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Roman Harper flagged for “continued contact” with Jay Cutler

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Saints defensive back Roman Harper was flagged for roughing the passer after hitting Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Sunday, and no one seems to be sure what Harper actually did wrong.

Saints coach Sean Payton says he sought an explanation and was told that Harper “continued contact,” but that doesn’t make any sense. To the extent that Harper continued contact with Cutler after Cutler threw the ball on the play in question, Harper seemed to be trying to hold Cutler up.

Just about everyone who saw the penalty agrees that Harper did nothing wrong. Joe Buck called it a terrible call on the FOX broadcast, while David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune noted that the officials were inconsistent on how they called roughing the passer.

Big surprise there.

The call against Harper kept a Bears drive alive after a third-down stop and led to Chicago’s only touchdown, although the Saints weren’t complaining too much after the game because they still won 30-13. But even though this particular bad call didn’t hurt the Saints, it’s just a matter of time before we see one of these bad roughing the passer calls becoming the difference between a team winning and losing.

Unless, you know, the refs stop making bad calls.

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57 Responses to “Roman Harper flagged for “continued contact” with Jay Cutler”
  1. gabbertisthefuture11 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:59 AM

    It’s not Harpers fault that Cutler is a sack machine

  2. snowpea84 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:59 AM

    It really wasn’t that bad a call. Cutler was throwing, the ball was gone, and Harper was still driving for a second ro so after that. After all the emphasis placed on not going to far with hitting the QB, Harper was clearly not erring on the side of caution.

  3. joetoronto says: Sep 19, 2011 11:01 AM

    Everything about the NFL today is inconsistent.

    Something has to be done, this is a joke.

  4. bengalsown says: Sep 19, 2011 11:03 AM

    “What a DISGUSTING act by that official!”

    -Joe Buck

  5. holdthemayo123 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:05 AM

    Horrible call – Harper was in the middle of getting at the QB when Cutler threw, and then did nothing except finish the play – given his momentum, he probably would have injured himself if he tried to hold up.

  6. billsfan27 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:06 AM

    I can think of a few ex-girlfriends I’d like to flag for “continued contact”.

  7. mike83ri says: Sep 19, 2011 11:07 AM


  8. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Sep 19, 2011 11:07 AM

    Unless, you know, the refs stop making bad calls.

    Which happens first? All of PFT writers start proofreading or refs stop making bad calls? Hmm….

  9. kenhawk says: Sep 19, 2011 11:07 AM

    Whoa now, Joe Buck said it was a terrible call? Someone put out the Bat signal.

  10. 3octaveFart says: Sep 19, 2011 11:08 AM

    must have given him a reach-around…

  11. scoops1 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:11 AM

    Cutler should trade in his girdle for diapers and wear those instead cause it seems like he is the only baby on the field

  12. detruthhurts says: Sep 19, 2011 11:16 AM

    Cutler inhales vigirously!

  13. mdd913 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:17 AM

    but but but this can’t possibly be true because according to every Vikings fan in the world, the Saints always get all the calls.

  14. vdogg says: Sep 19, 2011 11:20 AM

    Joe Buck cried about everything that didn’t go the Saints way. I thought the guys calling the game weren’t supposed to be biased? Troy loves his Cowboys but even he was better than Buck yesterday.

  15. sdisme says: Sep 19, 2011 11:21 AM

    It’s Walt Coleman – What do you expect?

    Bad part is on the Robert Meachem reverse he get’s hit way out of bounds and then they don’t throw the flag.

  16. jw731 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:22 AM

    What do people expect, refs are part time employees…….

  17. turk2875 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:36 AM

    Listen, were just going to have to get used to this because this is the direction of the NFL. There is no two ways around it, the only place you can hit a QB these days are in between the nech and waist area…that’s it. But this inconsistency will continue until Goodell makes a change (which is highly doubtful).

  18. m2karateman says: Sep 19, 2011 11:37 AM

    There’s already been a bad roughing the passer call made that made the difference in the outcome of a game. It happened last year, and it was when Ndamukong Suh was called for unneccesary roughness when he hit Jay Cutler. Cutler was beyond the LOS, and therefore was a runner. Suh DID NOT hit him in the head, as was the call. It allowed the Bears to continue a drive that would have died toward the end of the game, and they ended up scoring and winning the game by four points. It was a BS call made by a BS official in what is quickly becoming a BS sports league.

