Pivot-al rule hits defence

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Trey Young spotted a hole in the offensive line, jumped through it and knocked the quarterback on his butt.

Great play, right? Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan thinks so.

The CFL doesn't see it that way, and the Calgary Stampeders safety was flagged for roughing the passer after bumping into Hamilton Tiger-Cats pivot Jason Maas after he threw the ball in Saturday's season-opening win.

"I hit him, and I saw the flag. I thought, 'I know he didn't call that penalty on me.' I didn't hit hard," Young said.

"I asked the ref, and he said I took an extra step. It's hard to go full speed and then not hit him a little bit."

The league changed the rules on hitting quarterbacks this season, enforcing a penalty on defenders hitting at the knee or below, or if they lead with their helmets.

The Stamps were penalized twice against the Tiger-Cats -- both times because Maas had already released the ball when he was struck. So Creehan doesn't blame Young for the penalty because he feels the rules are now too strict.

"Personally, I think the rule has gone too far the other way," Creehan said. "I understand you have to protect the quarterbacks.

"The quarterback is a player. He has a helmet and shoulder pads on like everyone else. He's going to get hit at times. You can protect them but only to a certain degree."

Scott Coe also took a roughing the passer penalty in the second quarter of the win, and Creehan said that was a weaker infraction.

Much like Young, Coe came on a blitz but was picked up by a guard. Once Coe worked free, he ran into Maas without seeing him and couldn't have stopped.

"It's going to be an adjustment like any other rule," Coe said.

"The league owners want to protect their investments, and the QBs are making big money, so you don't want them on the sidelines."

Despite the infractions, Creehan won't be instructing his players to back off because he wants his defence running at full speed at all times, even if that means extending an opponent's drive.


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