Packers coach offers support for MNF ref

NOTEBOOK: McCarthy reaches out to referee who reviewed Tate’s winning TD catch

McClatchy news servicesOctober 6, 2012 

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that he called and offered his support to the replacement referee who made the decision not to overturn another official’s ruling of a touchdown on the final play against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I felt the phone call was the right thing to do. That’s why I made it,” McCarthy said.

A pass to Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate that appeared to be intercepted by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings was ruled a touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 14-12 win on Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 24. Referee Wayne Elliott didn’t make the initial call, but he reviewed the play and let the ruling stand.

Elliott revealed the call in an interview shown Wednesday on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

“He called me at my house last week because he had heard I was having a rough week with all the calls and everything. He wanted me to know he thought that what I did … maybe he didn’t agree with it, that I handled it with class,” Elliott said.

McCarthy was reluctant to talk about his phone call to the referee.

“It was a phone call that I placed with the intent of it being a personal phone call. Obviously, I didn’t think this was going to be the outcome,” McCarthy said, referring to praise he has received for making it. “I’ve asked the football team to move on.”

Elliott was asked what he would have called if he had been one of the two referees in the end zone.

“I’d probably call interception,” Elliott said.

The NFL issued a statement a day after the game that the touchdown ruling was correctly not overturned on replay review but that pass interference should have been called on Tate, which would have given the Packers the win.

In the Showtime interview, Elliott was asked about how officials are trained to handle the so-called “hail Mary” plays.

“(For) the deep officials, it was brought up that you don’t really call interference on a hail Mary... The deep officials were trained that during a hail Mary, there’s a lot of bodies in there and you just let it go,” Elliott said.

EXTRA POINTS

Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams had three games added to his six-game suspension after the NFL said he supplied a “non-human” urine sample during a drug test. … Linebackers Chad Greenway of Minnesota (against Detroit’s Calvin Johnson) and Brandon Spikes of New England (against Bills tight end Scott Chandler) were fined $21,000 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness in games last weekend. … Rams running Steven Jackson can void the final year of his contract after this season in a compromise after talks fell through on a long-term extension. … Redskins cornerback Cedric Griffin won’t play against the Falcons because of a hamstring injury. … Titans linebacker Colin McCarthy and receiver Kenny Britt are questionable because of ankle injuries for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. … Jets tight end Dustin Keller and rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill both did not practice for the second consecutive day because of hamstring injuries, leaving their availability to play against the Texans on Monday night uncertain. … Dolphins cornerback Richard Marshall was ruled against the Bengals with a back injury, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill was added to the injury report as probable because of a right-thumb injury.

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