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Stiff-arm


Mickalino

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Someone explain this to me in general football.

Why is it that when a defensive player touches an offensive player's frontal helmet, it's a penalty for facemask. But when an offensive ball carrier basically does the same thing to a defender's facemask, it's called a stiff-arm, and it's perfectly legal ?

What am I missing here ?

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Just touching a facemask as a defensive player is no longer a penalty, they have to obviously grab/yank/pull it now, that rule was changed this past offseason.

See rule 5 http://national-football-league-nfl.suite101.com/article.cfm/nfl_rule_changes_for_2008

Rule 5: Goodbye to the 5-yard Incidental Facemask- A quick grab of the facemask is no longer a punishable offense. Grab hold and try to unscrew his noggin, it’s still 15 yards.
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A stiff arm in no way involves grabbing the facemask. It is more of a push to the head.

As an offensive player your are allowed to that contact because you are the one being hit and chased. You are simply trying to keep the player far enough away from you so they cant tackle you.

If a DB gets an interception and goes to return the ball they are allowed to do the same thing.

On defense there are rules to protect against the face mask and explosive helmet to helmet hits, but every game there is some contact made against an offensive player and his helmet.

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Just touching a facemask as a defensive player is no longer a penalty, they have to obviously grab/yank/pull it now, that rule was changed this past offseason.

Interesting, I knew they changed the penalty, but thought it was differently. I thought they just lumped all facemasks into the 15-yard penalty, and included the incidental touching the facemask, along with the blatant pulling of it, all consolidated into the same penalty.

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A stiff arm in no way involves grabbing the facemask. It is more of a push to the head.

But at least in previous rules, it would still be called for a facemask, if the defensive player did as you said, and just pushed the head. It would have just been the 5-yard variety.

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But at least in previous rules, it would still be called for a facemask, if the defensive player did as you said, and just pushed the head. It would have just been the 5-yard variety.

The defensive players don't have the ball so they are at a huge advantage as far as potentially injuring an offensive player. Once you have the ball you are the target of 11 other players on the field, especially once you cross the line of scrimmage.

They are protecting the offensive players because they are at such a huge disadvantage as an individual once they cross the line.

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What am I missing here ?
They changed the emphasis on facemasks. Any player grabbing or twisting the facemask is a 15 yard penalty, it was just never called on the ball carrier in the past. Kind of like how they used to let illegal contact and PI slide if it was minor before the Colts complained about the Patriots.

A violent shove to the face by the ball carrier is now a 15 yard roughness penalty, ala Marion Barber. How many rule changes do we have thanks to Cowboys?

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A stiff-arm is simply keeping an attacker at bay. A facemask is ripping at someone's head to take them down.

So what about when a defensive linemen is called for illegal hands to the face? That's basically a stiff-arm. No grabbing of the face mask to pull them down.

There is a double-standard because the league wants more scoring to make the games more exciting for the fans.

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Facemask penalties can be called as illegal hands to the face by ball carriers. I remember Rod Gardner was called for one on a screen years ago. If you stiff arm the guy directly by twisting the defenders' helmet, you can get flagged. Just much more rare to happen because of the facemask twisting is usually for the defender trying to get the player down rather than just pushing off.

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So what about when a defensive linemen is called for illegal hands to the face? That's basically a stiff-arm. No grabbing of the face mask to pull them down.

There is a double-standard because the league wants more scoring to make the games more exciting for the fans.

There's illegal hands to the face on offense too right?

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There's illegal hands to the face on offense too right?

Right, but how often do you see it get called on RBs who shove their hand into a defender's face to keep them at bay. Somebody mentioned Marion Barber earlier, and I know I've seen him do that (rather violently) at least a dozen times in the last couple years and not get called for it. As somebody who's played a lot of LB and OL, I've never liked the blind-eye refs seem to turn toward RBs in this regard.

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Why isn't it an issue of safety for a defensive player? You are basically bending his neck back with the push of his mask. They call illegal hands to the face on both the offensive lines and defensive lines, they should call it on the ball carrier. If he wants to stiff arm, hit him in the chest.

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Stiff arms use the palm of the hand and doesn't involve grabbing like others have said. It is a great tool, especially for those that have long arms to gain extra yards. When IO played Rugby, we were taught to "throw" stiff arms in a way that is almost similar to a punch(but not really) by using the palm of your hand and aiming at for the cheek/chin area.

Sometimes it looked really bad if you caught the person properly, with that said, making contact with someones chin and knocking them to the ground makes them think twice about how they are going to tackle you the next time. Since football players wear masks, the stiff arm is still very effective and every now and again you see someone get underneath the face mask and actually making contact with the chin, and that is how you do it.

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The RB is moving forward and trying to continue moving forward. The defender is trying to stop him from moving forward at all costs. For a runningback, a helmet or facemask is more of a roadblock to smash through. For a defender its more like a handle to grab to help stop the player. Defensive players get called for more facemasks because they are much more prone to committing them. Offensive players are trying to keep the defender at bay or bust past them, not stop them from moving, so they will always hit with a stiff arm but not grab.

If a defender grabs near a helmet, there is a high likelihood that they will gram and twist, warranting a facemask.

Thats just the way it is.

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Why isn't it an issue of safety for a defensive player? You are basically bending his neck back with the push of his mask. They call illegal hands to the face on both the offensive lines and defensive lines, they should call it on the ball carrier. If he wants to stiff arm, hit him in the chest.

:hysterical: Never played football, huh?

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So what did everybody think of McFadden getting away with gripping and shoving the facemask of Landry early in the game today?

:hysterical: You were never a defender having to tackle a RB, were you?

Of course I was. And I never complained. It was allowed. I don't argue the rules. They're the same for everyone.

As for Landry. I think I remember the play you're referring to. And he didn't seem to have a problem with it. The play on the sidline, right? Meh. That's what McFadden is taught to do. Landry should have been upset that he kept getting burnt on those pass plays. McFadden was abusing him. Other than those few plays, he did play pretty well though.

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