Pete Carroll told media members today that Super Bowl 49 officials will now make a hand signal (the "no good" field goal signal) when the Patriots roll out one of their eligible/ineligible receiver formations.
"We made a call and asked about that. They came back with a very clear response," Carroll said. "They're going to have a new signal that designates when a player is, with an ineligible number, will be eligible -- that's the same -- but when an eligible number is now ineligible, they're going to make new a declaration to the players on the field, so that you'll clearly identify that. I know the league is absolutely committed to getting that right and doing that well. The Patriots have brought that to the forefront, because they've been using some stuff like that lately."
"We've been preparing for it every day, because we don't want to be caught in a mishandling on our end," Carroll said. "So it's really on us to see it -- the officials do what they do -- but we still have to find it, because it could happen like it did to the Colts. So we're very much in tune with it. It's just been a part of the preparation, so it's not a big deal to us now."
This comes on the heels of a little bit of a controversy around, first, the Patriots use of unusual four-lineman formations against the Ravens (the controversy there is that the Ravens felt they weren't given enough time on the announcement) and then Nate Solder's (the Patriots' left tackle) touchdown vs. the Colts. Jim Miller and Pat Kirwin of SIRIUS radio explained that the play should not have counted.
"The play before the Nate Solder touchdown, No. 71 (Cameron Fleming) declared himself as an eligible receiver," Kirwan said. "The next play, he stays in the game, which is now where the rule is going to be stressed and probably broken ... and he became an ineligible receiver. He had to leave the game."
"He's supposed to leave the game," Miller said.
"He didn't leave the game and No. 77 [Solder] became eligible, which automatically made No. 71 ineligible, but he had to leave the game," Kirwan explained. "They let the play move on and it was a touchdown. So the officials under our understanding of the rules -- and we've been reading the rules all morning -- it appears that [New England] got away with one. And touché to the Patriots for scoring the touchdown."
"I think different teams have different challenges as you go through," Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "For them, that was another package that they do, so I think they're able to attack in a number of different ways. You have to go through all the process whether they want to play empty, whether they want to play ineligible positions at receiver spots. All those are ones that we practice, so it's a great challenge but one that we're definitely looking forward to."