Stuff You Should Know: Delay of Game & Reading Zone vs Man

Did you know…

If you signal for a fair catch and then advance the ball, you will get a penalty for delay of game.  In the Notre Dame vs Michigan State game, Irish punt returner Davonte’ Neal signaled for the fair catch, then bobbled the ball.  When he recovered it, he took off running.  They blew the whistle and called him for “Delay of Game–advancing the ball after signaling for a fair catch,” and penalized ND 5 yards.  In fairness to Neal, he only started running with it after he recovered it.

When the receiver is in motion, it shoes the offense whether the defense is playing man-to-man or zone.  Broadcaster Chris Spielman pointed this out in the Cal vs Ohio State game.  When the receiver goes in motion, if the cornerback comes to take him, it’s man-to-man defense.  However, if the defense roles or rotates a safety or a linebacker towers him, the offense will know that the defense is playing zone coverage.  And they learn this all before the play even starts.

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