Monday night’s game between the Bengals and Broncos included a moment that many have interpreted as someone using video to inform referee Ed Hochuli that his crew had missed a facemask foul. Former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira believes it. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak believes it. I believe it. (And I’m fine with it.)
The NFL doesn’t believe it.
“It was a crew conference that led to the flag,” the league told PFT via email on Wednesday. Via follow-up questions aimed at addressing the possibility that the replay assistant or league office had a role in the crew conference, the NFL said that neither was involved.
The denial won’t change many minds, because the league has no choice but to deny it. Admitting the use of replay to call fouls would constitute a blatant violation of league protocol, even if the the ends justify the means.
The only one outside the league office who knows the truth on this is Ed Hochuli. And before assuming that maybe he’ll slip at some point or bare his soul once his time as an NFL official ends, keep this in mind: His son, Shawn, currently is an NFL game official and Hochuli won’t want to do anything to screw that up.