Carroll: Refs to use hand signal for ineligible receiver

PHOENIX (AP) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thursday the referees will use hand signals to indicate clearly when normally eligible receivers check in the Super Bowl as ineligible, a technique the Patriots have used in the postseason.

Carroll spoke about conversations he had with league officials after Seattle and New England reached the Super Bowl to get an understanding how those players would be identified.

The practice, which is particularly confusing for defenders when an eligible receiver reports as ineligible to catch a pass.

Carroll said the referees in the Super Bowl will have hand signals to clarify players' eligibility. A normally eligible receiver reporting ineligible will be identified by being pointed at and the referee waving his arms in front of his legs like for an incomplete pass.

''I know the league is absolutely committed to getting that right and doing that well,'' Carroll said. ''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 mishandling on our end.

''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. We're very much in tune with it. It's just been part of the preparation so it's not a big deal to us now. ''

Although Carroll said the signals were new, league officials said referees have been using the signals, including in the AFC championship game.

Carroll also said the referees made a mistake in the AFC championship game, when a player reported in as a different status. The player remained in the game for the next play, his eligibility was unclear, and the Patriots scored a touchdown.

He didn't specify, but Patriots lineman Nate Solder, caught a touchdown pass against the Colts.

''The Colts got fooled on that play, on the next player reporting eligible it was a different player so it got confusing and they miss-covered the guy,'' Carroll said. ''We don't want that to happen if we can help it, so we called in and asked about that.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.