You know, I was gonna get all snarky about Steve Shaw’s criteria for calling holding…
“By rule, as long as you’re in proper position, as long as you keep your hands inside his frame, you can pretty much do anything – as long as you’ve got good position on him and as he moves you’re still in good position.
“People see him locked up on (the offensive lineman’s) breast plates and that sort of thing. That’s not holding. OK, by definition that’s not holding. Now when it is, is when I lose my position and he starts to get away, now I’ve got to let him go. I can give him a shove but I can’t hold him back in.”
Then there’s what Shaw referred to as a “point-of-attack” blocking issue, such as a sweep to the right end. If a left tackle sticks his hand out there on a defender, it’s not a call unless it impacts the play.
“We don’t want that call,” Shaw said. “It may be a talk-to-the-player, but it has absolutely no impact to the play, and it has no personal foul, or it has no injury-related component to it, then we don’t want it as a foul. We want uality (sic) fouls. We want fouls that impact the play. Fouls that have an advantage (and a) disadvantage.”
… but I think instead I’m gonna take him at face value and watch a season of SEC ball to see if there’s any consistency to enforcing his standards. I’m skeptical – “fouls that impact the play” seems like a fairly amorphous concept – but what the hell, maybe there’s more method to his madness than I give him credit for.
Or not. One thing I do believe is worth keeping an eye this season on is whether the SEC crew with an extra man does a better job monitoring line play than the rest of Shaw’s crews. Maybe what I perceive as inconsistency is more a product of not having enough eyes to go around than anything else.