Mason Foster’s Crime Was Saying, “Huh… Huh.”

October 23rd, 2012

Joe had hoped to turn the page on the stinging loss to the Saints and concentrate on the Vikings game Thursday night. But Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik walked into the press room at One Buc Palace to give the pen and mic club an update this afternoon, and a clarification on the unsportsmanlike penalty called on Mason Foster. The flag game on a field goal defensive shift that gave New Orleans a first down, which led to a touchdown.

The Bucs, of course, lost by a touchdown.

“Just to update, I have been in touch with the league office on “that play,” [the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the field goal defensive unit]. Everything from a defensive line [standpoint] is legal, the shifting. Mason Foster, everything he did in terms of movement, is legal. Everything,” Dominik said.

“The only thing that is up for discussion on why the flag was thrown was the disconcerting sound of which the league office said they [the umpire] heard was ‘Huh… huh.’ That’s what the umpire said he heard.

“Now we have run the play with success before. In Washington. It is clear that we ran that play in Washington. There is no audio transcript of the New Orleans play. At that point it was a judgment, that’s what [the umpire] thought he heard. That’s why the flag was thrown.

“It is a legal play. Up to the point of what is it that the player actually say. We coach the players to say the same thing as they did in Washington. This is not a play that Greg took from Rutgers or college. It’s a play we have already seen at the NFL level and already had success with it. That’s why we did it again. I will let the coaching staff decide if we see it again or use it again. At the end of the day, legally, it is a legal play up to when the linebacker says what he said on the move call. At that point it is up to the umpire as to what he heard.

“As long as you are not simulating the sound of the count it is permitted. Not specifically the word.

“There are a lot of different elements to it (including messing up blocking assignments). Could you block it, could you get a false start? All of those are part of the reason to help us find a way to win.”

Dominik also spoke about the last play of the game, where the officials ruled that Mike Williams had been pushed out of bounds, which the officials ruled was legal because Josh Freeman had moved out of the pocket.

Dominik said the team had no issue about that call because the team believed the call was correct.

“It is standard; it was a good play by them,’ Dominik said. “When the quarterback gets out of the pocket you are allowed to push a player out of bounds. It’s a legal play.”

40 Responses to “Mason Foster’s Crime Was Saying, “Huh… Huh.””

  1. fridgebob Says:

    Wearing that mouthguard, how can Mason say anything other than ‘huh’ or maybe ‘hmmph’

  2. raphael Says:

    “just when I thought I was out, They pull me back in ” – M.Corleone

    we got hosed ..

  3. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    A dumb legal play that makes no sense.

  4. lightningbuc Says:

    Is there even a snap count on field goals? Doesn’t the holder just usually hold up his hand to tell the snapper he’s ready. Pretty sure it’s a silent count.

  5. Joe Says:

    Is there even a snap count on field goals?

    Of course there is. Sometimes kicking teams use hard counts as well.

    Doesn’t the holder just usually hold up his hand to tell the snapper he’s ready. Pretty sure it’s a silent count.

    Depends. But all this is taking the eye off the ball. The lone issue is the umpire heard something from Foster he deemed was mocking the snap count. Can’t do that. Chris Landry said this was in the rule book when he was an NFL coach, and he hasn’t coached in the NFL in, what, 15 years?

    One can’t mock a snap count if there’s no snap count.

  6. 76buc76 Says:

    The Saint’s told the official “watch for a defencive illegal shift”.That’s what makes me mad.Without that he never makes that call.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    “We coach the players to say the same thing as they did in Washington”

    There you go. It doesn’t matter what Foster said, if anything at all. If a ref wants to say the defense said something that mimics a snap count then the facts and truth are irrelevant. I suspect Foster called out legal play and the refs heard what they wanted to hear, or rather, what saints staff told them to hear. I seriously doubt foster took it upon himself in that moment to mimic the snap count instead of calling the play.

    Even clearer now how wrong that call was.

