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Head of officiating Dean Blandino said the NFL’s competition committee likely will review the league’s taunting rule this offseason.
Blandino, in an appearance on NFL Network, was explaining the penalty assessed on Golden Tate and the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, after the wide receiver began waving at and taunting St. Louis defenders at the Rams’ 25-yard line en route to an 80-yard touchdown.
Blandino explained that in the NFL, taunting is a dead-ball foul, which means the play counts and a penalty is assessed on the next play. He compared that to college rules, which would have nullified the touchdown and assessed a penalty at the spot of the foul, meaning instead of a touchdown the Seahawks would have been at the Rams’ 40.
“A lot of people felt that the touchdown shouldn’t have counted [but] a taunting foul is always treated as a dead-ball foul, meaning whatever happened during the play counts, and the foul is enforced on the next play, which would be the kickoff,” Blandino said. “In college, this action would take back the touchdown.”
Blandino said he is sure the rule is something the competition committee will look at in the offseason.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday he is 100 percent against the idea of taking a touchdown away from a team if a player is flagged for taunting on the play.
“I think that’s a terrible thing to do,” Carroll said. “I think it puts too much pressure on the officials to change the game like that. I think that would be terrible to ask on a back judge to decide if he should take away a touchdown in a game. That should not be part of what an official has to do.”
The competition committee is a group of eight coaches and executives who review rules each year, discuss and debate them, and present them to ownership at the owners’ meeting in March. Rams coach Jeff Fisher is a member of the committee.
Other members of the committee include: Atlanta Falcons executive Rich McKay, Dallas Cowboys executive Stephen Jones, Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, New York Giants co-owner John Mara, Green Bay Packers executive Mark Murphy, Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
Tate apologized Monday night after the Seahawks were penalized 15 yards for his taunting penalty.
“That was immature of me. Hurt my team. I’ve gotta stay composed. … Act like I’ve been there before,” Tate said. “I gotta apologize to our special teams. I put them in an awkward situation, but more happy to get up and learn from it and move forward.”
Carroll indicated Tate has been fined by the NFL, but did not give any specifics.
“The actions that the league took in this case were warranted exactly,” Carroll said. “That’s not who we are or what we’re all about. It was a mistake that Golden has totally taken accountability for. I wish it wouldn’t have happened. There’s no place for that in football. That’s not part of this game. Golden got the scrutiny he should get and we move on.”
Information from ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Terry Blount was used in this report.