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July 28, 2014

The QB Strike Zone

The SEC thinks they know how to protect QBs more: By defining the area of the body a defender can hit them when they are in a throwing posture. The area from below the neck to above the knee is the area a defensive player can hit an offensive player in a 'passing posture.'

The penalty will be called regardless if the QB is inside or outside the pocket. If a player is blocked into the passer, there will be no penalty called.

On paper, this is a pretty good idea. It puts defensive players on notice that if they lunge for a QBs knees as he's passing the ball, he's getting a penalty. Think Nick Fairley type plays. We have targeting the head penalty in place already. The problem arises from the judgement calls on where hits are and if a player was blocked into the passer. 

Remember, these are the same folks that called a targeting on Ray Drew for a hit, which was upheld upon review, which was neither above the neck, nor anything remotely near a hard hit. In fact, he backed off the last second:
I'm all for protecting players, but their is a certain...zeal...officials have for making these calls. These calls, mind you, often change the momentum of drives and games, given the length of the penalty and the award of a first down. The officials now have more decisions to make in a split second, all while the voice of conference commissioners are in their heads about 'protecting players,' which is a cover for 'reducing exposure to lawsuits.'

Yeah, I don't see how this goes badly at all.


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