Friday night, Washington’s Danny Shelton possibly ended Cal quarterback Zach Maynard’s career with a really dirty play, after the whistle, the old “alligator roll”. Oddly enough I heard about the move as a strategy move more this weekend than I think I ever have, after that game and without reference to it. Coaches teach their players to do it on a regular basis and its a solid move to bring a guy down if you have him below the knee and if you have both legs. Before I make my point, here’s the play:
Now, after watching the weekend full of games, the “gator roll” isn’t really something you can banish but it is something you can police, HARD. Just like high hits on receivers and qbs, a roll while grasping the leg(s) after a player is on the ground should be an automatic 15 yards. A real problem here is that Shelton only gets one of Maynard’s legs and another player ends up pinning the defenseless qb on the ground. But that’s not THE problem, it’s just the reason Maynard is done.
Another common move that should be an automatic penalty is when a tackler continues to hold a runners’ leg after both have gone to the ground and then stands up while continuing to grasp the leg. I see it all the time and I’m surprised more players don’t get injured from it, but it does cause a lot of post-whistle activity. The runner takes offense, as he should, and goes after the defender for the cheap play. We have to get rid of these plays, point blank.
In my personal opinion, Deone Bucannon should have been ejected for his late, high hit on an EWU receiver earlier in the season. This should have come before his suspension, which was only a half and again in my opinion should have been a full game. The move by Shelton should get the exact same treatment. There is absolutely no excuse for rolling after both players are on the ground and even less of one with at least 2 players on top of him. Freak injuries occur, but this is a preventative injury, just like we’ve done with high hits, horse-collar tackles, face masks and going low on a qb. I don’t know if a foul was even called on the play but we need to get rid of this type of play and Shelton should be suspended by the Pac-12 Conference.
Interested to hear your thoughts and comments on the play, below.