One of the most divisive arguments around the National Football League is whether the Seattle Seahawks get away with too many penalties in the defensive backfield.
Some say that they play so physical that it forces officials to hold their whistles. Others have concluded that their brand of physical football crosses the Rubican into illegal waters.
Either way, it’s been a point of contention during the Pete Carroll era.
And now, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones plans on letting referees know this weekend when he’s been held by a member of the Legion of Boom.
“When we’re in a game, I’ll go look at them like that and say, ‘You didn’t see it?’ if they didn’t see it,” Jones told ESPN.com. “I’m not going to sit up there and cry about anything. It is what it is. But you’ve got to alert them. Some refs just let you play, too. It’s like, ‘All right, you’re going to let us play? Then we’re going to go out here and play. If you’re going to call it, call it. Just let me know how you’re going to officiate this game.'”
That’s the most-important aspect of officiating in the NFL. Let the teams know early on how a game is going to be called. And when you do that, call it the same way for both teams. If that were to happen on a consistent basis, offenses would know they have to get physical as well.
As it relates to Jones, that’s pretty much what he’s planning this upcoming weekend against Seattle in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
“But if you grab me early, I’m going to let the ref know,” Jones said. “And if they’re not calling it, it’s going to be a physical game.”
To be clear, it’s going to be an incredibly fun matchup to watch. Sure Seattle’s secondary likes to get physical. But Jones himself is among the most physical receivers in the game. It promises to bring out a chippy mentality on both sides, leading to what should be a drama-filled game.
Let’s just hope the officiating doesn’t have a larger role in the outcome than the actual players.