The NFL is making it up as it goes along with this nonsensical overreaction to quarterbacks being tackled. There is no chance -- and I’ll say this in honor of the late, great Jerry Seeman -- that the NFL officials making the rounds of training camps showed a tape of past tackles identical to those made by Clay Matthews and Eric Kendricks and said:
“This is illegal. If you a tackle a quarterback in this manner, your team will be penalized 15 yards and then we will steal $20,054 from your next pay check – or more, if Roger Goodell’s lackeys feel the urge.’’
Tom Pelissero from NFL.com gets his information from the lackey's mouth when it comes to these matters, and he reported Monday that the NFL plans to double-down on the fiasco that took place on Sunday in Lambeau Field:
Not only will the league fail to apologize for the fact that the overzealous, egomaniacal referee, Tony Corrente, decided the outcome of an entertaining ballgame, they will send tapes to all teams claiming that the “scoop and pull’’ tactic of Matthews (and also Kendricks) was worthy of a penalty.
Pelissero reported that the tackles of Matthews on Kirk Cousins and Kendricks on Aaron Rodgers could be deemed illegal under a section of the rulebook devoted to roughing the passer that states.
“A rushing defender is prohibited from committing such intimidating and punishing acts as 'stuffing' a passer into the ground or unnecessarily wrestling or driving him down after the passer has thrown the ball ...,'' with this addendum:
"The technique of grabbing the passer from behind the leg(s), scooping and pulling in an upward motion is considered a foul.''
There is a serious problem with this contention. Matthews was in front and slightly to Cousins’ right side as he aimed a tackle at the quarterback’s midsection – pretty much the lone legal hitting area on a quarterback,
Cousins felt Matthews’ presence and rose up off his back leg to get enough on the throw. An instant later, Matthews hit him in the midsection – no lift being necessary, with Cousins already partially off the ground – and took the quarterback to Lambeau’s green grass.
As he did so, Matthews used his left hand to brace the fall, to make sure he didn’t put his weight on Cousins and violate that part of the NFL’s new requirements that quarterbacks should be treated as Lladro porcelain.
There was no scoop and pull, simply a text-book tackle in the midsection, and certainly nothing remotely close to Corrente’s pompous, postgame mistruth: “He picked the quarterback up and drove him into the ground.’’
He did not. The NFL knows that Corrente was wrong. Trouble is, the phonies in the league office don’t want to do anything that will dissuade defensive players from continuing to be running scared when they get near a quarterback.
So, and this is my assumption, Alberto Riverson -- now the chief excuse-maker for absurd refereeing -- said to his hench people:
“Come up with some ridiculous explanation on how those calls made in Green Bay by flag-happy Tony fit in our rules, and then we’ll steal $20,000 from Kendricks and maybe more from Matthews – he had a roughing last week – and put this fiasco behind us.
“And here’s the good part: Once we get away with spreading this manure with the media, we can call anything roughing for the rest of the season.''
Sure enough, one of the hench people came back with, “Let’s call it a violation of the ‘scoop and pull’ provision.’’
To which Riveron undoubtedly responded: “There is a ‘scoop and pull’ provision? That's great. After this, we'll have Corrente give a 15-yard penalty to a pass rusher for making the quarterback feel claustrophobic.''
While theorizing, I have a another one on Roger and Jerry, Kroenke and Kraft, and the rest of the ruthless, money-mad cabal that operates the NFL:
This mad rush to fine players is all part of a bigger plan – to make neutral arbitration a major issue for the players in the next negotiation, and thus a distraction for a union that should be devoted to getting more guarranteed money in contracts and to reclaim the 7 percent of revenues that the owners extracted from the players the last time around.
You know this: The NFL, the true Evil Empire of sports, is always conniving in some way to rob the players and make fools of its massive audience.
“Scoop and pull.’’ You betcha, Alberto