Saints Tip Off Refs To Illegal Field Goal Defense

October 22nd, 2012

A lot is being made of the Bucs field goal defense yesterday, when the zebras threw a flag, unsportsmanlike conduct, that turned a field goal attempt into a first down and an eventual Pierre Thomas touchdown for New Orleans

It appears the Saints did their homework and helped draw the flag.

The Bucs used a shift against the Redskins that was deemed legal by the zebras — missed. The Saints didn’t think so, and clearly noticed it by studying game film.

So yesterday when the Saints attempted a field goal, per Robert Klemko of USA Today, the Saints alerted the referees to be on the look out for illegal tactics by the Bucs.

“I haven’t seen it in the pros, because it’s against the rules,” said defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. “You’re allowed to do your shifts but you’re not allowed to yell to try to get the offense to go offsides.”

Saints guard Jahri Evans said game officials were notified of the practice before the play.

“I think that’s just what they’re being taught,” he said. “And that’s what we told the refs — they can’t try to draw us offsides in that situation or in any part of the game. I haven’t seen that in a long time. I played Division II, and they didn’t even do that in DII. It was definitely done to draw us offsides and we all knew it.”

Joe will have a post on this later, but Joe will break down the shift. Ss Joe mentioned this morning, the Bucs players could have yelled “Goodell” and it still would have resulted in a flag.

24 Responses to “Saints Tip Off Refs To Illegal Field Goal Defense”

  1. passthebuc Says:

    someone explain why it ok for the offense to hard count to draw the defense offside but for the defense it is not allowed???????????

  2. raphael Says:

    Seems a little shady to me…it was NOT called against Washington,but it was against the Saints…which is it ????

    And how unprofessional was Periera’s comment about “that might of worked at Rutgers but not in the pro’s” Seems a little Jaded towards Shiano to me…

  3. DallasBuc Says:

    I am extremely confused.

    Joe- can you explain why can’t the defense call out signals? Since when? And has this penalty ever been called before? This smells of BS.

  4. lightningbuc Says:

    At the two minute warning, it was 4th down and the Saints came back out to appear to go for it with the sole purpose of drawing the Bucs offsides. This is moronic, stupid, idiotic, and ridiculous. If nothing else, at least Schiano is exposing the NFL for all the stupidity that goes on with “unwritten” rules regarding kneel downs as well as penalties for shifts and talking on FG’s, etc.

  5. Joe Says:


    Joe- can you explain why can’t the defense call out signals?

    A guess — purely nothing more than a guess — is something to do with safety. For example, a field goal defense cannot line up directly on/in front of the center. In other words, there can be no nose tackle on a field goal defense.

    Since when?

    Not sure when the competition committee passed this, sorry. There is no debate in the hours since the game this is in the rule book. Chris Landry, a former Browns assistant under Bill Belicheat, on WDAE-AM 620 just said it has been in the rule book “a long time.”

    And has this penalty ever been called before?

    Joe’s sure it has, just can’t site a specific example.

    Remember, as Joe documented in this post, the Saints tipped off the refs this would happen. The officials were watching for it as a result.

  6. Richbucsfan Says:

    Yep, my thought’s confirmed … the officials are targeting Schiano. It’s “Toes on the Line” in reverse.

  7. JacksonsCalf Says:

    im sure he didnt see bounties in div 2 either

  8. Ian P. Says:

    Everybody knows you’re not allowed to mimic the snap count. I don’t understand how it could have been intentional.

  9. Justin Says:

    Don’t think for one second Schiano does hear/read all these little shots at him: “Might have worked at Rutgers” “This is the NFL, not the Big East” “I have never seen that in the pros, maybe in Division II”.

    For some reason, I think Schiano and the Bucs are going to have the last laugh. Might not happen this year, but I think its clear to all who are watching its coming together. Albeit slowly but surely.

  10. lightningbuc Says:

    What is the actual rule? All we’ve heard is “it’s in the rule book”.

  11. DallasBuc Says:

    Joe- i was listening to chris landry when he explained that. Not trying to be hard headed here but I still don’t quite understand why the defensive players are not allowed to call out plays to each other. I see it on every play. What is the point of calling defensive signals to the mike if he cannot communicate it to the defense? I am guessing this is legal but the refs judged the communication as barking offensive signals which is not legal. Sounds like a judgement call thing that is very subjective. I don’t see anything clear cut about this rule and what actually occurred. This is bad for the game, much the same as the excessive TV timeouts during games.

