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Mike Carey, bless his heart, thinks he’s doing pretty well

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 06:  NFL referee Mike Carey makes a call during the game between the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) Getty Images

Yes, Mike Carey has heard all the jokes.

And yes, he knows he’s far from perfect.

But the former NFL referee and current CBS rules analyst (shown here signaling what must have been a touchdown) defended his work Monday, saying he thought his percentage of correct evaluations was a lot higher than many do.

“I’m happy with how I’ve synced up with New York,” Carey said during a CBS press conference, estimating he thought he was at about “90 percent” on replay review analysis.

“Of course, New York is 100 percent,” he added.

Many think he’s batting far lower than .900, which is part of the reason his CBS bosses came to his defense last week, calling the criticism “hurtful.”

But Carey knows he’s making mistakes from time to time, and that his are magnified.

“There are plays I’d like to have back,” Carey said. “There are days I’d like to have back.”

He admitted that last week’s AFC Championship Game was one of those plays, when he said Peyton Manning threw a forward pass, but it was overturned and ruled a lateral.

“That was one I’d like to have back,” he said.

Carey knows as well as anyone else that his is a thankless job, dependent on not just his knowledge of the rules, but the whims of his former bosses with the league’s. And his job is to communicate that, and at times, that has been a bit of an issue.

Referees generally don’t talk to reporters, and if they do, it’s in a very formalized pool report setting, when one reporter gets to ask a question or two about a specific play. So much like assistant coaches who interview poorly because their bosses never let them do interviews, officials are often ill-equipped to explain controversial plays.

But Carey said he didn’t think officials should be required to be available to reporters after games, saying he thought their focus should be on understanding the rules and getting them right the first time through.

But as was shown last week, a full knowledge of the rules isn’t a sure defense, when the 10 percent that go against you go against you do dramatically and to such a large audience.

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37 Responses to “Mike Carey, bless his heart, thinks he’s doing pretty well”
  1. kcflake says: Feb 1, 2016 4:46 PM

    This reminds me of that old SNL skit, “I am smart enough, good looking enough and god dog it, people like me”.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 says: Feb 1, 2016 4:48 PM

    He’s always wrong.

    Yet when he was a referee, he was actually one of the best on eye-test and the NFL’s own grading.

  3. alex7awesome says: Feb 1, 2016 4:51 PM

    He would be doing a good job if his average was in baseball. I have no idea how he used to be a good ref.

  4. jag1959 says: Feb 1, 2016 4:55 PM

    It’s fashionable to bash him and Perreira here but not agreeing with NY doesn’t necessarily make Carey wrong. Blindino and company in NY get more ‘wrong’ than they do but 345 Park Ave is infallible, except in court of course

  5. niners816 says: Feb 1, 2016 4:55 PM

    Lost all respect for that dude when he wouldn’t officiate Redskins games because he was “offended”. Plus, he sucks at his job, so that makes it even more painful to watch.

  6. bleedingfacemask says: Feb 1, 2016 4:56 PM

    “But the former NFL referee and current CBS rules analyst (shown here signaling what must have been a touchdown)…”

    No, that’s the signal for Illegal Ballroom Dancing on an offensive lineman.

  7. dohczeppelin says: Feb 1, 2016 4:57 PM

    Sheesh. Why’s everyone hating on this guy all of the time? Even two refs on the field watching the same play will disagree about it some of the time. There have been several times that I actually agreed more with Carey’s “wrong” ruling more so than the ruling after review.

    Do you guys really expect 100% concurrence from people who are enforcing rules that are often subjective?

  8. marvsleezy says: Feb 1, 2016 4:57 PM

    Heres the thing, is he trying to get it right? Or is he trying to guess what the actual reff is going to rule?

    Cuz those 2 things are often different.

