Posted December 23, 2012

Randall Cobb takes advantage of bizarre NFL rule

Green Bay Packers

On this week’s episode of “Odd moments in NFL officiating with the Green Bay Packers” …

Randall Cobb took advantage of a little-known rule to get the Packers terrific field position at the start of the third quarter Sunday. Tennessee’s Rob Bironas kicked off to Cobb, who waited for the ball near his own end zone.

The kickoff landed shy of the Green Bay goal line and rolled nearly to a stop at about the 4. Rather than pick up the ball and return it, Cobb put one foot on the sideline and fielded it — meaning that the kickoff, technically, had landed out of bounds, which led to a penalty against the Titans and gave Green Bay possession on its own 40.

The NFL’s rule regarding that play is the same as on a fumble: If any part of a player’s body is out of bounds when he makes contact with the football, the ball is considered out of bounds as well.

To his credit, CBS color commentator Dan Dierdorf was all over the bizarre ruling and immediately began praising Cobb for his quick thinking.

Here’s the end of that play, courtesy of Guyism.com:

6isVF

22 comments
Doc Holiday
Doc Holiday

He accidently stepped out of bounds----look at the video,it's obvious he didn't do it on purpose.

jsul
jsul

heads up play by this guy! thats pretty slick!

 

modsuperstar
modsuperstar

It like many NFL rules is strange. Like how you need 2 feet in bounds to be considered a catch, yet only 1 knee. I don't understand why you would require 2 points of contact in bounds under one criteria, but only 1 point in the second criteria.

KevinMcClain
KevinMcClain

The NFL may want to rethink this and make a rule change. That was a 35 yard gift for stepping out of bounds before picking up the ball? Once he steps out of bounds, he should be ruled inelgible to recieve the football. If you catch a pass with one foot out of bounds, it is an incompetion. In my opinion they should have been given the ball on the 4 yard line. Props to Cobb for knowing the rule and using it to his advantage, though.

EdBarnes
EdBarnes

nice, I was wondering what went on with that play.

 

hrdwknman
hrdwknman

Excellent thinking and skills! Wish my team ( Browns) had such intelligent guys! 

ostronomer
ostronomer

why wasn't this considered illegal touching? he stepped out of bounds before he touched the ball...

Reggie3
Reggie3

This shouldn't be that obscure of a rule.  I've heard Wes Welker did this all the time on punts and kickoffs while at Texas Tech.

John4
John4

Sort of the opposite play compared to the bondheaded "return" by the guy on the Lions who caught the free kick after the safety and "took a knee" at the four.  What in the world was he thinking?  Cobb, on the other hand plays smart and is a very very good player.  (Coaches love that combination)!  

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I love to see a player make a smart play like that. He gave his team a good 35 yards just by knowing the rules and using them to his best advantage. 

ApostleTimWatson
ApostleTimWatson

 @Doc Holiday Also, just before he touches the ball you will see him look to his right to make sure that his right foot is actually out of bounds before he touches the ball!

ApostleTimWatson
ApostleTimWatson

 @Doc Holiday This was not an accident Doc.. This is actually an obvious heads up play by Cobb... This is not an unknown rule for NFL players.  We were coached on this during my NFL career repeatedly by our Special Teams Coaches.  Cobb is also not the first person to do it.  Wes Welker made the exact same smart move when he was a returner with the Dolphins.

cjanderson0
cjanderson0

 @modsuperstar Because if your feet are the only part touching the ground you can forward the ball.  If your knee is down and you are touched you cannot.  I guess.  Plus it makes it more difficult than the college game in that regard, which I think they like;  That and the sideline is the sideline, if you are on it you are out.

mbklein
mbklein

 @ostronomer If you're out of bounds and touch the ball, it's as if the ball is out of bounds. It's only illegal touching if you go out of bounds, come back in, and then touch the ball before anyone else does without first reestablishing yourself in the field of play.

drdrew10
drdrew10

 @Reggie3 Why would he do it on punts? There is no advantage to doing so. The ball is spotted right there.

youarehumantrash
youarehumantrash

 @Reggie3 Wes Welker saved a family by killing a bear that was near his campsite.  In unrelated news, cool story bro!

tkoch55
tkoch55

  @Reggie3

 You would do it on a punt if you were going to fair catch it in the case that you muff the punt.  Once the ball touches you and you're established out of bounds, then the ball is considered OOB.

drdrew10
drdrew10

 @tkoch55  @Reggie3 Wouldn't it be wiser to simply allow the ball to land out of bounds, instead of attempting to catch the ball while straddling the sideline? I would profess that to be a poor choice if a punt returner were to try that.