Bill Belichick explains why he touched an official postgame

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
This is before the end of the game, but already Bill Belichick doesn't look pleased with the officials. (Getty Images)

Like we told you Sunday night, Patriots coach Bill Belichick basically accosted one of the game officials following New England's loss to the Ravens. After the game, he said he didn't expect a fine, though CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman's sources say Belichick could face a $50,000 penalty.

On Monday, Belichick tried to explain what happened (thanks to the Boston Herald for the transcript).

I've been asked about the situation at the end of the game, so I'm just going to take a couple minutes to explain that, and that will be the end of it. 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 at where exactly it went. But I saw our players waving that it was no good. I saw the officials giving the signal that it was good. I just wasn't sure from where I was standing whether the ball went over the crossbar, if it was above the upright or in between or not in between the upright.

By rule, if the ball isn't over the crossbar, and it's either inside or outside of the upright, that's reviewable. If it's ... over the top of the upright rather, then it's not reviewable. But I couldn't tell from my angle when the ball crossed the crossbar ... So I didn't know whether or not that play was going to be under review or whether it wasn't. So when the game was over, I went out, and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether or not the play was under review. 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.

I've coached in this league a long time and never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I'm trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, play, in that game. That's the number one thing between coaches and officials. It's always at the forefront. It's just communication of what's going on, of what's happening.

As many of you know, I've been involved in a game like this before in 2000 here in Foxboro. Johnny Grier was the referee. Drew [Bledsoe] was trying to throw a pass at the end of the game against Miami. The ball was ruled a fumble. The clock ran out. The game was over. As I was walking off the field with Johnny at that time, I talked to him about, "This seems like an incomplete pass. There should be more time on the clock. We should have another play here." [He said], "No, that's the ruling. The game is over." We go back into the locker room. Ten minutes or so later, Johnny comes back and says they're reviewing the play. We may have to go back out and finish the game. Five minutes after that, the players got dressed. We came back out for the final play of that game.

I've been through a situation at the end of a game where it's over but it's not over, that type of thing. That was really the situation last night. I was trying to get the official's attention to try to get an explanation on it, and in no way was I ever trying to do anything other than that. I have nothing further to add about that situation, but that's what happened.

And in case you missed Belichick simply looking for an explanation, here's the GIF:



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

 
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