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McCarthy's call to replacement ref classy

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Mike McCarthy didn’t want to talk much during his Thursday press conference about the telephone call he placed to a replacement referee who was part of the Packers’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 24. But on Friday during an interview with Milwaukee’s WTMJ Radio, the Packers head coach shed a little on why he reached out to Wayne Elliott, who was the referee in the Packers-Seahawks game. “I felt the phone call was the right thing to do. That’s why I made it,” McCarthy said. Elliott didn’t make the botched call on the final play of the game that cost the Packers a victory, but as the man in charge of the officials that night he had been taking grief ever since the controversial game ended. Elliott said on Showtime’s Inside the NFL that McCarthy called him. “He called me at my house last week because he had heard I was having a rough week with all the calls and everything. He wanted me to know he thought that what I did ... maybe he didn’t agree with it, that I handled it with class,” Elliott said. It was a classy move on the part of McCarthy, who had every right to be outraged by the final result and the less-than-stellar performance of the replacement referees. But McCarthy had no intention of making his gesture known to the public. “It was a phone call that I placed with the intent of it being a personal phone call,” said McCarthy. In reference to praise he has received for the kind gesture, McCarthy said: “Obviously, I didn’t think this was going to be the outcome. I’ve asked the football team to move on.” Elliott acknowledged the wrong call was made on the final play. “I’d probably call interception,” Elliott said when asked on Showtime what he would have done if he were one of the two officials closest to the play in the end zone. Packers safety M.D. Jennings intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass, only to have the  officials rule it a touchdown by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate. The NFL acknowledged Tate committed offensive pass interference on the play, which would have ended the game with the Packers winning 12-7. Instead, Seattle won 14-12. Elliott was asked on Showtime how officials are trained to handle Hail Mary passes. “(For) the deep officials, it was brought up that you don’t really call interference on a Hail Mary... The deep officials were trained that during a Hail Mary, there’s a lot of bodies in there and you just let it go,” Elliott said.  

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