It was the #1 question I got after Denver Broncos’ safety Justin Simmons blocked Chris Boswell’s field goal in the first quarter of Sunday’s game: why isn’t that a penalty? Simmons made contact with long snapper Kameron Canaday – that should draw a flag, right?
Sitting in on this week’s Coordinator’s Corner with Bob Labriola, special teams coordinator explained why it wasn’t a foul.
“The rule to be honest with you has completely changed as the season has progressed,” Smith said. “You can jump in certain situations now, you can jump any gap in certain situations now, you weren’t initially allowed to touch anybody. Now, you can touch him but if you use leverage, if you raise yourself up, that’s a foul in those cases.”
Simmons’ foot grazed Canaday’s back but he didn’t push off of him, resulting in a legal play and block for Denver.
Smith said he believes the relaxed rule creates a player safety issue and that it’ll be changed again in the near future.
“The rules have been adjusted, changed, as we’ve proceeded through this. We’ve opened ourselves up to some player safety issues with how it stands today and I think you’ll see it change again.”
The other big question? How do you defend it? It doesn’t seem like a field goal unit has many options to prevent a guy with a 40 inch vertical leaping over you. Also, in that GIF, check out #96 push down on David DeCastro, letting Simmons go over him. Smith said there were three ways to stop it but declined to share those secrets.
“There’s way to defend it. We put it in on Monday’s meeting. We’ll practice it tomorrow. There’s ways to defend it…to be honest with you, I don’t want to divulge those things…there’s three ways to handle it. It depends on the situation, it depends on the length of the field goal, it depends on the look that we get. We have a certain guy identifying that look. I met with him this morning and showed him some of those looks.”
It’s the fourth blocked field goal of the last three years and definitely one issue Danny Smith needs to correct going forward.