NFL To Crack Down On Controversial Rule After Week One

Chiefs tackle Jawaan Taylor

Getty Image / David Eulitt

The first week of the 2023 NFL season has passed, but not without some hand wringing on where offensive lineman are lining up in regard to being on the line of scrimmage. And, the NFL is going to crack down on offenders following some egregious offenses, most notably by Kansas City Chiefs tackle Jawaan Taylor.

The alignment of Jawaan Taylor was pretty egregious in last Thursday’s season opener against the Lions. The rule states that in order to be considered on the line of scrimmage, the player’s helmet has to break the center’s hip to be considered on the line of scrimmage. He was nowhere close.

These are truly egregious. NFL referees have always given a little leeway on this, but he’s close to two yards away from the football. It’s a clear disadvantage to opposing pass rushers, especially when you consider that he was often also getting an early start.

According to Sports Illustrated, a crackdown is coming.

Dean Blandino, NFL football rules analyst for Fox Sports and former NFL vice president of officiating, told Sports Illustrated the league sent out its weekly training tape to its 32 clubs and officials, highlighting repeated illegal formation violations from various Week 1 action.

“On the tape this week at the very end, there are several examples of—and a couple from the Thursday night game with Jawaan Taylor—of tackles who are too far back. … That was emphasized on the training tape going into Week 2,” Blandino said. “I would expect, just from my experience, officials watch that training tape. It’s usually a very good learning tool, and it’s good for giving your officials direction. I would expect we will not see the egregious examples we may have seen in Week 1.”

Thank goodness. It was getting to be quite the joke. We will see just how much they’re cracking down when the Chiefs play the Jaguars on Sunday.