal the contact was. His shoulders didn't dip, he wasn't twisted or turned. By the time the contact was more than minimum, the pass was intercepted. The speed of the pass was much faster than the speed that would have been required, even without the defender being there, for Gronk to be able to have put himself in a position to catch the pass. The pass was probably travelling at least 75 mph and Gronk would have had to have doubled that speed in order to cover the ground to close the distance from where he ran voluntarily to get back to a position to play the ball. I don't think Gronk can run that fast.
  #62 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2013, 09:48pm
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At the NCAA level we have been taught through clinics and video review that contact on a receiver a few yards behind the location where an interception takes place is NOT pass interference. We've been shown several plays where the contact was more significant than this. That's why several have said without the interception this would probably be DPI. Think of it like a punt blocker who makes contact with the ball before contacting the punter. That is not RTK. This is not DPI. The guys working this game have probably seen that and heard it much more often than me so that was a no-brainer call for them. The B probably realized right away he was a little quick on the trigger so looked for help to confirm he was wrong.
  #63 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2013, 09:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonTX View Post
It takes more than just contact to be considered DPI. He must be impeded. I'm also pretty sure the rules include something to the effect that the receiver must be making a "bona fide" attempt to reach the pass. Take away the contact and Gronks own momentum will still carry him deep. You can see him taking steps on his own that weren't the result of the contact. The contact was minimal. A still photo isn't conclusive. The video shows how minimal the contact was. His shoulders didn't dip, he wasn't twisted or turned. By the time the contact was more than minimum, the pass was intercepted. The speed of the pass was much faster than the speed that would have been required, even without the defender being there, for Gronk to be able to have put himself in a position to catch the pass. The pass was probably travelling at least 75 mph and Gronk would have had to have doubled that speed in order to cover the ground to close the distance from where he ran voluntarily to get back to a position to play the ball. I don't think Gronk can run that fast.
I'm not sure how physically forcing someone six yards through the end zone is "minimal" contact. The contact started within a couple yards of the point of interception and drove him away from the ball.
  #64 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2013, 10:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbk314 View Post
I'm not sure how physically forcing someone six yards through the end zone is "minimal" contact. The contact started within a couple yards of the point of interception and drove him away from the ball.
The contact didn't force him six yards. His momentum already had him going that direction, and he likely would have ended up in the same place without any contact. That is not he issue here.
  #65 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2013, 10:02pm
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Originally Posted by bisonlj View Post
The contact didn't force him six yards. His momentum already had him going that direction, and he likely would have ended up in the same place without any contact. That is not he issue here.
Are you blind? He was clearly making an attempt to play the ball when the defender dragged him through the end zone.
  #66 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2013, 11:09pm
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We will never know if the pass was uncatchable, because Gronk is being pushed away from the ball. This is at least illegal contact past 5 yds or holding.
  #67 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2013, 11:43pm
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Quote:
This is at least illegal contact past 5 yds or holding.
I don't think you can call that if the pass is in the air.

I've watched the clip a dozen times. At first, I was in the uncatchable camp. Then, I looked closer at the contact and where the receiver was relative to where the ball was intercepted. This muddled the issue. But after more consideration, I'm back in the uncatchable camp. Yes, the contact is significant and impeding, but a very close review of the film should lead you to the conclusion that the secondary defender would have intercepted the ball.

However, if the rule says, "clearly uncatchable," I don't think it meets that standard. If this play happened in an NCAA game, the flag should be picked up.
The NCAA rule says:

Quote:
A catchable forward pass is an untouched legal forward pass beyond the neutral zone to an eligible player who has a reasonable opportunity to catch the ball. When in question, a legal forward pass is catchable.
The pass would not have been untouched.
  #68 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 08:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisonlj View Post
The contact didn't force him six yards. His momentum already had him going that direction, and he likely would have ended up in the same place without any contact. That is not he issue here.
That's how I see it as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKREF View Post
This is at least illegal contact past 5 yds or holding.
You can't have either with the ball in the air. If the ball is in the air, it is either DPI or nothing (barring a PF which is not a consideration here).
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 08:30am
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Baseball Perspective?

In baseball, we go by the saying "Don't take the sh!tty end of the stick". Unfortunately, I think the officials did exactly this for the following reasons:

1. I know football allows officials to "pick up" flags, however, the LAST play of the game is NOT the time that you want something like this to happen.

2. If your going to pick up the flag, please announce a brief explanation (during the game) as to why the flag was picked up - ESPECIALLY on a play of that magnatitude.

