Fri Jul 12 5:53pm ET
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
PLANO, Texas (AP) Veteran NFL referee Tony Corrente was quick to make the distinction about what changes now that pass interference can be challenged by coaches and reviewed by officials.
''First of all, the rule has not changed whatsoever. Pass interference is still the same rule that we have had in the past,'' Corrente said Friday. ''We haven't changed our perspective toward it, we haven't changed our interpretations of it whatsoever. It's just the addition of replay.''
The significant difference, however, is the subjective nature of plays that are typically judgment calls that can now be reviewed, beyond objective standards such as whether a player stepped out of bounds or where the ball should be marked.
''That's the new box we've opened,'' said Corrente, going into his 25th season as an NFL official and 22nd as a referee.
All 122 NFL officials are taking part this weekend in their annual clinic. The gathering comes about four months after NFL owners approved by a 31-1 margin to allow pass interference or non-calls to be challenged by coaches until the final two minutes, when officials in the booth can then stop the game for such reviews.
It is an one-season experiment that could very well stick after an egregious missed call in the NFC championship game in January that cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.
The NFL competition committee in May decided against making any changes to the new rule approved by owners.
''We understand the play that elevated and got us to where we are today,'' said Alberto Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating.
But Riveron stressed that league officials have been discussing the possibility of such reviews for several years, long before the non-call in the closing minutes of regulation after Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis was hit by cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman in a game the Los Angeles Rams went on to win in overtime.
''The competition committee and ownership is constantly looking at ways to get better. We have discussed replay before as it pertains to other situations. Pass interference, holding, personal fouls,'' Riveron said. ''But we do understand a play of this magnitude elevated us to the point where we are today. But again, it's not new.''
Referee Ron Torbert said officials won't change their approach or what they do on the field. He said the change is just an addition to the list of situations that are subject to review by instant replay.
''We'll still do what we've always done, which is try to get every play right,'' Torbert said.
During the rule's one-year trial this season, coaches still can challenge until the two-minute warning of each half or overtime. A replay official would be responsible for any reviews after that, but would need ''clear and obvious visual evidence'' to review and overturn potential pass interference in an attempt to avoid too many stoppages.
The replay official will have only the angles on the television broadcast available to overturn an on-field decision. Pass interference still is defined as an act significantly hindering the opportunity to make a play on a ball, and all pass plays will be subject to review.
When there are such reviews, Torbert and Corrente said referees will be part of a collaborative effort with Riveron and replay officials in New York looking at the plays. The referees can relay why an official called pass interference - or why they didn't throw a flag.
''That collaboration occurs with any reviewable play,'' Torbert said. ''Not just pass interference.''
Indianapolis Colts running back Charcandrick West was signed off the street, and, in the third preseason game against the Chicago Bears, he had 13 carries for 43 yards and one touchdown. He also added a little bit in the passing game with three catches for 27 yards. With running back D'Onta Foreman being recently waived, West may have grabbed the fourth running back spot if the team decides to keep that many.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Donte Moncrief is looking to make his case to become the team's second starting wide receiver and Sunday's third preseason game against the Titans will be a big factor in that decision. Moncrief caught one pass for eight yards in last week's game against the Chiefs, however, he coughed up that single touch. The 27-year-old is in his first year in Pittsburgh after catching 48 passes for 668 yards and three scores with Jacksonville last year. Moncrief is battling with James Washington for the second starting spot, but so far the reports are that the former has the edge even though Washington has played well this preseason. Moncrief has seen his ADP rise a bit recently, as high as into the seventh round according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will open the team's third preseason game on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. It will be the 37-year-old's first taste of the 2019 preseason. While there is no guarantee for how much he'll play in the game, it is likely that Roethlisberger will get two-or three drives, depending on the results. It is also a big question mark on who of Joshua Dobbs or Mason Rudolph will follow up Big Ben in the game. Head coach Mike Tomlin doesn't want fans and media to look into who plays and when, in regards to being Roethlisberger's backup. The Steelers' veteran signal caller is going around the 11th round of fantasy drafts and is a strong option for those who wait to draft their quarterback.
San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida ran for 44 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 31 yards and a touchdown in the team's third preseason game against the can say Chiefs on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Fantasy Spin: The fantasy community was quick to brush aside Breida after the 49ers signed Tevin Coleman, but the former is the same back he was last year when he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and 9.7 yards per catch. Breida looked like the better back in this one and could very well begin the season splitting touches with Coleman playing for a coach in Kyle Shanahan who usually gets good production from his running backs. The 24-year-old should be considered a strong RB3 option in fantasy drafts.
