The latest comes from an internal video memo that the NFL reportedly sent to teams about the process of ineligible receivers reporting as eligible. The video is insulting in multiple ways, both in its stupidity and its ability to ignore what actually happened during the play.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero shared the video publicly on Twitter Tuesday night.
The video starts by showing a play earlier in the game of Dan Skipper reporting as eligible. Why this is shown? I’m not entirely sure. I guess to display the proper way to report as eligible. But I suppose it’s also to excuse Brad Allen’s behavior of assuming Skipper reported as eligible.
In this first example, Skipper first raises his hand to notify the rest of his teammates about the substitution and personnel grouping. Then he finds Allen, chases him, rubs his jersey with one arm and has the other held up high.
Then the video cuts to the two-point conversion attempt in question. This is a new angle we haven’t seen yet.
They, again, highlight Skipper, who raises his hand to indicate the personnel grouping to his teammates to ensure they get the substitution right. You can see Josh Reynolds taking the signal to stay in the game. Skipper then approaches Allen again but is never seen raising his hand or rubbing his jersey like in the first example.
More insultingly, the video never focuses on what Taylor Decker—the player who actually reported as eligible does. So let me focus on what the video shows, but chooses to ignore.
Note: We added the red illustrations. The yellow illustration is from the league.
LOOK THERE! Decker is doing the universal signal of reporting as eligible while looking directly at Allen. He later gets much closer to Allen and (presumably) verbally reports as eligible. Yet, for some reason, the video focuses on what Skipper is doing. And here’s the narration during that part:
“To allow the defense an opportunity to match personnel to avoid deception and to ensure fairness, the player must immediately report the change in his eligibility status to the referee, who will inform the defensive team and will make an announcement to the stadium before that play. It is the responsibility of the player to be sure of that change in status is clearly communicated by both a physical signal with his hands up and down in front of his chest and to report to the referee his intention to report as an eligible receiver.
The player in question—Taylor Decker—LITERALLY DOES ALL OF THIS as the video is playing, but the NFL tries to distract from that by circling Skipper, who does none of the things they are suggesting in the video. It’s almost like they’re suggesting that Skipper should have done more to report as eligible when HE WASN’T THE ONE REPORTING AS ELIGIBLE.
After that, the video goes on a long diatribe about the formation the Lions were in, which is pointless. The Lions didn’t want to make Skipper an eligible receiver by their formation, so it makes sense that their formation was illegal if Skipper had reported. Again, their narration unintentionally explains how the Lions were in the correct formation because they were making Decker the eligible receiver, not Skipper.
This NFL is just continuing to embarrass itself further.