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NFL may have gone too far to emphasize illegal contact penalties

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The NFL apparently wants its refs to call illegal contact much tighter than they have in the past, but have they gone too far?

When the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl on the strength of a lockdown secondary, some accused the Legion of Boom of playing overly physical with wide receivers. Illegal contact was apparently a point of emphasis for NFL referees in the offseason. The result, however, may be a bit of an overreaction:

The NFL has been aggressive calling illegal contact throughout the preseason, fostering frustration from defenders and fans alike. Those frustrations boiled over in Friday night's game between the San Diego Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks, when cornerback Tharold Simon had a pick-six called back on an iffy penalty.

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The Twitter reaction was harsh.

SI's Doug Farrar HATED it.

If NFL referees continue to call contact tight in the secondary during the regular season, expect the backlash to be even stronger.