Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday he meant no disrespect when he appeared to make contact with an official in the moments after a 31-30 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore.
Belichick said he was trying to get the attention of an official for clarification of whether the crew intended to review the game-winning field goal by Ravens kicker Justin Tucker that was ruled good as time expired.
“I saw the ball go pretty close to the upright, couldn’t obviously tell from where I was at where exactly it went but I saw players waving that it was no good,” Belichick said. “Then I saw the officials give the signal that it was good.
“But I couldn’t tell from my angle when the ball crossed the crossbar where it was, so I didn’t know whether 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 ask that.”
The NFL instructed coaches last week that it expected all personnel to maintain respect for the replacement officials that have stood in for the locked-out regulars through the first three weeks of the season. And on Monday Broncos head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio were fined $30,000 and $25,000, respectively, by the NFL for their criticism of officials following last Monday night’s game vs. the Falcons.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said he is reviewing incidents from Sunday night’s game involving Belichick and Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Anderson also is looking at actions by Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in their loss to Cincinnati.
Belichick said he didn’t want his actions to be construed as disrespectful to the officials.
“I’ve coached in this league a long time and I’ve never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that,” he said. “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 was trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call.”
On Sunday night, Belichick said he did not expect to be fined for the incident.
Belichick said Monday that his experience in a 2000 loss to Miami in Foxborough, when officials reviewed a play after the game appeared over and brought players back onto the field from the locker room, as motivation for asking the game officials on Sunday to take a second look.
“So I’ve been through a situation at the end of the game where it’s over but it’s not over, that type of thing,” he said, “and that was really the situation last night.”