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How the cover-up penalty works

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How the cover-up penalty works

A few times during Sunday’s Ravens-Browns game, the officials called an illegal formation penalty because “the tight end was covered up.”

CBS analyst Rich Gannon was too busy dogging Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden to explain what that means. No, it’s not one of those uniform violations, though maybe in today’s NFL, some players might consider it worthy of a flag when a tight is wearing long sleeves and not showing off the guns.

Here’s an explanation we found from a 2004 article in the Chicago Tribune in which former NFL official Jerry Markbreit answered officiating questions:

“Under NFL rules, players are numbered for eligibility. Tight ends and wide receivers must be on the end of the line of scrimmage in order to be an eligible pass receiver. If a wide receiver is on the line of scrimmage and a tight end is inside of him, an illegal formation has occurred because another eligible has covered the eligible tight end. The formation would be legal if the wide receiver would drop off of the line of scrimmage so that he is not in a direct line with the tight end.”

In other words, the fault lies with the wide receiver, who needs to line up behind the line of scrimmage.

And as a bonus, here is likely the funniest thing ever written about illegal formations, from The Onion.

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Ed Reed on Drew Brees' comments on kneeling during anthem: 'You’re a straight sucker'

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Ed Reed on Drew Brees' comments on kneeling during anthem: 'You’re a straight sucker'

Count Ed Reed among Drew Brees' many critics after Yahoo Finance shared a clip of an interview with the veteran passer in which he stated that he will never support a player kneeling for the national anthem.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said.

Reed, like many others, was not pleased to hear a main figure in the NFL carry that mindset during such an important time of civil unrest in America. Responding to Brees' comments, the Hall of Famer let the quarterback know exactly how he felt.

“Imma just get straight to it. I see Drew Brees do his part in trying to keep black folk down," Reed said. “You’re a straight sucker for that [expletive] Drew Brees...Drew Brees you’re a straight sucker, man. You’re a sucker for that, bro.”

Reed said his frustration stemmed from Brees not understanding what kneeling for the national anthem is truly about, and the fact that it is a peaceful protest. The act that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began was meant to bring attention to the racial injustice and police brutality in the country, not intentionally disrespect the flag.

Being angry about the looting going on across the country is one thing to Reed, but speaking out against players protesting in a peaceful manner is something he could not wrap his head around.

“Why you think all these young people out here protesting? Why you think they out here protesting?" Reed said. "The looting? I could see you speaking on the looting and saying that’s bad, you don’t support that. But why do you think all these young people are out here protesting?"

Reed ended his remarks by addressing those who may defend Brees or still support him in the future due to his play on the field. To the former Raven, wins are not an excuse to justify an action.

“For all my Saints fans, for all my New Orleans people who still like your [expletive] just because they want to win games. Ya’ll right with him, you understand?" Reed said “Drew Brees, you’re a sucker, you’re going to be a sucker. You understand? Punk, man.”

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Drew Brees draws criticism from sports world, including DMV athletes, over comments on kneeling during anthem

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Drew Brees draws criticism from sports world, including DMV athletes, over comments on kneeling during anthem

Comments from Drew Brees made in an interview with Yahoo Finance's Daniel Roberts about why he wouldn't support teammates kneeling during the national anthem when the NFL season started drew condemnation from throughout the sports world - including Wizards guard Troy Brown and Ravens' running back Mark Ingram.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said in the interview. 

"Is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution."

Brown responded:

The photo with Brees kneeling is from 2017 when the Saints as a team knelt before the anthem and then stood up as a team. The gesture came after 10 Saints players sat during the national anthem in response to a tweet from Donald Trump encouraging people to boycott the NFL over players kneeling during the anthem as a way to draw attention to racial inequality and police violence. The Saints were one of many teams at the time who responded to Trump's words with additional protests.

While Brees has expressed that he is uncomfortable with kneeling during the anthem previously, his words in the Yahoo interview came at a time when many in the NFL and outside of it are pointing to Colin Kaepernick's protests that began in 2016, which were meant to draw attention to the police brutality like that of a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, sparking massive protests and unrest around the country today.

LeBron James and Brees' teammate Malcolm Jenkins were among the many other athletes who made strong statements against his comments.

(Warning, there's a curse word in the end of Jenkins' comments):

Ingram, Brees' former teammate, didn't call out Brees by name but did repost an Instagram photo from Aaron Rodgers, explaining why kneeling was never about disrespecting the flag. "THANK YOU for speaking truth for the oppresssed and unheard. THANK YOU for understanding the WHY," he wrote.

Ingram also retweeted this from Marques Colston:

Former Raven Za’Darius Smith posted an Instagram photo of the Week 3 matchup his Green Bay Packers will have against Drew Brees and the Saints, showing that he has made note of the quarterback's comments. Current Raven Matthew Judon chimed in as well, stating he's interested in watching.