  8. robert Says:

    agree 76!!!!

    it was a bit of a boneheaded move by schiano though, especially since it was a long field goal and not really needed.

    enough blame to go around to the refs, schiano and the saints…

  9. mpmalloy Says:

    **** the arrogant NFL.
    This is proof that the whole league is fixed.
    Jack-hole refs get to play little ‘gods’ with big agendas.

  10. posey99 Says:

    “it was a bit of a boneheaded move by schiano though, especially since it was a long field goal and not really needed.”

    You have a better chance of blocking a long field goal than a short field goal because of the trajectory…More the reason to make the shift to get the block.

  11. ScottB Says:

    Keep in mind the Washington game was with the replacement refs… and I thought that David was calling the defense so why was Mason aking any calls.

    And Joe, I remeber this rule on every level back from Pop Warner in the mid 70’s

  12. Macabee Says:

    Jon Zimmer, NFL league spokesman, said the field goal penalty was called because Mason Foster yelled out “words meant to disconcert an offensive team at the snap” as spelled out in Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 of the NFL rule book. Don’t assume that it was only the fact that words were spoken that this penalty was called. In this particular case, it was the spoken word of Mason Foster that was deemed a “disconcerting signal”. The rule specifically states that disconcerting is defined as “The defensive use of acts or words designed to disconcert an offensive player at the snap”.

    This is an intentional vague rule written to allow the referee the judgment to determine what is a “disconcerting signal”. There is no list of infractions written into the rule. If everyone had stood up and started clapping their hands, it might have likewise been deemed a “disconcerting signal” even though no words were spoken. If no penalty was called in the Redskins game it was because in the judgment of those officials, whatever was done was not intended to disconcert the snap count. It is at minimum a slippery slope.

    The NFL has lots of these types of rules subject to interpretation that have become settled law by the actions of the parties, ie, years of practice where certain behavior has become acceptable even though the rule doesn’t spell it out. Like the victory formation where teams have generally accepted over the years how teams behave even though there is no specific language in a rule that addresses it. That gray area is where Schiano is going against the grain. True, he has broken no rules, but is not adhering to the generally accepted behavior of the league. I won’t pass judgment on what he is doing, but he may earn his team unnecessary scrutiny or even unequal treatment by the officials if he persists!

  13. OAR Says:

    In the soft spoken words of the Virgin Mary….Come again?

  14. mpmalloy Says:

    “….or even unequal treatment by the officials if he persists!”

    Thanks for backing up my point that this league is completely fixed.
    You da man!

  15. AmbushBuc Says:

    Huh..Huh said loudly certainly sounds like “Hut…Hut” or a simulation of a snap count.

  16. lightningbuc Says:

    I wish someone would ask Foster and see if he actually said “huh, huh”, “move” “whatever. We’ve heard from everyone but him.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    How often do these refs get their hearing checked?

    I love how all these Nfl experts came out and categorically called this penalty as clear-cut fair call and then now we find out there is absolutely no way to definitively determine whether an actual infraction of the rules ever occurred. The only people that know what happened were the people on the field in earshot of foster and that were actually paying attention to exactly what he was saying. The experts that have thus far weighed in on this matter are full of sh*t. If Foster was doing his job on that play, no rules were broken.

  18. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Couldn’t it have been Brees saying Hut Hut?

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    Not unless Brees was attempting to kick that field goal. I was too far away to see myself!

  20. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Exactly Have a Nice day…

    If the D have there backs to the Refs, and a roaring crowd along with the QB calling signals how exactly do the refs know exactly who is making what sounds? the more that comes out of this story the more dumb it gets. I just dont understand how they could make such a stupid call considering it never effected the play in the first place… Way to screw up a game refs. Congrats.

  21. OAR Says:

    …and I thought the scab refs were gone?
    Pathetic excuse from the league on a game-changing blown call! I guess players aren’t supposed to make a sound/trashtalk prior to the hike.
    John Lynch on the Fan today said Brad Culpepper used to do that every play.

  22. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Anybody know what happened on the plane flight home last season from England???

    Steve D on the radio says, “I know… you fans have to speculate” then used that as the excuse why the Bucs quit last season.

    Really? Really??? The 10 game losing streak is because of an incident on the plane flight from a road game?