  19. illiniftw says: Sep 19, 2011 11:39 AM

    @vdogg Buck’s dad is a STL guy so he hates all things Chicago… and therefore I hate him! Well that and he should stick with baseball because he is really irritating

  20. goawayeverybody says: Sep 19, 2011 11:40 AM

    This was a terrible call, but thankfully it was balanced out by the blown call regarding the Darren Sproles touchdown.

    In any case, GEAUX SAINTS!

  21. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Sep 19, 2011 12:01 PM

    Even as a Bears fan I thought it was a solid hit. My take it was the ref’s opportunity to tell the Saints “the Bears can’t block, so don’t be dickwads and kill the QB.”

    Seriously, it was good to see Cutler show some irritation on the sidelines and he didn’t throw anyone under the bus after the game. He caused a few of the hits, the OL takes some of the blame, but mostly it goes squarely on Martz.

    The Bears can’t run this offense. Either the players have to go or he does (and Martz won’t change his scheme). Which is easier after Week 2?

  22. johntonioholmes says: Sep 19, 2011 12:01 PM

    The refs make calls that no one ever heard of before and that is somehow news?

    Atlanta got it one a roughing the passer against Kafka, too.

  23. rockinron2 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:06 PM

    It was because he was driving him back after the hit. He hits him when the ball is gone, then takes 2 steps pushing him back and then tackles him with his weight. That is legal if he had the ball, but not once it is gone.

    People complaining are the same ones wanting the call on the tackle of Brees when Izzy took him down but braced himself so he didn’t put all of his weight on Brees. Can’t have it both ways.

  24. caskinsfan420 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:09 PM

    Pretty damn sure harped slammed Cutler to the ground after Cutler got rid of the ball. Harper does that. Williams is a dirty d-cord. and tells his guys to headhunt.

  25. zaggs says: Sep 19, 2011 12:16 PM

    Roman, “No” means no! Stop calling Culter, stop texting him, and for god sakes stop leaving “gifts” on his front doorstep!

  26. rdrs68 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:17 PM

    Welcome to The Roger Goodell era where you can just make things as you see fit. Hell if Roger can punish people for things he has no authority for why can’t refs make up infractions?

  27. jutts says: Sep 19, 2011 12:18 PM

    2 running plays in the second half? No wonder they kicked Cutlers ass? Angelo must go! Please George Mckaskey, Please, pay attention.

  28. rockinron2 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:19 PM


    The roughing on Suh may have been a bad call, but everyone thought is was roughing when it happened and the ref didn’t get to see the slow motion replay.

    Anyway, that call didn’t cost them the game. It was a first down play and Cutler went for 7 yards. Without the penalty it is 2nd down and 3 at the 15 instead of 1st and goal at the 7. Don’t see how that would have “died out” at the end of the game. There was plenty of time left (10 minutes) and Bears were marching right down the field. Next play was pass for TD to wide open TE that would have been good from 15 yards out too. Lions got ball back and couldn’t score. Bears then got ball back with 5 minutes to go and ran out the clock getting 4 more first downs.

    If you don’t like the league maybe you should go join the one being started by the crazy Steelers’ fan…

  29. abr173rd says: Sep 19, 2011 12:24 PM

    Anyone watching that game would have to be an idiot to think that the call was justified. It was one of the few instances where I was like “Really?” you could tell afterwards that the Ref knew he screwed up….. Terrible call but at least it gave Jay Bustler an extra 20 downs to get into the endzone….. God knows “The Bears are who we thought they were!”

  30. abr173rd says: Sep 19, 2011 12:27 PM

    Yeah I forgot to add- we did get a free TD on the Sproles reception, not that it really mattered at that point, but I guess it balanced out…

  31. liranbaron says: Sep 19, 2011 12:27 PM

    In the new NFL what you need to do as a defender hitting the QB, is bear hug the QB and take him to the ground AND while in falling rotate yourself so the QB falls on top of you there by protecting the QB.

    This way the defender can take the brunt of the contact going down and thus protect the fragile QB from getting hurt, to prevent less points, less highlight plays, and ultimately less revenue.

  32. danno1212 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:31 PM

    It was a make up call for the hit to to Earl Bennett that should have been a hit to defensless reciever penalty.

  33. zn0rseman says: Sep 19, 2011 12:37 PM

    I’m curious about how that was roughing the passer and the over/under blazing of Favre in the NFC title game awhile back wasn’t?