Seattle Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny carried eight times for 22 yards and a touchdown and added three receptions for 15 yards in the team's third preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Fantasy Spin: From an efficiency standpoint, it was easily Penny's best performance of the summer. However, he has done very little in exhibition play to put any heat on starter Chris Carson, who appears primed to push for 300 touches if he can stay healthy in Seattle's run-heavy attack. Penny's fantasy upside is immense if Carson misses time, but the second-year back may be little more than a flex option until he earns a more substantial role.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel caught two of three targets for 27 yards Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. After two solid preseason games, Samuel had a relatively quiet evening. The second-round rookie has demonstrated electric upside and could be in-line for a meaningful role immediately in the Niners offense. With a stellar college resume and advanced skillset, Samuel deserves some sleeper love as RotoBallers WR73.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis grabbed three balls on five targets for 36 yards Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Following two quiet games, Pettis was finally in the mix after he indicated he was playing explosive and consistent earlier this week. Despite being pushed by rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd (back), Pettis appears a lock to start heading into Week 1. After emerging as the second option to tight end George Kittle last season, Pettis is shaping up as a solid backend WR2.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay did not take action on Saturday night in the Broncos preseason game versus the Los Angeles Rams. Lindsay is coming off of preseason week two where he took reps with the second team and the backs behind him looked lackluster. The 2nd-year back seems to have the starting job locked up in Denver going into the regular season as he looks to follow up a stellar rookie year.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd (back) did not play Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Hurd also sat out last Monday due to back tightness so two consecutive missed games is not a positive development. The 2019 third-round pick made noise with two touchdowns in the first preseason contest but has dealt with nagging injuries even before he was a Niner. Hurd has the size to be a legitimate red zone threat but his fantasy impact will be muted until he sees the field.
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus continued what has been an impressive preseason, with a solid performance Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. The 6th-year kicker connected on both field-goal attempts on the night, with a long of 38 yards. McManus looks to keep his consistency going in 2019, surrounded by an improved roster from the 2018 season.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida recorded nine touches for 75 yards and a touchdown Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Breida toted the rock seven times for 44 yards and added two catches for 31 yards including a 20-yard touchdown from Jimmy Garoppolo in the first quarter. While Breida will share snaps with Tevin Coleman this season, the third-year player has repeatedly proven he can make plays when he touches the ball. He should make a fine RB3/flex heading into 2019.
Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (knee) said he knee was not ready to play in the preseason game against the Houston Texans Saturday, Aug. 24, but he still expects to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
Los Angeles Chargers LB Denzel Perryman (undisclosed) exited the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, Aug. 24.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 14 of 20 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown in Saturdays victory against the Kansas City Chiefs. Garoppolo bounced back in a big way after an ugly game last Monday, finding running back Matt Breida for a 20-yard score in the first quarter. In his second game back from a torn ACL, the performance should qualm some alarmists in the Niner and fantasy communities about Garoppolos competency as a starter. However, hes still just a factor in two-quarterback leagues or a backup in standard formats.
Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton (ankle) said he may need an MRI to assess an injury to his ankle that suffered against the Houston Texans in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 24.
New York Jets RB Trenton Cannon rushed six times for a team-high 51 yards and caught three passes for 28 yards in a 28-13 preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints Saturday, Aug. 24.
New York Jets WR Robby Anderson had two catches for 60 yards, including a 41-yard reception, in a 28-13 preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints Saturday, Aug. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Anderson and Sam Darnold started to find a rhythm towards the end of last season, and if they can continue to hook up on deep balls, Anderson will have no trouble delivering WR3 numbers overall with WR2 upside certain weeks.
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas caught two passes for 39 yards and a touchdown in a 28-13 preseason win over the New York Jets Saturday, Aug. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Not that it should come as a surprise, but Thomas and Drew Brees were on the same page and connected on the early score. Thomas owns the record for most receptions through his first three seasons, and another year of WR1 production should be on tap.
Houston Texans tight end Jordan Thomas was targeted six times in Houston's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys, grabbing two of those targets for a team-high 33 yards. It was a rough night for the Texans, who failed to reach 100 passing yards, but Thomas was the tiniest sliver of a bright spot. He still has a chance to beat out Jordan Akins for the starting tight end job, though the word "starting" isn't likely to mean much as Akins, Thomas, and veteran Darren Fells will all rotate in and out, with rookie Kahale Warring expected to play a small role if healthy. Thomas has potential in fantasy leagues, but if Houston plays all of their tight ends, it'll be hard to see a path for Thomas to consistent fantasy relevance.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams had one carry for two yards and caught three passes for 74 yards and a touchdown in a 27-17 preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Fantasy Spin: Williams has taken some heat from the coaching staff while dealing with injuries this offseason, but he is still expected to be the starting back for one of the top offenses in the league. At worst, he should deliver RB2 production.