NFL head of officials: We missed two roughing calls on Cam Newton this year
The Panthers quarterback met with the NFL commissioner this week
The NFL's head of officiating admitted Thursday what Cam Newton has been saying for some time: Officials have missed calls this season that are on the books specifically to protect quarterbacks.
"We review every play from every game and we've looked at all of Carolina's snaps, and we missed two roughing the passer calls on Cam this year, and that's not where we want to be," Dean Blandino, the league's vice president of officiating, told PFT Live. "It's not specific to Cam, it's all the quarterbacks because the same rules apply to everyone. Based on our numbers, there have been more missed calls on other quarterbacks, and obviously we've had missed calls on other quarterbacks as well. And our goal is to have none."
This all came to a head on Sunday, after the Panthers dominated the Cardinals. Newton told reporters at the postgame press conference that he didn't feel safe on the field, a comment prompted by incidents dating back to the season opener and even last year.
Here's the low hit on Newton from Sunday's game that should've been flagged but wasn't:
This hit on Cam Newton should have been a penalty. pic.twitter.com/VA8Q3ooTvy— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) October 30, 2016
Newton was so exasperated that he said he planned to talk to commissioner Roger Goodell, and that's exactly what happened on Tuesday.
"I got my point across. He got his point across," Newton said. "We ended on good terms, started on good terms, as well."
Also pleased: Panthers coach Ron Rivera.
"The nice part was the commissioner was a willing listener," he said. "It was great and the nice thing is that [Newton] was able to say what needed to be said. At the end of the day, it's not about getting special treatment, it's about being treated the same across the board."
Meanwhile, Blandino said that officials who miss calls will be downgraded, and could possibly miss postseason assignments -- or worse.
"They are held accountable for the mistakes they make," he said. "We have a rigid evaluation system that includes looking at every play of every game, and they get a game report and they get graded like players do. We look at that at the end of the season when we assign the postseason, and then for retention purposes. If an official isn't grading out over the course of a season or several seasons we have to look at making a move. So they are held accountable and we have had turnover in recent seasons."
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