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Josh Cribbs non muff call in Colts - Broncos game

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SacPete1

On the Game Day Roster
This one confuses me and maybe somebody can clarify the rule relative to what Blandino said on NFLN.

The play I'm referring to is when Cribbs appeared to fumble or muff the punt and the initial call was a fumble recovered by the Broncos. It was reversed on review. Blandino said the circumstance was different than Bryant's non catch in the sense that Cribbs could not fumble the ball but rather muff it (although the Bryant play was not about a fumble but initial possession). After they reviewed the play they saw a catch by Cribbs, his knee down and then the ball came out after he hit the ground.

But if this had been a receiver attempting to catch a pass, would this not be ruled an incomplete pass due to the fact he needs to maintain possession all the way through to the point he hits the ground

So I guess I'm unclear as to what the requirement is for posession relative to a muff and why the requirement for possession of a received punt is different than possession for a pass.

If you can provide specific text from the rulebook, that would be very much appreciated.

By the way I was by no means displeased with this call, I was simply surprised and I hate giving in to emotional conclusions without understanding facts and rules.
 

Ring 6

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This one confuses me and maybe somebody can clarify the rule relative to what Blandino said on NFLN.

The play I'm referring to is when Cribbs appeared to fumble or muff the punt and the initial call was a fumble recovered by the Broncos. It was reversed on review. Blandino said the circumstance was different than Bryant's non catch in the sense that Cribbs could not fumble the ball but rather muff it (although the Bryant play was not about a fumble but initial possession). After they reviewed the play they saw a catch by Cribbs, his knee down and then the ball came out after he hit the ground.

But if this had been a receiver attempting to catch a pass, would this not be ruled an incomplete pass due to the fact he needs to maintain possession all the way through to the point he hits the ground

So I guess I'm unclear as to what the requirement is for posession relative to a muff and why the requirement for possession of a received punt is different than possession for a pass.

If you can provide specific text from the rulebook, that would be very much appreciated.

By the way I was by no means displeased with this call, I was simply surprised and I hate giving in to emotional conclusions without understanding facts and rules.

They are 2 totally different things.
The ground cannot cause a fumble, but it can cause an incomplete pass.
 

chasa

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
it doesn't matter because the call should have been running into the return man that called a fair catch. saying he was blocked into him was a bs call.
 

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it doesn't matter because the call should have been running into the return man that called a fair catch. saying he was blocked into him was a bs call.

did he call a fair catch?
 

moosekill

In the Starting Line-Up
But the returner still has to be able to catch the ball before he is hit. I believe the initial call was the defensive player was blocked into the returner. It looked to me like he ran straight into him.
 

SacPete1

On the Game Day Roster
I realize a fumble characterization is not relevant. It's whether it was a muff or not. If the ball had bounced off of Cribbs, it would have been a muff and potentially recoverable by Denver but they wouldn't be able advance it.

What I'm asking is why they would determine that he had possession when he clearly did not maintain control all the way through to the point he hit the ground. Is there a different definition of a catch on a punt return versus a catch on a pass?
 

Ring 6

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I realize a fumble characterization is not relevant. It's whether it was a muff or not. If the ball had bounced off of Cribbs, it would have been a muff and potentially recoverable by Denver but they wouldn't be able advance it.

What I'm asking is why they would determine that he had possession when he clearly did not maintain control all the way through to the point he hit the ground. Is there a different definition of a catch on a punt return versus a catch on a pass?
yes
 

Palm Beach Pats Fan

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Imagine he was catching a lateral and not a punt.

When the knee goes down the rushing play is over.

Same with fielding a punt
 

SacPete1

On the Game Day Roster
Imagine he was catching a lateral and not a punt.

When the knee goes down the rushing play is over.

Same with fielding a punt


He actually needs to be touched if its a lateral unless he is giving himself up. But its a good example you raise of successful possession and its definition relative to a catch of a pass, catch of a punt, and catch of a lateral.

According to AJ, there is a different defintion per the NFL. I'll need to find the wording of that.
 

in 12 we trust

Practice Squad Player
From Sports Illustrated MMQB

"The Cribbs ruling made complete sense in that it lined up with what we’re seeing, and with the rule book. Cribbs had possession of the ball, and the ball didn’t come out until he went to the ground after contact."
 

SacPete1

On the Game Day Roster
From Sports Illustrated MMQB

"The Cribbs ruling made complete sense in that it lined up with what we’re seeing, and with the rule book. Cribbs had possession of the ball, and the ball didn’t come out until he went to the ground after contact."

Interesting and thank you for this. Although I can't seem to find anything specific on the NFL definition of possession of a punt, I can only assume that the terms " a football move" or " maintain possession through to the ground" are not applicable when catching a punt.
 