  23. The D Says:

    Just from looking around the web, Foster and the Bucs said he yelled “shift”, the Saints said they heard Foster say “Go”, and the ref says Foster said “huh…huh”. Basically nothing about that play and penalty make sense, since everyone heard something different

  24. OAR Says:

    Right after that call, I know what I heard, a toilet flush!

  25. raphael Says:

    I think he said Hee Haw

  26. lightningbuc Says:


    Why you listening to that drivel?

  27. mpmalloy Says:

    The important thing is that the Bucs lost.

    All is right in the kingdom of the NFL.

  28. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    I turned it off 20 mins ago.

    Before the season started Steve D loved Schiano. Now, it’s as if he is a political advisary and there is nothing godd that can be said about Schiano.

    Tampa Bay has the absolute worst radio stations on earth. These guys sure know how to welcome newcomers. I mean, what do you think Schiano, Sheridan, Butch Davis and Sullivan thinks about these radio clowns?

    Jon Gruden is probably sending text messages to those guys, teasing them, “See, I told you that place is a h3ll hole! The local hacks are more depressing and hateful than any group you have ever had to deal with. And it was once my home town as a teenager!!! Jimminy Christmas”

  29. BucFan20 Says:

    Now if we can get the center to snap the ball before the holder is ready maybe we could cause a fumble. And Better yet, maybe the kicker would pick it up and try to throw a pass. Ok let’s try it.

  30. DallasBuc Says:

    Joe- is there any audio of the play which can definitively put to rest what Foster said? If not, the fans are right to suspect this is BS. Got the saints saying it was “Go”, the nfl saying it was “huh huh”, schiano saying it was “move” and Foster saying nothing yet. None of these words sound remotely the same and therefore could not be mistaken for one another. Would deepen the suspicion if nfl films somehow loses the audio for this play.

  31. Gus Says:

    If he sai huh huh then it’s the right call. It’s a known rule. Good call.

  32. DallasBuc Says:

    Gus- is it a good call if he didn’t say “huh huh”?

    I will agree it was a good call when I hear the proof that he was mimicking the snap count.

    There are at least 3 different takes on what was said according to people down on the field that day.

  33. Joe Says:


    As Dominik said today, there is no audio available.

  34. Eric Says:

    I still don’t know whether anyone told Foster to do that.

    Whoever it was gave the Saints a first down and really hurt our chances to win. Even If the guy makes the field goal we could have tied it at the end.

    If a buc player was told to try and circumvent the rule that’s dumb coaching. Not worth the risk of a fifteen harder.

    Huh huh sounds a lot like hut hut…..

  35. AtlBucsFan Says:

    If the Giants, Patriots, Eagles or Cowboys had been flagged for this and it cost them points it would be all over the news wire for the entire week. Even discussing it during the next weekend games. This ‘grey’ area allows refs to influence the outcome of the games. Just like they need to stop extra loud speakers in stadiums; the ‘loss’ of headsets are crucial times. The playing field should be the same for both teams.

  36. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I think it was a good call. EVERYONE with sense knows not to yell “huh huh” before the play starts.

    Whine all you want about the officials, but in this case they got it right…regardless of whether the Saints warned them. If Foster (who is a great player) had not broke the rules? He would not have been penalized. Period.

    So he’ll learn. The coaches will address it and we’ll move on. This is all part of the growing pains as we witness the formation of a top contender.

  37. BamBamBuc Says:

    Gee, I don’t know… I think Lavonte looked at Foster and said “Ready???” and Foster said “Uh Huh… SHIFT!!!” HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  38. ladyz Says:

    Schiano took a beating from the hosts today at 98.7. Surprised me the mocking they did. I thought they were better than that.

  39. Bucnjim Says:

    Didn’t the Saints actually jump off sides to draw the origional penalty? This drew the flag and then they huddled up to figure out what happened. The Saints complained of an illegal shift, but it turned out to be legal. Sounds like the officials were covering their A$$. Blew the call and then we like I think I heard someone yelling something but not sure. COVER UP!

  40. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    It seems the head coach is not so popular among NFL officials.