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McCarthy won’t flag the refs

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Tom Silverstein
January 15, 2010
— The final play of the Green Bay Packers’ 51-45 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals brought coach Mike McCarthy to his knees, literally.

But aside from a couple of shots that quarterback Aaron Rodgers took earlier in the game, McCarthy said it was not the officiating that dropped him to the University of Phoenix Stadium turf as the game ended.


He dismissed the notion that the Packers got robbed because cornerback Michael Adams had his hand on Rodgers’ facemask as he knocked the ball free, causing a fumble and allowing linebacker Karlos Dansby to return it 17 yards for the winning touchdown.


“I think anytime you’re sitting around waiting on calls to win football games, you’re in a mode of excuses,” McCarthy said Wednesday in his season-ending news conference.


NFL director of officiating Mike Pereira said in his weekly review on NFL Network that he supported referee Scott Green’s call because there was no blatant twisting of the facemask. He said this kind of grab clearly falls under the incidental facemask penalty that was eliminated this season.


“Well he’s got a finger, he’s got a finger hooked on the mask,” Pereira said. “It’s a tough play, but it really is one of those where you don’t get the big look that you got on the other facemasks of the clear and obvious pull, or the clear and obvious twist.”


Pereira also said he consulted with Green and the replay officials and they did not think the “tuck rule” would have been invoked if the ball had hit the ground before Dansby caught it in mid-air. He said the call on the field of a fumble would have stood.


McCarthy said he was satisfied with how Green’s crew commanded the game and provided explanations for their calls and said he thought they let both teams play. He said in general the only penalties that concern him are helmet-to-helmet shots to the quarterback.


Rodgers took two shots that could have been interpreted as shots to the head, the last an apparent helmet-to-helmet shot from linebacker Bertrand Berry on the second play of overtime. But those are judgment calls, and McCarthy wasn’t blaming the loss on them.


“The way the game ended, you don’t want it come down to an officiating call,” he said. “Nobody wants that. You want it to be about player productivity. There was a lot of productivity in that football game, especially from an offensive standpoint.


“But I’m not going to sit here and try to discredit Arizona’s victory by no means, because it really doesn’t do any good. They (the officials) are either going to say they were wrong, or they’re going to explain why they were right, and that still doesn’t change the outcome.


“We need to learn from the experience. That’s the difference between winning and losing in the playoffs, and that’s where we have to make sure we go as a football team, that we’re not in that position. And that’s the way I view it. We’re never going to count on the officials to win a football game.”



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