Archive for category Rules & Regs

So what the hell is a catch anyway?

Posted by on Wednesday, 18 November, 2015

To be kind, the rules for what does and does not constitute a catch are … opaque. It’s worth the attempt to try to understand it, if only to make it easier to yell at the officials when they inevitably get it wrong.

First, below is the dizzying description by Dean Blandino of three different catches, and here is the video of the plays being described.

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Steelers Multiple Restructures Of Timmons’ Deal May Not Impact Him The Way Many Think

Posted by on Tuesday, 20 October, 2015

Timmons return Lions

I have this dream that one day Steelers fans will cease from looking at a players Salary Cap figure, conclude that figure is what he makes that season and then decide if his play meets that figure’s worth.

Alas, it will probably never happen. Most fans do not understand the NFL salary cap and most who have no understanding, also have no desire to gain one. And that’s ok. However, if you are going to take a hard stance on player worth, you should know what goes into a Player’s Cap Charge.

Take for example the most recent target of many Steelers fans’ perceptions of NFL contracts and their cap implications: Lawrence Timmons. Timmons IS NOT scheduled to make $15 million plus in 2016, contrary to what many believe. His total compensation will be $8.75 million. That’s still a lot, but it’s right in line with the other top ILBs in the league as you can see below in a screen shot table from Over The Cap that differentiates Cap Figure from Cash Expenditure for 2016.


I should first explain that the annual cap figure for a player consists of his base salary, plus any bonuses due, plus any bonus proration scheduled to be accounted for in that given year. It’s understanding how bonus proration works and how it is applied that is key to understanding how teams manipulate their cap each season.

A player is not going to willingly agree to push his earnings into a future year when he can be cut at any time and end up having to forfeit those earnings. In order to create space teams use accounting loopholes put in place by the CBA. Key among them is bonus proration.

If you have no desire to know why $8,381,250 of Timmons’ past (this is the key and operative word) earnings count on the 2015 salary cap, stop reading. But, if you do have a desire to know how NFL contracts are frequently structured and restructured to “kick the can down the road”, read on. It should be pretty simple to understand by the end of this.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by on Tuesday, 12 May, 2015


The Terrible Flag

Posted by on Monday, 6 October, 2014

ScreenShot1128If evidence were needed to demonstrate that the Steelers’ biggest opponent is themselves, we might look no further than at their abysmal performance in penalties. As of today, the Steelers are by far the most penalized team in the NFL, with 51 penalties. This is more than double the penalty count of nine other teams. The Steelers have more penalties than Cincinnati (22) and Baltimore (21) combined. They have amassed 437 penalty yards, second behind only the Patriots (466).  The Steelers lead in penalties per game (10.2) while the Ravens have the fewest penalties per game (4.2).

Most egregious, the Steelers lead the league in Face Mask penalties with 6, which is 714% more than the league average of 0.84, and Illegal Block in the Back with 4, some 425% above the league average of 0.94. All of the Face Mask penalties have been the 15 yard variety.

We can also combine three other penalty types, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Taunting, and Unnecessary Roughness, as three “bad boy” categories. Combined, the Steelers have 7 such penalties compared to a league average of 2.44.

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NFL 2013 Rule Changes TC Video

Posted by on Friday, 16 August, 2013

Thanks to abennihana, here is an officiating video reviews the 2013 rule changes and points of emphasis, and is shown to all players in training camp.