TBR

Pro Bowl Player
As thought it should have been ruled down by contact (i.e. no fumble)

With the favourable calls/no-calls the Broncos were getting, I was actually shocked they overturned it
 

The Brandon Five

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But the returner still has to be able to catch the ball before he is hit. I believe the initial call was the defensive player was blocked into the returner. It looked to me like he ran straight into him.

There used to be a "halo rule" that protected punt returners when making the catch. The removal of that rule is probably why there seem to be more fair catches these days. Not sure why Cribbs didn't call for a fair catch on that play. He got ruined on a previous punt.
 

SacPete1

On the Game Day Roster
From Sports Illustrated MMQB

"The Cribbs ruling made complete sense in that it lined up with what we’re seeing, and with the rule book. Cribbs had possession of the ball, and the ball didn’t come out until he went to the ground after contact."


I just read the Bedard article on MMQB and the comparison of possession between the 2 plays had me confused as well. Not to take Bedard's word as fact but this quote speaks to possession in that according to him, there is no difference in defining the lack of possession of a catch of a punt (muff) and an incomplete pass:

"The Cribbs play is a punt, but it’s essentially officiated the same way as a pass reception (lack of possession would be a muff). It sure didn’t look like Cribbs had time to perform a football act, or take a breath, before Bolden drilled Cribbs. Oh, but he did. Having your forward progress stopped is a football act, according to FootballZebras on Twitter. And since Cribbs was in the process of being tackled, he was down by contact. Let’s not even get into the hypothetical of what might have happened had Cribbs jumped for the ball like Bryant."
 

rochrist

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did he call a fair catch?
I don't think he called a fair catch, but I was wondering about this. Don't you have to give the guy room to catch the ball? They were saying the defender was blocked into him, but on the replays that didn't seem to be the case.
 

Ring 6

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I don't think he called a fair catch, but I was wondering about this. Don't you have to give the guy room to catch the ball? They were saying the defender was blocked into him, but on the replays that didn't seem to be the case.
Pretty sure the opportunity to catch is like a pass, you can't hit before he touches the ball.

On a side note, it is getting so frustrating that people are expecting perfection out of referees.
Replay has caused that I suppose.
We now not only want every call right, but we want the ones reviewed in slow motion for 3 days that are still seen differently by half the fans or experts to be called right live.
It now is a travesty that the ref called Bryants non-catch a non-catch when the consensus is it was correct, after the travesty that the no-contact PI wasn't called against Detroit it is split down the middle as to whether it was or not, on top of the travesty that someone didn't see Suh getting held, and that they missed a call on Revis that was 50/50 and blew a clear one on Gronk.

I wish the focus was off the refs, but excess coverage, social media, and instant replay have made calls made, calls not made, calls challenged and disputes 90% of the rhetoric around the NFL.
 

hwc

In the Starting Line-Up
I wanna know when Josh Cribbs had a frontal lobotomy. I can't come up with any other explanation for deciding, time and time again, to not signal for a fair catch, even though he was going to get "jacked up".
 

SacPete1

On the Game Day Roster
Pretty sure the opportunity to catch is like a pass, you can't hit before he touches the ball.

On a side note, it is getting so frustrating that people are expecting perfection out of referees.
Replay has caused that I suppose.
We now not only want every call right, but we want the ones reviewed in slow motion for 3 days that are still seen differently by half the fans or experts to be called right live.
It now is a travesty that the ref called Bryants non-catch a non-catch when the consensus is it was correct, after the travesty that the no-contact PI wasn't called against Detroit it is split down the middle as to whether it was or not, on top of the travesty that someone didn't see Suh getting held, and that they missed a call on Revis that was 50/50 and blew a clear one on Gronk.

I wish the focus was off the refs, but excess coverage, social media, and instant replay have made calls made, calls not made, calls challenged and disputes 90% of the rhetoric around the NFL.


I for one am not expecting perfection from the referees and its not realistic to expect otherwise. I have maintained that knowing what a stated rule is and applying consistent measures of evaluation should be the goal for any team of referees. Mistakes happen and when they do its ok for the ref or Blandino to own up to it.

I thought the Bryant call was correct based on my understanding of the rule but I have seen quite a few "experts" claim it to be a catch in their minds which isn't relevant. Its not about someone's opinion on what a catch is; its about judging the outcome based on a stated rule. If a rule is vague or ambiguous, then a greater degree of judgement is expected and frankly should be accepted.

I agree that replay with HD quality along with the TV, internet and radio post game coverage drive the controversy but that isn't going to lessen.

The day I became a Patriot fan was the result of what I felt was a terrible call - roughing the passer against Ken Stabler in 1976. I thought it was a terrible call and still do but there was a fraction of the analysis there would be today.

Conspiracy theorists would suggest that this is exactly that the NFL wants. Anything that brings about heightened emotion brings about attention and therefore more viewers.
 

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