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A novel football play

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by upstater1, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    Y! SPORTS

    Pretty innaresting stuff.

    This play got me thinking though. If a punter ever shanks the ball and it doesn't make the line of scrimmage. The offense can actually catch the ball and advance it.
     
  2. Canuck

    Canuck Rookie

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    The topic made me think of one of my favorite plays from the Pats-Bucs game.
    It was the fake reverse-screen and the pace at which it was run.
     
  3. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    This might not be legal in the NFL.

    Here's the page on punting:

    NFL Rules Digest: Kicks From Scrimmage

    Note the parts here:

    Together it seems that this is saying that you can only advance a blocked punt. It's not clear though, given that recovery is behind the line of scrimmage. The language doesn't address the specific scenario regarding the EKU play
     
  4. BSR

    BSR In the Starting Line-Up

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    Why would you want to Kick-pass it when you can just pass it which I would think is much more accurate?
     
  5. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    No too sure about that. Why does the NFL rulebook then emphasize that there can be no advancement of a punt beyond the line of scrimmage?

    It should simply and clearly state there can be no advancement of a punt at all.

    This passage makes me think the rule does apply in the NFL.
     
  6. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    One, your punter has a more accurate foot.
    Two, the defenders don't cover anyone in the flat because your punter is winding up to kick.
    Three, element of surprise.

    Although in rugby you never do a kick pass, you often have to kick like this for accuracy out of bounds, and fullbacks in rugby are excellent at placing kicks exactly where they want them. You'd be surprised how accurate kicks are.
     
  7. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    If a guy is covered well enough to protect against a fake-punt pass, he's also probably covered well enough to protect against a punt-pass.
     
  8. rlcarr

    rlcarr PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Don't take the Rules Digest as gospel. It is simplified and abridged.

    Look at the actual, official rulebook, which the NFL has finally put online like all the other pro sports (links to it, both as separate sections and as a single, complete file can be found at http://www.nfl.com/rulebook).

    Here are the actual rules about scrimmage kicks:

    http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/rulebook/pdfs/12_2012_Scrimmage_Kick.pdf

    As you can see, the play described by the OP does seem to be legal in the NFL after all:

     
  9. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Too bad Bolden didn't follow his blockers; he would've gained at least another 10-15 yards.
    At the end of the play, I could see Connolly & Wendell looking at each other with their hands
    in the air, as if they were saying What the feck was that guy doing?
     
  10. Palm Beach Pats Fan

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    Another interesting tidbit from the rulebook is that there is no such thing as pass interference on an outside receiver during a fake punt.

    "When a team presents a punt formation, defensive pass interference is not to be called for actions on the widest player eligible to go beyond line. Defensive holding may be called"

    (from the rules digest)
     
  11. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The actual rulebook is a bit more detailed than this, and while not crystal clear, I believe it would still be legal in the NFL. Risky, but legal.

    The key is that on a punt (or FG attempt, but not a kickoff) the receiving team has an absolute right to the ball once it crosses the LOS, but not before that.
     
  12. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Iker Casillas is out of favor at Real Madrid right? :)
     
  13. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

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    This play, as Eastern Kentucky ran it, would probably be illegal under NFL Rules. I believe in the NCAA ineligible receivers are allowed to block up to five yards from the neutral zone if the ball is passed behind the line of scrimmage, so what EKU did is just barely legal.

    NFL rules stipulate that no kicking-team player can advance beyond 1 yard downfield before the ball is kicked OTHER than the outside players on the line of scrimmage, aka the gunners.

    On Eastern Kentucky's play, a player on the line of scrimmage inside the outside man runs out and blocks the guy covering the eligible gunner four yards downfield. In the NFL that's a five yard penalty. He "looks" like an eligible receiver / gunner but is not.

    HOWEVER, I do not believe in the NFL there are any rules against ineligible receivers touching or advancing a kicked punt from behind their line of scrimmage. So conceivably a similar play could be run whereby the outside gunner blocks his defender downfield while the inside, ineligible gunner receives the punt-kick.
     

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