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Shanahan: Nothing new on rules for hitting option QBs


Shanahan: Nothing new on rules for hitting option QBs

The NFL’s VP of officiating talked about the rules regarding hitting a read option quarterback recently and this is being treated as though it is some sort of change.

It’s not.

In an officiating video distrubted to the media, NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino said the following:
"When the quarterback puts the ball in the running back’s belly, the referee doesn’t know who has the football, the defender doesn’t know who has the football, so if it’s a bang-bang split second, than yes, he can hit the quarterback. But if the quarterback has clearly handed off the football, and he’s standing still, of fading backwards, he cannot be unnecessarily contacted, and that doesn’t matter if it’s a read-option quarterback or a classic drop-back quarterback. If they’re standing still or fading backward after the ball has left their hand, they cannot be unnecessarily contacted.”
This does not represent a change. According to Mike Shanahan this ruling and interpretation are at least a decade old.

“There's not [anything new] but I think they had to clarify because in the past nobody has run any type of option in the National Football League,” he said on Friday. “But about 10 years ago, 12 years ago there was talk after the quarterback handed the ball off, if he faked it, could he be hit. The answer was he could. So any time you carry out a fake with the quarterback you are susceptible to taking a shot. So what they ask you to do, if you do fake it, to put your hands up then they're not allowed to hit you.”

The Redskins had this policy clarified after their game against Cincinnati last year. Robert Griffin III was hit three times after he handed the ball off. It was explained to the team that as long as it looked like the quarterback might still have the ball he was fair game to get hit. But if he made it clear he no longer had the ball by, say, putting his hands up the defenders ran the risk of getting penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

In the following game against Tampa Bay, Griffin did put up his hands in appropriate situations and he didn’t get hit after getting rid of the ball. For the rest of the season he rarely was hit when he didn’t have the ball in his hands.

The rule adheres to good common sense. If the quarterback is practicing deception and is acting as though he has the ball the defense should have every right to tackle him. If he clearly does not have it then hitting him is just taking a cheap shot and should be penalized.

So relax. Griffin is in no more danger than he was last year. Teams will undoubtedly take cheap shots at him from time to time but if he does he should draw a yellow flag and 15 free yards for the Redskins.

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RGIII reportedly earns tryout with Los Angeles Chargers

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RGIII reportedly earns tryout with Los Angeles Chargers

Robert Griffin III's career resurgence in Cleveland ended following a lackluster 2016 season in which injuries sidelined him for all buy five games.

The Former 2012 Rookie of the Year finished the season 87-of-147 for 886 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions before being released by the team in March.

But the Redskins' former No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft is not giving up on his goal.

RGIII will reportedly work out for the Los Angeles Chargers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.


Griffin III has spent the offseason working out with former Browns coordinator Pep Hamilton. According to Ian Rapoport, who spoke with Hamilton, RGIII is in very good health and is throwing the ball very well.

The Chargers' quarterback situation is as clear as any on the NFL. Phillip Rivers is the starting quarterback. He has been the Chargers' starting quarterback since 2006, and will be the team's starting quarterback until he retires or is traded. And despite Rivers starting every regular-season game for each of the last 11 seasons, the Chargers have no real plan at backup. There's career backup Kellen Clemens and rookies Mike Bercovici (Arizona State) and Eli Jenkins (Jacksonville State). That's it. 

Even if he remains injury riddled, RGIII does that have the tools to bat out backups Clemens, Bercovici and Jenkins.

But for now, it's a step in the right direction for the polarizing former Redskins quarterback.

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Unlucky Day: Cowboys release WR Lucky Whitehead following arrest warrant

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Unlucky Day: Cowboys release WR Lucky Whitehead following arrest warrant

Monday was an unlucky day for Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead.

What started with a warrant for his arrest ended with him being released by the Cowboys.

Back on June 22, Whitehead was arrested on charges of petit larceny in Woodbridge The former Osbourn High School (Va.) and Florida Atlantic wide receiver was popped for shoplifting under $200 of merchandise at a local Wawa convenience store.


An arraignment was scheduled for July 6. Court records indicate that Whitehead did not show up to court, and on Monday, July 24, a warrant for his arrest was issued, the Prince William County police Department confirmed. On Monday afternoon, Whitehead was informed that he was being released, according to Ian Rapoport.

Whitehead told the Dallas Morning News on Monday that he wasn't even aware that he was wanted in court. 

Whitehead's agent also claimed that the wide receiver wasn't in Virginia at the time of the arrest.

This all comes less than a week after Whitehead's pet dog was kidnapped and held for ransom. Whitehead got the dog back 24 hours later.

The Bealton, Va. native appeared in 15 games last season, hauling in three catches for 48 yards. He also carried the ball 10 times for 82 yards. Whitehead's biggest contribution came in the return game, where he returned 25 punts for 195 yards and 17 kickoffs for 394 yards.

Whitehead signed a 3-year, $1.5 million deal with the Cowboys in 2015 after going undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft.