FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady is staying out of the chorus of complainers about replacement officials. He says they’re doing the best they can.
They’re not responsible for the New England Patriots 1-2 start, the quarterback said Tuesday, putting the blame on himself and his team.
The morning after the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on a touchdown that the NFL conceded shouldn’t have been allowed, Brady said on WEEI radio, “I got a few text messages about” that play but didn’t see it when it happened.
On Sunday night, the Patriots lost to the Baltimore Ravens 31-30 on a last-play field goal that came close to the right upright. Coach Bill Belichick grabbed the arm of an official who was heading off the field, but the official kept moving. Belichick explained Monday that he had wanted to ask if the play was reviewable.
“I feel like these guys are doing the best they can do,” Brady said. “They’re going to miss calls and so forth, and really, part of my job is not to worry about the officials, so I hate spending time talking about them, and I never have talked about the officials. The reason why we lost our particular game was certainly not because of the officials and that goes for all three of our games.”
It would be “the easy way out” to blame officials for the losses, he said.
The critics of the officials replacing those the NFL locked out in a labor dispute — players, coaches, fans — have grown louder, especially after Monday night’s game
In his regular Tuesday conference call with reporters, Belichick declined to say whether he had given the NFL his side of what happened after the field goal.
“I think I’ll just keep all of that process private,” he said. “Whatever the league has to say, any announcements or whatever they have to say, then they can make those or not make them whenever, if and when they decide to do it. I’ll just leave all that to them.”
The NFL waited a week before announcing on Monday that it had fined Denver Broncos coach John Fox $30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 for arguing with replacement officials the previous Monday.
“I really haven’t had time to focus too much on any other games or any other teams or any of that,” he said. “Seeing if I can do a better job of coaching the Patriots would be a good place for me to start.”
On the final play from scrimmage in Seattle, Packers safety M.D. Jennings and Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate both got their hands on a pass into the end zone from Russell Wilson. The Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception. But officials ruled on the field that the two had possession at the same time, which counts as a reception.
The NFL said Tuesday that the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call, although that is not the same as confirming the on-field call was correct.