Pereira: Defensive Holding Will Be Point Of Emphasis This Season

According to former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira, during the NFL officiating clinic that took place yesterday, officials were briefed on various points of emphasis regarding the upcoming season, and the headliner from the event was unquestionably the new emphasis on illegal contact and defensive holding.

As Pereira Tweeted: “More offense!”

According to a follow-up Tweet, illegal contact was last a point of emphasis during the 2004 season, during which such fouls skyrocketed from 79 in 2003 to an astounding 191, which is nearly .75 per regular season game, assuming the number cited applies only to the regular season.

The average score of an NFL game during the 2004 season was 48 points, which Pereira believes to be an all-time record.

The rulebook has only become increasingly lopsided toward the offense in the past decade. Could we be in for another record-breaking offensive output league-wide in 2014?

Pereira notes that the “offset” on this new emphasis is a parallel emphasis on penalizing offensive pass interference.

Unfortunately, neither he nor I believe that is a truly balanced offset, given the infrequency of the call in relation to its defensive opposite. Wide receivers are only becoming more and more difficult to defend as they grow taller and stronger.

The better cornerbacks tend to be the ones that better disguise their interference, as there is a shortage of defensive backs that can match up with the new age of receivers that seem to begin at 6’2” and go on up from there.

The Pittsburgh Steelers may consider themselves fortunate for having two starting cornerbacks that are 6’2” and 6’1”, though it must be said that both of them are currently in the final years of their respective contracts.

In addition to that, you have to search long and hard after those two to find one that can even claim to approach the six foot mark.

Of those likely to make the roster, six foot rookie Shaquille Richardson is the only other cornerback above 5’10”. The only other defensive backs six feet or taller are Will Allen and newcomer Mike Mitchell.

That’s not to say of course that shorter cornerbacks cannot be successful defenders against tall wide receivers, though doing so is more difficult, especially so when their every hand placement is going to be scrutinized for penalty consideration this season.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • ApexSteel

    The league must not like Seattle then.

  • 20Stoney

    Kind of makes me happy we didn’t draft Darqueze Dennard.

  • Rob H

    What they don’t like is their golden boy quarterbacks like Manning getting embarrassed. It really is pathetic how they constantly do crap like this to help offenses.

  • 2443scott

    nfls new moto …no defenses allowed in nfl …..

  • 2443scott

    they will do any thing to help their boys make it to superbowl and stack up there stats…..cant have your dinner party pals upset over desert

  • ApexSteel

    We live in an A.D.D world man. A defensive battle wouldn’t hold people’s attention long enough so they’re trying to take defense out of it. They want a 41-38 game not 13-6. It’s sad to see but they’re going to do what sells and points sell.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Why am I not surprised with this dopey commish. These are people who claim to love the game but they only like one side of the game. Such clowns. When this turns into arena football, I’m out.

  • Lil Smitty

    I blame the influence of fantasy football. If something happens that doesn’t include yards gained, interceptions, and tackles, they are not interested in it. Tight coverage doesn’t matter to fantasy football. Is passes defended a stat in fantasy football?
    Fantasy football even influences who we think are elite in the NFL. Heath Miller suffers from this bias. There is more involved in the game than what shows up on fantasy football stat sheet. I realize that I will be blasted for this view, but it is something I have noticed over the past years.

  • charles

    A 41-38 score may also imply fantastic finish. That keeps the 4th quarter ads alive.

  • charles

    It is called the NDA, no defense at all.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    My first thought as well. I honestly think the league wants Brady or Manning (most likely Manning) to get another SB so he can retire in a blaze of glory.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    The rules are what they are. The smart teams will adjust and use the rules to their advantage. New England seems to be very good at doing that. The Steelers need to do that too and not be stubborn about being a run-first offense.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Pereira on Twitter: “Btw, officials were shown many plays regarding illegal contact and defensive holding. How many Seahawk plays???. None.”

  • ApexSteel

    Doesn’t mean they weren’t getting away with murder…

  • Matthew Marczi

    I was implying that the league was ignoring their champion’s infractions.

  • mem359

    At first, I thought the article would be about the league cracking down on OL holding James Harrison on most plays.
    Oops, wrong defensive holding.