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Blandino on Cam hits: Running QBs lose protection

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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After getting roughed up by Calais Campbell and the Cardinals' front on Sunday, Cam Newton expressed concerns over his safety, citing missed calls on at least one low hit. The MVP also spoke with Commissioner Roger Goodell via phone on Tuesday to address these issues.

Part of the Panthers quarterback's concerns is that other smaller, less mobile quarterbacks are receiving roughing calls for hits that, if he absorbs them, are not penalized.

Vice president of officiating Dean Blandino went on Tuesday's edition of NFL Total Access to explain why Newton's points have validity, but only in certain circumstances.

"I think it's the posture that's going to dictate the attention and we want our referees to be as consistent as possible," Blandino explained. "Quarterbacks have to understand that you get more protection in the pocket in the passing posture and when you leave the pocket and you're in a running posture, you're going to lose protection. I think that's one of the issues. When you have a quarterback that does run more often, there are more designed runs or just scrambles, you do lose protection."

Concerning the low hit from Campbell in question, Blandino admitted that the referees missed the call.

"One (play) was a foul that we missed," Blandino said. "You can see Campbell coming up the middle and he's going to hit Cam in the knee area or below. Forcible contact driving through with the shoulder -- that's a foul for roughing the passer. We want our referees to call that. We'll address that with the crew going forward."

Blandino also touched on two other rules-related rumblings from Week 8:

On Josh Norman's complaints about being penalized five times:

"We looked at all the fouls from the game and obviously we looked at the fouls that were called on Norman and all five were there. I'll show you one example of hands to the face. The rule on the outside when you're talking about defenders and receivers, it's a different standard. Any contact that's up to the head that's not incidental is gonna be a foul. You watch (Norman) here, he goes right to the head of the receiver. That takes him out of his route, that delays the timing of it and that's why it's a foul.

"We looked at all five fouls, they were there and obviously there's a policy in place for public criticism of officials that players and coaches have to adhere to, so that will be addressed as well."

On the possibility of full-time officials:

"This is definitely something we've discussed in the past and we are definitely going to explore ways to have more full-time opportunities for our officials. When you look at our group of officials, the referees are critical in this area because they communicate with our crews and crew leaders. So we're looking at potentially a way to make some of our referees full-time or have more opportunities to work with them. That's something we'll continue to look at and it will be on the agenda during the offseason."

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