League’s top ref defends recent calls
CFL officials are being flagged by fans, players and coaches across thecountry for inconsistent pass interference calls, throwing thespotlight on Tom Higgins, the league’s director of officiating.
CFL officials are being flagged by fans, players and coaches across the country for inconsistent pass interference calls, throwing the spotlight on Tom Higgins, the league’s director of officiating.
Higgins is aware of the criticism but argues the complex pass interference I rule is often misinterpreted. As Higgins told CFL.ca this week: “Pass interference is the toughest call in football. And, on occasion, it’s also the most misunderstood ... People see contact on one play, and a flag, and contact on another, and no flag, and say that’s inconsistent. Well, depending on the play, both calls could have been correct.” But the problem lies in the rule itself, not in the way it’s being called. Just ask former NFL receivers, who always say one of the toughest adjustments they make when entering the CFL is dealing with the constant “hand-fighting” by defensive backs. The manoeuvre allows DBs to “interfere” with the receiver and usually isn’t called a penalty in three-down football.
One solution is to make all contact between receivers and defensive backs illegal. Doing so would add even more offensive fireworks to an already exciting on-field product, while adding clarity to the pass-interference controversy.
With just eight teams in the CFL, you’d think building the schedule would be easy. A couple hours of free time, a large notepad and a case of beer should be enough, right?
Despite this, the CFL always seems to screw it up.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats met in Weeks 1, 3, 6 and 7. The East Division rivals, battling for a playoff spot, don’t face each other again during the regular season. Meanwhile, the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos are in a five-week stretch in which they’ll tangle three times.
Esks’ hands are tied
Wondering how exactly Edmonton Eskimos head coach Richie Hall can survive after his team simply packed up and quit on him during a 56-15 thumping Sunday night in Calgary?
If the players won’t work for Hall, the Esks will need to find a replacement. But the problem is Hall also doubles as the defensive coordinator, a role much harder to fill than the head coaching job.
While linebackers coach Dan Kepley took the fall this week by resigning after the defence’s poor performance, replacing Hall means hiring two coaches.
Until the Esks have a new GM, it’s unlikely any other staff will be added.