NFL's Dean Blandino looks at Tate's taunting, late hit on RGIII

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

A taunting call and an unnecessary roughness penalty in Week 8's games were on the agenda when NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino appeared on Tuesday's edition of NFL Network's "NFL Total Access."

Blandino said that while Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate was guilty of taunting during Monday night's victory over the St. Louis Rams, the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty correctly did not negate his touchdown reception.

"A taunting foul is always treated as a dead-ball foul, meaning wherever it happened during the play, the play counts and the foul is enforced on the next play, which would be the kickoff here," Blandino said. "It's interesting that in college, this action would take back the touchdown."

Tate started taunting at the Rams' 25-yard line. Blandino said that the college rule would have assessed a 15-yard penalty, taking the ball to the Rams' 40. He said it is possible the NFL Competition Committee will consider the college rule during the offseason.

Blandino also looked at an unnecessary roughness penalty called on Denver Broncos defensive end Kevin Vickerson for a hit he made Sunday on Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III seconds after a pass. Blandino said the referee standing in the backfield has to ask himself a few questions.

"Did the defender have an opportunity to understand that the ball was gone?" Blandino said. "Did he let up or did he take a chance to hit the quarterback illegally, which is what happened here."

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