    Oh, and the reason Harper was trying to hold Cutler up was because he hit him after the ball was thrown. So yeah, it’s ticky tack, but better to call when it’s in question than let defenders blast the opposing star QB out of the game… right Saints fans?

    Oh, and uhm… anybody care to explain how that one TD was ruled a TD when the guy clearly stepped out of bounds? Strange that the replay booth didn’t think that one deserved a second look too…

    It’s almost like they wanted the Saints to win. But that’s just crazy talk… LOL!

    …. right?

  34. favreforever says: Sep 19, 2011 12:56 PM

    Harper managed to plea bargain the call down to “continued contact” from the more serious charge of “penetration”.

  35. dabears7190 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:01 PM

    I don’t think Harper’s hit should have been flagged. At the same time, I’m not sure how Briggs didn’t get a flag for his late hit out of bounds if you are going to call Harper for his tackle.

    Both would have been good no calls, IMO.

    And what happened to reviewing every touchdown? Sproles was CLEARLY out of bounds. The Saints probably would have scored anyway, but the point is if you are going to institute automatic replay after after every scoring play, get the play right.

  36. ratedgap says: Sep 19, 2011 1:18 PM

    znorseman sounds like a bitter Vikes fan. Lord knows that team ain’t going anywhere. Dude, get over it. It’s been almost two years and you traded in one washed up has been QB for an even worse washed up has been QB. By the time you get a good one Peterson will be retired, and you’ll still be crying about the Saints putting that whooping on ya to get to the Superbowl, then following it up by whooping ya to open the new season. Face it, WE ARE BETTER THAN YOU, and it was a bad call. Period. But unlike the Vikes we sacked up after it and won the game, and didn’t cry in our beers for another 2 freaking years. Dand homie, u mad bro?

  37. wayupsouth says: Sep 19, 2011 1:34 PM

    Oh, yeah, and znorseman, last week’s Folgers ain’t as bitter as you. Perhaps, however, you can console yourself by popping in your Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl DV…oops. Never mind.

  38. bigslizzle4twizzle says: Sep 19, 2011 1:44 PM

    This is just another example of the NFL’s contribution to the PUSSIFICATION of America. These rules are turning football into a non-contact sport and making soccer look like a mans game. Bring back the leather helmets and lets see who the toughest players really are.

  39. Deb says: Sep 19, 2011 1:48 PM

    Can’t the league at least admit the error? “Continued contact”? That’s more embarrassing than the original call. Goodell’s credibility shrinks a little more each day.

  40. innerlign says: Sep 19, 2011 2:01 PM

    You didn’t even mention the exact same hit on Brees in the end zone that wasn’t called. There were many more inconsistencies, non-calls right in front of the referees. It went for both sides.
    The NFL needs to totally overhaul the referees. Video review is not going to save them.

  41. djrando7 says: Sep 19, 2011 2:03 PM

    “Choose any car in the aisle? Now that’s a good call”

    Good Ole’ Joe Buck

  42. mistersmith22 says: Sep 19, 2011 2:06 PM

    “it’s just a matter of time before we see one of these bad roughing the passer calls becoming the difference between a team winning and losing.”

    Only a matter of time? It’s already happened several times. The NFL doesn’t care, because QBs put butts in seats and, in light of that, the league doesn’t really care if a game is thrown away.

    If this were gonna be a problem, EVER, it would have been a problem after the BAL-CIN game a year ago, when two false roughing calls gave the Bengals TWO extra first downs, each of which led to a field goal, in a game ultimately decided by 5 points.

  43. nps6724 says: Sep 19, 2011 2:06 PM

    Harper clearly made contact while Cutler had the ball. I have no idea what game some of you were watching, saying he hit him after he threw it. You might be as blind as Walt Coleman.

  44. dexterismyhero says: Sep 19, 2011 2:25 PM

    Where is the guy that had the tag “joebucksheadisfreaky”?

    Cause it is freaky….

  45. qoojo says: Sep 19, 2011 2:27 PM

    Fondling of QBs is against the rules. Too many QBs were getting their hearts broken.

  46. scra22 says: Sep 19, 2011 2:34 PM

    znorseman said:
    “Oh, and the reason Harper was trying to hold Cutler up was because he hit him after the ball was thrown.”


