Belichick: ‘Never Meant Any Disrespect’ To Officials
BOSTON (CBS) – During his Monday availability with the media, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained grabbing an official at the end of their 31-30 loss to the Ravens on Sunday night.
Belichick said he was trying to get an explanation if the game-winning field goal — which went over the upright– was going to be looked at. The Patriots coach grabbed an official to get his attention following the kick, but the official did not stop to talk with Belichick.
“On the final kick, after we took the timeout and rushed the kick from the sideline, I saw the ball go pretty close to the upright. I couldn’t obviously tell from where I was where exactly it went, but I saw our players waiving that it was no good and the officials giving the signal it was good,” explained Belichick. “I just wasn’t sure, from where I was standing, whether the ball when it went over the crossbar if it was above the upright or in between or not in between. By rule, if the ball isn’t over the crossbar, and either inside of outside of the upright, that’s reviewable. If it’s over the crossbar, over the upright, it’s not reviewable. But I couldn’t tell from my angle when the ball crossed the crossbar and where it was. I wasn’t sure if that play was going to be under review if it wasn’t.”
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“I was trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, an important play in that game,” he said. “That’s the number-one thing between coaches and officials at the forefront; communication of what’s going on.”
“I’ve coached in this league a long time and never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that,” said Belichick. “I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job they do.”
Belichick thought back to a game in 2000 when the Patriots played the Dolphins, and after it appeared the game ended on a Drew Bledsoe fumble, it was later reviewed and ruled an incomplete pass after each team had retreated back to their locker rooms. Both teams had to come back for the games final play.
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“I’ve been through a situation at the end of the game where it’s over but it’s not over. That was really the situation last night,” he said.
“I was trying to get the officials attention to get an explanation on it. In no way was I trying to do anything other than that,” said Belichick.
NFL.com is reporting Belichick is likely looking at a hefty fine for his interaction with the replacement ref, but will not be suspended.