NFL VP of officiating: Wes Welker hit on Aqib Talib ‘a legal hit’
|01.22.14 at 11:04 pm ET|
NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino appeared on the NFL Network on Wednesday night and discussed Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker‘s hit on Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib in the AFC title game (click here for video of the appearance).
On if Welker’s hit on Talib was legal:
“It was a legal hit … Here’s Welker in the slot. The first potential foul would be for offensive pass interference; a receiver can’t block downfield before the ball is touched, so the timing is important. You’ll see Welker run the route and he does appear to angle back towards Talib and come into his path creating that contact. Now we have to look to see when was the ball touched in relation to the contact; you’ll see here the contact occurs, the ball is touched almost simultaneously. We don’t have a foul for pass interference. The other thing, is it unnecessary roughness? Under the current rules it isn’t. It’s not late, Talib wasn’t out of the play. Unfortunately there was an injury so just like in other situations when an injury does occur, the competition committee will take a look at this and determine if there needs to be a change. But under the current rules, this is a legal play.”
On if he has spoken with Patriots coach Bill Belichick regarding the play:
“Yeah, there was communication with Bill. We talked about the situation and the play, and obviously there is a difference of opinion there and something that we’ll continue to look at during the offseason.”
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