    Ummm no. I was in the Superdome and they played that hit over and over again on the video screen to get the crowd upset, so I saw it many times. He hit him exactly as he was throwing the ball, which was why the ball was short. You really need to get over Jan. 24, 2010.

  47. dfeltz says: Sep 19, 2011 2:55 PM

    The call to me isn’t an issue. Saying Joe Buck disagreed with the call is funny. I am Chicago fan ( both Cubs and Bears) and every chance Joe Buck gets to bad mouth these teams, he does. He is from St Louis. I have watched countless Cubs and Cardinals games that he calls, he hates Chicago. And being from the midwest, typically people don’t really hate anybody, but he will take any jab he can to the city of Chicago. Joe Buck is an ass.

  48. pigskinswag says: Sep 19, 2011 3:13 PM

    So what the hell are defenders supposed to do in that situation? Just release him and throw their hands up in the air? It was a totally bogus call that helped keep the Bears lone touchdown drive alive. The NFL is going too far with the “protection” of quarterbacks.

  49. pigskinswag says: Sep 19, 2011 3:14 PM

    BREAKING NEWS: The New Orleans Police Department is investigating the aggravated assault of Jay Cutler at the Superdome.

  50. pigskinswag says: Sep 19, 2011 3:17 PM

    Bad part is on the Robert Meachem reverse he get’s hit way out of bounds and then they don’t throw the flag.


    And you notice that Sean Payton called a time out just so he could continue to cuss out the refs. Loved it.

  51. pigskinswag says: Sep 19, 2011 3:21 PM

    This is just another example of the NFL’s contribution to the PUSSIFICATION of America

    I have a brand new favorite word now.

  52. thataaronrodgers12 says: Sep 19, 2011 3:26 PM

    We could be, not saying we would be, calling the Packers the two time defending champs had the right call been made in the desert two years ago. Yes, I know the defense should not have given up the points, missing greg jennings wide open the play before, etc. Bottom line, there is no consistency in the refs calls on these plays, and it has to change.

  53. sgtr0c says: Sep 19, 2011 3:43 PM

    Isn’t it odd that the NFL spends so much time changing rules and talking about player saftey, but every rule change they do, things get murkier and murkier? The NFL does so many things right, but can’t seem to get their employees anywhere close to being on the same page.

  54. MossMoon2Packers says: Sep 19, 2011 7:04 PM

    “… it’s just a matter of time before we see one of these bad roughing the passer calls becoming the difference between a team winning and losing… ”

    Or a non-called roughing the passer, like the one in the 2009 NFC title game where the Saints Ayodele and Hargrove (?) deliberately tried to maim Favre to take him out of the game, which played a part in enabling the Saints to squeak out a victory and go on to the SB.

  55. deiong says: Sep 19, 2011 8:09 PM

    i dont know what replay this guy saw but the one i saw it didnt look like he was tryign to hold him up, it looked like when people pickup person and try to smash them into the ground. though as tough a call that could have been, there were a lot of no calls that were way worse then that. horrible reffing on both sides of the ball.

  56. truthserum4u says: Sep 20, 2011 4:26 AM

    sdisme says:
    Sep 19, 2011 11:21 AM

    It’s Walt Coleman – What do you expect?

    Bad part is on the Robert Meachem reverse he get’s hit way out of bounds and then they don’t throw the flag.


    Now the Meachem play was some serious “continued contact”!

    rockinron2 says:
    Sep 19, 2011 12:06 PM

    It was because he was driving him back after the hit. He hits him when the ball is gone, then takes 2 steps pushing him back and then tackles him with his weight. That is legal if he had the ball, but not once it is gone.


    How was Harper suppose to stop when he was running at Cutler full speed? His momentum took them to the ground. It wasn’t a late hit so Harper was within the number of steps a defensive player can take and still hit the QB after he has thrown the ball.

    Bad call!!

  57. akasaintsbaby says: Sep 20, 2011 12:55 PM

    All of the viking fans are still whining. Man up and admit that coughing up the ball cost you the game. Two of those fumbles were in the red zone. Favre also added a couple of picks to go along with all of the fumbles. Remember “this is not Detroit man, this is the super bowl!” The image of Peterson holding the ball on the bench was priceless. On a positive note maybe your team can pull out a single win this year against the Chiefs. Then again, with your defense, you better get out to at least a 30pt lead and try to hang on in the second half. Have fun in last place.

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