3. While the correct call MAY have been made???, since the official threw a flag on the play, I think there would have been A LOT less controversy if they would have just followed through and called at least SOME TYPE of infraction on this play (DPI, holding, etc.). This would have given the offense one more play, letting the players decide the outcome versus the officials

4. If the call could go either way, why give the benefit of the doubt to the defense on this play ... after all, they were the ones that caused this entire mess by "bear-hugging" the receiver???

5. "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck ... its probably a duck". Most people (other officials, fans, media, etc.) watching that play during the game say thats pass interference ... somethimes it's better to call the expected rather than try to justify the improbable.

Just my thoughts from an experienced baseball umpire who has NEVER officiated a football game in my life

I'm sure people will pick a part some or all of my post but my OVERALL point is, "don't take the sh!tty end of the stick" if you don't have too
  #70 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 09:09am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbk314 View Post

I'd say that officially makes the call incorrect, considering it was based on clearly incorrect logic.
No, the rule says nothing about the timing of the interception with regard to the contact when determining whether the ball was catchable. No one here disputes the contact was before, so your strawman may burn brightly, but you've done nothing to refute the fact that the ball was uncatchable. Your still-shot does nothing to change that.

The ball was intercepted well before it got to where Gronk was impeded. Thus, by rule, the ball was not catchable and the DPI is voided.
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 09:24am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UES View Post

5. "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck ... its probably a duck". Most people (other officials, fans, media, etc.) watching that play during the game say that's pass interference ... somethimes it's better to call the expected rather than try to justify the improbable.
I could pick every point apart but this one coming from an experienced umpire boggles my mind.
  #72 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 09:30am
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Originally Posted by Adam View Post
No, the rule says nothing about the timing of the interception with regard to the contact when determining whether the ball was catchable. No one here disputes the contact was before, so your strawman may burn brightly, but you've done nothing to refute the fact that the ball was uncatchable. Your still-shot does nothing to change that.

The ball was intercepted well before it got to where Gronk was impeded. Thus, by rule, the ball was not catchable and the DPI is voided.
Here's where I'm confused: It's not DPI because Gronk didn't try to ward off the defender and get to where he could make the catch but Rich points out such warding off would be OPI.

So it seems to me, Gronk reset his feet to move forward and then was driven back before the interception was made. Had there been no contact, I think Gronk could have taken a step and dove and had a slight chance of catching the ball.

Leaving that aside, it seems the initial contact clears Gronk out of the path of the secondary defender who makes the interception.

At the end of the day, that this play can reasonably be considered legal is a problem with the rules more than the refereeing.
  #73 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 09:40am
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Being a deep wing in college, they do not want us calling PI just because there is the mere fact of contact. I cannot speak for what others might do, but there has to be an advantae by the contact and Gronk was not put at any disadvantage becuase he never tried to attempt to go for an underthrown ball. That of course is a judgment call, but that kind of judgment is what keeps you at that level or never allows you to get there. And even in high school I would not call DPI if a pass is so clearly not in the area, but the NFL and NCAA makes it clear that a player has to be able to make a play on the ball. Gronk never tried to go for the ball at all and the ball was clearly intercepted in front of him.

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  #74 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 09:41am
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I know the NFL and NCAA philosophies aren't always in sync, but we've had a few training video plays this year with similar actions. If there is contact that is normally DPI but the pass is intercepted in front of that contact, there is no foul. I remember one play in particular where the first defender was in chase mode on a crossing route and definitely knocked the receiver down before the ball arrived. But another defender cut the route short 3-4 yards in front of this contact to intercept the ball. We were told to NOT flag that as DPI. I see this as a play in the same category. I also felt Gerry Austin's comments Monday night were in sync with that philosophy. Dean Blandino didn't mention it with his comments last night so it may not be the same philosophy in the NFL. But I really like that philosophy because while there was early contact, it had no impact on the receiver's ability to catch the ball because it was underthrown and someone else was there to make the catch.
  #75 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2013, 09:44am
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Referee Announcement

I think the referee missed a golden opportunity to warn the NFL world about these types of plays.



Referee:
There is no foul on the play.
Look.
Don't ask us to bail you out after some wimpy pass into the end zone just because there was contact.
And if you are a receiver, for God's sake, give us a Hollywood attempt to reach the ball.

Otherwise we are going to do just as we have done, let the players decide the game.

And this game is over.
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