New England coach Bill Belichick was confused about a decisive field goal he thought was off-target. Detroit’s Jim Schwartz couldn’t understand a 27-yard penalty walk-off for unnecessary roughness. Philadelphia’s Andy Reid felt ignored while trying to decline a penalty.
The furor over the work of replacement officials reached something of a fevered pitch during Week 3 in the NFL.
Broncos coach John Fox was fined $30,000 Monday and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 for verbal abuse of the officials during a Monday night game against Atlanta on Sept. 17.
More fines are likely for Belichick and Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and perhaps others.
Fox and Del Rio were hit for their sideline histrionics, particularly when Fox was told he couldn’t challenge a call of 12 men on the field – he was correct that he could challenge, although replays showed the Broncos were guilty.
Before grabbing the arm of an official, Belichick wanted to know why Justin Tucker’s field goal was called good in Baltimore’s 31-30 victory Sunday night. He couldn’t tell from his angle on the sideline, he said.
“So when the game was over, I went out and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether the play was under review,” he said, “and I did try to get the official’s attention as he was coming off the field to ask that, but I really wasn’t able to do that.”
Most confusing was the walk-off for a Lions penalty in overtime at Tennessee. Officials wound up penalizing Detroit from its 44-yard line rather than from the original line of scrimmage, the Titans’ 44.
Soon after, Rob Bironas kicked a go-ahead field goal.
Schwartz noted that the alternate official who helps the replacements with administrating penalties was on the Detroit sideline.
“We said, ‘You’re enforcing it from the wrong spot.’ He was adamant that they weren’t doing so,” Schwartz said. “At that point, we just needed to play.”
The NFL asked a federal judge to block Jonathan Vilma’s demands for evidence in the league’s bounty probe of the Saints, and a magistrate has ordered lawyers in the case to convene in New Orleans on Thursday to discuss the matter.
The league’s latest move was to counter Vilma’s attempt to initiate discovery in his defamation lawsuit against Roger Goodell.
The NFL’s motion argues that discovery is premature because another motion to dismiss Vilma’s lawsuit is still pending.
BILLS BACKS HEALTHY
Bills running back Fred Jackson expressed confidence he’s ready to come back after missing two weeks with a sprained right knee.
And C.J. Spiller might not be far behind.
Jackson gave himself a “70-75 percent chance” of playing Sunday, when Buffalo (2-1) hosts New England (1-2).