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Sunday, September 16, 2018 7:31:50 PM(UTC)
Dan Pierson said:
'IN-THE-GRASP' RULE CHANGED TO HELP QBS
Don Pierson, Chicago Tribune
Quarterbacks will get a break next season if National Football League officials correctly enforce the more liberal ''in-the-grasp-and-control'' rule passed by owners Wednesday.
Under the new wording, the referee is instructed to blow the whistle when a defensive player has a quarterback in his grasp ''only when (the quarterback's) safety is in jeopardy.''
''That was the original intent of grasp-and-control, the safety of the quarterback. We probably got too tight on things,'' said Jerry Seeman, who refereed two of the last three Super Bowls and is now the new supervisor of officials.
It was Seeman who initiated the ''in-the-grasp'' modification in hopes of removing the layers of amendments that have cluttered the rulebook over the years and complicated officiating.
Common sense is the element Seeman wants to see.
''What I don't want is the mobile quarterback getting wrapped up below and the quarterback is throwing the ball for a 40-yard gain and we're bringing it back,'' he said.
Seeman showed the Competition Committee 31 in-the-grasp calls made during last season, 20 of which were correct under 1990 rules. Under the new rules, Seeman said only eight would have been called.
The change should help every quarterback, but especially mobile or big passers. San Diego State's 6-foot-8-inch Dan McGwire, one of the top prospects in this draft, should benefit from the rule because of his ability to ignore would-be tacklers and still complete passes.
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