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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Ambiguous Warning:

Warning: All 32 NFL Franchises
It is league policy throughout to do its best to protect the safety of its players.  As such, we are forced to warn, followed by officiate, the ambiguity of quarterbacks using the side-ward slide technique.  Neither the officials, nor the players can adequately determine the intent of a quarterbacks in regard to the use of a sideward slide.  The use of the sideward slide does not adequately indicate whether the quarterback is attempting to advance toward the line of gain or if his intention is to give himself up on the play.  The sideward slide technique is ambiguous to everyone on the field as such does not clearly, nor adequately, declare the quarterbacks intent as a runner.  As such, using the sideward slide technique exposes the quarterback to unintended consequences which may affect players safety.  Cease & desist in the use of any sideward slide technique.


By rule, a running quarterback can choose to avoid contact by giving himself up on the play.  To do so, that quarterback must slide, where the line of gain is to be marked at the point where the quarterback begins his slide.  The official must then makes a judgment as to where to mark the line of gain based upon that officials assessment of the slide.  The assessment is either without question as to the intent or the intent is ambiguous, based upon the quarterbacks actual intent.  In other words, did the quarterback attempt to make forward progress or did he completely give up on the play.       

Now, if you've ever played baseball, you are taught to slide with your feet out first in front of you, however, in time, you eventually learn all types of different slides.  There's the face first slide & then later you learn the hook slide, where you can grab the base & avoid the tag from the side using the sideward slide technique.  It is the hook or sideward slide that is at issue ... because based upon everyone other than the running quarterback, the intent is ambiguous.  Ambiguity in technique does not & can not protect players and as such must cease immediately.  

In short, the slide rule is in place, however the type of slide to be used has been left ambiguous, which leaves the judgment of an officiating crew in charge to decide what is & what is not an appropriate slide.  In other words, if it is not a slide, then the runners line of gain is accessed where the runner is down by contact.  If sliding at full speed, this assessment could be 5 yards or more downfield, so intent must be clearly drawn by the advancing quarterback.  

IT IS now apparent that it is THE LEAGUES RESPONSIBILITY TO OFFICIATE USING PLAYERS SAFETY as its guide.  ONLY AN UNAMBIGUOUS SLIDE THAT CLEARLY INDICATES A QUARTERBACKS INTENTION ... TO GIVE UP ON THE PLAY ... IS TO SLIDE WITH YOUR FEET OUT IN FRONT OF YOU, WITH YOUR FEET POINTED TOWARD THE LINE OF GAIN.

The SIDEWARD SLIDE introduces AMBIGUITY OF INTENT which has left the door wide open for the defender to decide whether the slide used by the running quarterback is in fact ambiguous.  Last night we saw Holton Hill apply a vicious hit on Seattle's quarterback.  The helmet to helmet hit was completely unacceptable, resulting in his deserved ejections,  however the AMBIGUITY OF INTENT , left open by the NFL's league-wide judgment of intent by its officials, is now apparent.    

So you might be wondering why this happened? It is due in part to interpretation of this rule, where some coaches figured out that the sideward slide, even with a quarterback leading with his shoulder toward the line of gain, has the clear advantage over the defenders judgment, where if he is not touched, he is given the line of gain 5 yards or more beyond the start of the slide, as defenders must avoid making contact otherwise they may draw a personal foul.

It has also been observed that if contact is initiated by the defender, defending against the sideward slide technique, allows sideward sliding quarterback to reorient after contact, where the feet end up downfield toward the line of gain.  As such, the clear intent of the runner must be drawn prior to contact, not after contact. 

What is odd, and no one seems to be discussing this yet, is the immediate ejection from the game may not be applied equally to the offense's side of the ball & to special team play. Constraints applied to only one side of the ball (defense) has never been considered to be a good idea.  Defenders & special team players must be equally protected, by camera review, from hits that jeopardize their safety too.   It is clear to both see & hear that issues appear to be stacking against the defensive side of the ball however any & all observations on their part are mute ... if their safety is equally protected.  Without intervention by the league, especially in regard to ambiguity, it will most certainly causing mayhem in the minds of every defender.  The league must act in unison on this.  

If the running quarterbacks intent, prior to contact is both clear & concise, and contact is initiated by the defender, a 15 yard personal foul penalty shall then be accessed followed by considerations toward immediate ejection from that contest, along with other league considerations.  Nothing shall change in that regard.  

In Short, the league must immediately step up & abolish the sideward slide from the game.   



The Viking Ghost Writer
http://MyVikingBlood.org
Date: August 19, 2019


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