  12. raphael Says:

    @ justin Very clear…Bucs fixin to bust out on some mo fo’s

  13. Justin Says:

    Sounds to me like the refs would have never called a penalty had the Saints not pulled them aside in pregame and cried about it. Guarantee they were all in the side judges ear as the FG attempt was lined up too. Influencing officiating? I’d say so.

  14. Joe Says:


    Joe has access to the NFL rule book through the NFL offices and it’s a major pain in the arse to look up stuff this minuscule online, so any further questions should be directed to Greg Aiello at the NFL offices.

    Under the heading of what is “Unsportsmanlike Conduct by Players” there is a list of examples including the following:

    “… attempting to disconcert Team A at snap by words or signals.”

    Also, for history buffs, there’s this:

    “… leaping to attempt to block a field goal or point after touchdown unless the player was lined up on the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped.”

  15. Blackmagic00 Says:

    bet the saints jumped intentionally to get the refs to throw a flag on us after getting in the refs ear as well. I swear this team is cursed, the field goal, the mike Williams push, the winslow pass interference and the Bert Emanuel rule. Its almost as if the Bucs are the ones to get all the weird penaltys that change the rule book or clarify it.

  16. Joe Says:


    Why this rule was made, Joe cannot answer. But it’s there, and per Chris Landry, has been for some time. Joe’s read it, and pasted the excerpt just above.

    Joe has no clue what the rationale for the competition committee was for passing this legislation, nor can he speak for the competition committee. Again, just a guess, it has something to do with safety. But it is there, and that cannot be disputed.

  17. Joe Says:


    What is the point of calling defensive signals to the mike if he cannot communicate it to the defense?

    Joe believes you have a couple of things confused.

    The officials were of the belief that the Bucs yelling out (whatever it was) was a direct attempt to get the Saints to jump offsides, which as Joe documented above is a no-no. The defense is not allowed to do that.

    Calling out defensive signals is something completely different, and of course, permitted.

    Again, Joe cannot speak for the officiating crew on the field, nor can Joe speak for the competition committee. Those would be questions for Greg Aiello.

  18. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    I think you’ll see a lot more unsportsmanlike calls and even fines when the Bucs continue to flaunt the rules written and unwritten. How embarrassing?

  19. AmbushBuc Says:

    “someone explain why it ok for the offense to hard count to draw the defense offside but for the defense it is not allowed???????????”

    Offensive tackles and TEs are the only players on the field who cannot see when the ball gets snapped. Their attention is directed away from the ball. They move based on the QB’s snap count. Having a defender imitate the opposing QB’s snap count would mean constant false starts for every single offense in the league.

  20. Joe Says:

    Thank you Ambush.

  21. Pruritus Ani Says:

    Sounds like this is rather subjective as the formation used to defend or block field goals often involve shifting, players yelling and jumping up and down, etc.

    Lost all respect for Periera and his objectivity. Come to think of it, I ve never, ever heard him go against any ruling on the field. Probably one of those hardcore types that officiated one too many games…So he will be joining the plastic whistle crowd.

  22. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    I remember a southpaw pitcher for the Rays, Scott Kazmir, who intimated in a post game interview that an umpire had a strike zone the size of a bread box. All the umpires in the league retaliated and they would never again give him break. He went to the Angels with no success and now pitches for the Sugarland Skeeters.

    I saw Schiano dressing down 4 officials on the field, screaming at them, his face contorted with rage on national TV. I don’t ever think the NFL officials will ever give him a break again. The TV rules guy said it best, he can take that stuff back to Rutgers.

    Football officials have a tight knit fraternity and the Little General just peed in their punchbowl.

    That picture of Greg and the 4 referees was tweeted, emailed, and posted to every official in the NFL along with the Scab ref’s quotes.

    Next time they run that victory lunge for the knees of the opposing OL’s knees, you’ll see flags for unsportsmanlike conduct and expulsions.

  23. ander33 Says:

    honestly i really dislike the saints . its fine they won. all they want is for everybody to feel sorry for them. but i hope thursday bucs go to minesotta and get a victory cause im one of the few that really believes they could really win this game.

  24. MR. BUC Says:

    Actually ander33says i think with all that has gone wrong for us in losing games be it right or wrong i got this gut feeling and most will think i’m a little nut’s but watch and see the Bucs will shock the world and beat the Vikings and not by a close margin thursday night then win the following week in Oakland against the raiders and go 4-4 and maybe just maybe we can make a run for a wild card playoff game. it’s not over till the fat lady sings so keep your heads up bucs fans stranger things have happened. come on man.