CHICAGO — When Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Jawaan Taylor became the center of attention Thursday night for his early get-off at the snap, and his weirdly and seemingly illegal deep alignment, David Bakhtiari’s X notifications went off.
Fans mentioned the Green Bay Packers left tackle in a bunch of tweets complaining about Taylor not getting called for false starts in a 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions. That’s because Bakhtiari has carefully crafted over 11 seasons his own perfectly timed get-off, which opponents and critics might say should be considered a false start.
“I have had people complain about it for a long time,” he said Sunday, after the Packers beat the Bears 38-20 at Soldier Field.
Bakhtiari has watched the film of Taylor’s performance and he doesn’t think Taylor’s early jump was the real issue.
“I sent all my buddies a group text and I said, I don’t care about his get-off,” Bakhtiari said. “There were a lot legal, some of them I would say they didn’t get called, but that is the fringe, the gray area. I can live with that. His alignment was — I was baffled.
“I just remember looking at that and thinking, dude, what? You have to break the center’s belt,” Bakhtiari continued. “Hence why, from my stance, my foot is super far back, so it makes me look super far back in general, but that’s why I always lean my head super far forward. If he wants to be that far back, you have to lean your head forward and break the center’s belt.”
To everyone tagging me: pic.twitter.com/kLfTtZkZKr
— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) September 8, 2023
Bakhtiari said officials gave Packers right tackle Zach Tom a warning Sunday that he needed to move up in his alignment. Bakhtiari said he’s been warned about his alignment two or three times in his career, and never been penalized for it.
“I have to get lined up from (left guard) Elgton (Jenkins),” Bakhtiari said. “Elgton is like how he is in team meetings. He can’t pick a chair and sit in there, so he’s always constantly moving. With his alignment, he is all over the place. It’s his fifth year. I’m like, dude! Sometimes he is too far back and I line up off of him, so I say (to the officials), just let me know.”
Bakhtiari pointed out that when it comes to a false start, the rulebook says players can move with the movement of the football. The ball doesn’t have to leave the center’s hands, it just has to move.
“Part of being a good player is getting off the ball, especially as an offensive lineman,” he said. “Defensive linemen, they can move a full step, they just have to not be in the neutral zone. It’s just noise, hearing other defensive linemen complain about it. You are in a sprinter stance and you run a 4.4 and you are really complaining about a fat dude who can barely break five flat backpedaling? Get the f— out of here.”
When the officials warned Tom, Bakhtiari said he told them to continue to let him know. “I am not trying to cheat,” he said. “I am going to try to take every possible inch I can.”
And that’s why he’s bothered by what he saw as Taylor’s blatantly illegal formation in Kansas City.
“He definitely was getting the franchise QB treatment, and yeah, you have to fix that,” Bakhtiari said.“That’s not cool and you are abusing a good thing. I can only defend linemen so much. I can’t defend that.”
(Photo: Stacy Revere / Getty Images)
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