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Inconsistencies among NFL officials?

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  • Inconsistencies among NFL officials?

    Former NFL referee Mike Carey said during the CBS broadcast of the Colts-Broncos game that Colts punt returner Josh Cribbs had muffed a punt and the Broncos had recovered. Then the referee, in conjunction with NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino, looked at the replay and ruled that Cribbs had possession of the ball and was down by contact before he lost it.

    So how did Carey get that call wrong? According to Carey, he didn’t.

    Carey said on Inside the NFL that the replay review was wrong, and that Cribbs never had possession of the punt. Carey said that under NFL rules, the process of Cribbs getting possession of a punt is the same as the process of Dez Bryant getting possession of a pass, and that just as Bryant had to maintain possession of the ball while going to the ground as we all saw in the Cowboys-Packers game, Cribbs had to maintain possession of the ball while going to the ground later on the same day.

    “There’s no difference between the Dez Bryant play and the Josh Cribbs play,” Carey said. “There was not enough there for possession, which means control, two feet down, and if you’re going to the ground, maintain control when you hit the ground.”

    Carey said there’s no doubt in his mind that Cribbs muffed the punt.

    “The rulebook is clear. He did not have control, two feet down, and when he hit the ground maintain control,” Carey said. “Everybody makes mistakes, and I make them too, but in this case, anybody who watches this — the criteria for making a catch was not there. The league made a mistake.”

    That play had the potential to be a big one, as it would have given the Broncos the ball at the Colts’ 30-yard line. But while Broncos fans will be particularly upset about that ruling, all NFL fans should be concerned about the fact that a former NFL referee can look at the same replay as a current head of officiating and come to a different conclusion about how to properly apply the rules. That means that either the NFL was employing a referee who doesn’t understand the rules, or the NFL is employing a head of officiating who doesn’t understand the rules, or the NFL rulebook is so complex that even the professionals can’t always understand the rules.

    I hope they get this figured out. It has become a distraction.

  • #2
    I think it's 'what is wrong' with the NFL right now. I love being a fan and I love the game and everything, but I agree something must be done to make calling these plays either 1)worth reviewing and getting right, or 2) stop reviewing and just go with the inital call the way they used to.

    #2 is easier but the NFL loses central control of games this way.

    #1 may not be possible considering the convolution of the rules but should be the goal

    It's become all judgement calls anyhow. All this technology really doesn't make much of a hill of beans when instances like the article illustrates. 2 top officials completely disagree on what should be a simple call having replay at your disposal.

    It's like why bother review plays to get calls right. Or why bother invest my fanaticism into something so arbitrary. Having an 'expert' to cut to during replay events in games has been a disastrous idea for the NFL. However it's been quite telling for us fans, just how subjective any given call is. Listen to Gruden -"I don't even know what pass interference is anymore" -I have a feeling the refs don't either. They just go with the flow of the moment. The crowd erupts into a sighful howl and out comes a flag.

    At minimum more training is required. Especially if rules are changing so drastically. 4 preseason games isn't enough for these officials. NFL's dumping the entire responsibility of taking care of the players on the refs. That's not gonna work. Refs are there to keep the game fair - let them concentrate on that. I dunno I can just go on and on so I'll just stop. If the Broncos played with any kind of heart this post-season I'd care more. But that call wouldn't have made a difference for the Broncos the way they played the other night. Doesn't mean it's OK though.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves....