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Medium-sized Lebowski
Jun 20, 2010
The Dude
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Cleveland Browns got away with illegal play against Rams

BEREA -- The Browns' trick play against the St. Louis Rams that netted 21 yards should have been disallowed. It was an illegal play involving two forward passes.

On the play in the second quarter, Josh Cribbs lined up as the shotgun quarterback, with Seneca Wallace split wide right and Colt McCoy wide left. Wallace motions toward Cribbs and Cribbs flips the ball forward to him.

McCoy, coming from the left, then receives a lateral from Wallace. McCoy looks to his right and then throws a pass to Wallace breakding down the left sideline for a 21-yard gain.

According to an NFL digest of rules, "An offensive team may make only one forward pass during each play from scrimmage." The penalty is five yards.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said today that he knew the play was illegal as it unfolded.

"The first exchange (Cribbs to Wallace) was practiced all week as a handoff. Three times," Shurmur said. "In the game, it got flipped.

"That kind of stuff happens all the time. I was well aware what happened. And I know the rules."

Shurmur said he did not receive confirmation from the NFL office that the play was illegal.

There was no flag on the play and no challenge by the Rams.

In an email replay, an NFL spokesman confirmed the play was illegal and the Browns should have been penalized five yards.

The play moved the Browns to the Rams' 18-yard line. They kicked a field goal four plays later to close the Rams' lead to 7-6.