Just like players lose a step in the offseason, so do gameday officials. Part of their role in training camp is to practice making calls to get back in the flow of the game. The flip-side of this scenario is that players can explanation on rules before they count.
The other aspect of the officials teaching experience in camp is to inform players about the new rules for the 2011 season. Referee Ron Winter and members of his crew were at Redskins camp, and provided the instructional video for players to watch.
The video discusses several rule changes that focus specifically on player safety. One of the examples that was provided under the description of “defenseless player,” was a video of Santana Moss against Dallas. In the clip, Moss has a defender wrapped around his ankles and is going to the ground. Before he manages to hit the turf, however, he is drilled by an additional defender, which was emphasized as being illegal.
Ouch. That’s kind of like having someone hold you down while another guy pummels you.
The video also discusses rule changes to defensive delay of game situations. The video features a clip of the Redskins playing the Giants where the Giants offense is attempting to line up before the Redskins defense is ready. London Fletcher not-so-casually runs down the line of scrimmage and boots the ball away from Giants center Shaun O’Hara.
The kick is so delightfully blatant that you couldn’t help but laugh. Fletcher is a linebacker and had no reason to be near the ball other than to “accidentally” keep it away from the Giants center.
Hey, it was worth a try, right?
These rules changes were released several months ago, so there was no real news besides the opportunity to ask Winter and his crew some questions. The two biggest changes are that every scoring play will now be reviewed by a booth official, and kickoffs will be moved from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line.
I’m sure that because the officials explained the rules, that there will be no hard feelings or controversial calls during the season.
Tags: officiating, Ron Winter, rules, washington redskins
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