UIL adjusts "targeting rule" ahead of 2019 football season

Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on VYPE

HOUSTON – Getting flagged for targeting won't mean an automatic ejection anymore in Texas high school football.

Heading into the 2019 season, the UIL has added a wrinkle to the targeting rule where referees will have the option to flag a player for targeting, which will result in a 15-yard penalty but not an automatic ejection if it is deemed that the play was made without "intent to harm".

"What coaches, officials and we all agree on is that by having that differentiation you will see officials be more comfortable calling targeting," UIL Director of Athletics Dr. Susan Elza said. "What we found in feedback we got from coaches and officials was there were times that it was probably targeting but I'm not sure. But if I throw this flag and call it that kid's out for the rest of the game. If it's early in the first quarter, that's a big deal. So, they were keeping the flag in their pocket, they were going to make absolute sure it was targeting."

Last season if a player was flagged for targeting he was then ejected for the remainder of the game. Now, officials will have an option.

If it is deemed that the player did not have "intent to harm" on the play, then they can stay in the game but if they get a second targeting penalty of that sort they are then ejected.

"TASO football is very excited about this," Elza said. "They think it's going to make it a lot easier on the officials to feel comfortable making that call."


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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans outmatched when it counts against Steelers

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Another game, another loss for the Texans. This time it was only a seven point loss to the Steelers as they fell 28-21 in Pittsburgh. This time around, Bill O'Brien looked to be on his game as far as decision-making was concerned. However, there is still room for improvement.

One thing that I did appreciate that O'Brien did was have trust in the offensive line. The Steelers pass rush could be problematic, but their defense overall is very stout. That's how they were able to nearly make the playoffs last year with a Duck at quarterback. While the Texans did give up five sacks, they weren't all due to poor offensive line play. The Texans lost 33 yards on those five sacks. Tytus Howard and Zach Fulton handled themselves fairly well after looking like turnstiles the first two games. O'Brien called longer developing pass plays and play action in spite of this and it paid off with Deshaun Watson and his receivers putting up 264 yards in the air.

There also wasn't an instance of Bumbling Bill this game. At the end of the first half, there was a minute and fourteen seconds left. The Texans were down 17-14 and had all three timeouts with the ball on their 25-yard line. Classic Bumbling Bill situation right? Wrong! Not only was the play-calling on point, but the players executed and the timeout situation was handled perfectly. First timeout was used after getting to midfield with 47 seconds left. Timeout number two was used after a 20 yard gain after the previous play. A 15 yard gain later to the Steeler 14-yard line and timeout number three was used with 28 seconds left. This set up perfectly for them to call a multitude of plays. They only needed one as Watson found Will Fuller in the end zone on a jump ball in which Fuller rose up and was physical enough to grab the ball over the defender. They went up 21-17 at the half.

Bill O'Brien's teams were 37-3 when leading at halftime. I say "were" because they lost this one after not scoring a single point in the second half. This was more on the defense not being able to fight its way out of a wet paper bag, and a lack of execution by the offense. Specifically, the run defense has been atrocious and Watson either needs quicker reads or to stop holding onto the ball so long by making quicker decisions. That's on coaching to put players in positions to succeed, but also the players to execute.

Ultimately, this was on O'Brien the general manager more than O'Brien the coach. This roster is woefully outmatched. The only time an outmatched roster can compete consistently is in college football with a wacky offense. It just doesn't happen in the NFL. Hey, at least Bumbling Bill didn't rear his butt chin today. Today's Culture Map play call menu was brought to you by Pour Behavior. I suggest getting over there and checking out their daily specials.

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