Monday, November 11, 2013

Targeting - Corey Moore edition

Heard a lot of chatter about his ejection Saturday. Some of which was aimed at him for putting himself in the situation. And I've got to say, honestly, I thought the same thing while in the stadium.

But having rewatched the game, and that particular play several times, Moore was making a good football play. In fact, I think the actual flag is questionable. Even though while in Sanford it really appeared to be moderately egregious (yes, this is how low we've sunk, assigning levels of egregiousness). It's a play Moore has certainly been coached to make for years.

Now, that's not to say I'm surprised a flag was thrown. It was a bang-bang play and the receiver was not going to catch the ball. Which is why most, including myself, were upset to begin with Saturday. Why put yourself in the position for getting a 15 yard penalty, or worse with the volume of targeting calls we've seen, when there was no chance of App State completing the play for yardage? But again, the guy's just doing what he's been practicing since he was knee high to Prince Miller.

I've got a separate post coming about officiating. I didn't queue it up today because I really want to make sure it's fair and balanced (Ha! I know right?). But my question here is how do you view this particular call? Both from Moore and the officials' point of view. And then from the replay guy's view having had the luxury of slowing the play down and evaluating it.

Targeting is aimed at 1) protecting a defenseless player and 2) cutting down on players leading with the crown of the helmet. At live speed (both in the stadium and on television) it appeared to me that Moore had done just that - lead with the helmet to a defenseless player's head/neck region. On replay it looked more like his shoulder to the receiver's chest area. So does that make the replay official more culpable?

We're in a vast gray world these days. You've got players having to unlearn techniques they've spent years developing and officials equipped with more and more authority/pressure to impact the game and outcome. Egads!

And add to the mix that this play was not flagged for targeting...jeez Louise! What a mess.