  9. cluckcluck2 says: Feb 1, 2016 5:02 PM

    I didn’t even need to see the blogger name to know it was a Gantt article. Dude’s got a holier than thou snark that would make Trump blush. Must be a blast at parties…

  10. tritz32 says: Feb 1, 2016 5:03 PM

    I’m 99.9% sure the guys missing a chromosome. Forget about being on the wrong side of every call – have you heard him try to formulate a coherent sentence?!? Good grief!

  11. mmack66 says: Feb 1, 2016 5:05 PM

    marvsleezy says:
    Feb 1, 2016 4:57 PM

    Heres the thing, is he trying to get it right? Or is he trying to guess what the actual reff is going to rule?

    Cuz those 2 things are often different.
    —————————-

    He’s just there to give his opinion of what the call should be.

    Since he is a former referee, one would think he would be right most of the time. Apparently he isn’t.

  12. roseann894 says: Feb 1, 2016 5:12 PM

    The linked article talks about the Manning backward pass. The telecast did not show a decent replay til after the fact. So if Carey relies on the same, he shouldn’t be blamed. I initially thought it was a forward pass or at least so close as to not merit a challenge.

  13. scrp2 says: Feb 1, 2016 5:15 PM

    His accuracy is probably somewhere around 50% which is pretty much a coin-flip. Really all you can expect for former NFL ref.

  14. it's not gold.....it's yellow says: Feb 1, 2016 5:19 PM

    Problem is – he sounds like he is 100% sure he is right – doesn’t know how to leave himself an out like Pereira does. He also has long-winded explanations that come across as if he has no confidence in what he is saying.

    Plus – when he’s on with buffoons Nance and Simms, it’s a trifecta of incompetence.

  15. tajuara says: Feb 1, 2016 5:24 PM

    Everyone is an analyst these days, ask the NFL Network.

  16. 87hollywoodhorn says: Feb 1, 2016 5:26 PM

    nobody should have to talk to reporters if they dont want to

  17. bordner says: Feb 1, 2016 5:27 PM

    He’d make an OK weatherman.

  18. milehihoss says: Feb 1, 2016 5:28 PM

    So does our president…

  19. natchamps73 says: Feb 1, 2016 5:28 PM

    Officiated for 10 years at the high school level. The idiots in the stands and on the sidelines always have better vision than the officials on the field. Lighten up – it’s a thankless job and allowing replay has ruined the game. The human element has always been a part of the game from players, to coaches to officials.

  20. handsatlanta says: Feb 1, 2016 5:34 PM

    Whaddya mean, signaling a touchdown. He’s dabbing.

    Ish

  21. tridecagon says: Feb 1, 2016 5:45 PM

    Carey’s problem is that he thinks his job is to guess what the replay official is going to call. It isn’t. His job is to explain to the TV viewer how the relevant rule works, how it relates to the play in question, and what specifically the referees are trying to determine. Carey is very, very bad at doing this with anything approaching a confident and professional delivery.

  22. jdphx says: Feb 1, 2016 5:52 PM

    Remember… he was a good referee!

    So this just shows what the “spread” is between Blandino
    and “good” ref. Imagine if it were Triplett, or a few others?

  23. brawnyhombre says: Feb 1, 2016 5:53 PM

    My biggest problem isn’t his inaccuracy – he’s a former NFL ref, what’s he supposed to do when the league itself doesn’t know what a catch even is? – it’s that English doesn’t appear to be his primary language. It’s painful listening to him explain anything, much less the muddled mess of NFL rules as applied to on-field action. It’s a bigger problem for CBS that he simply isn’t good on television, and their stubborn insistence that he’s actually doing well is baffling. (When your ratings are guaranteed by the popularity of the game itself, I guess you don’t have to sweat the rest of the details.)

  24. thekid72489 says: Feb 1, 2016 6:25 PM

    …And now to Mike Carey for the opposite of what’s about to be called on the field.

  25. finfan49 says: Feb 1, 2016 6:27 PM

    not defending …just saying

  26. vancouversportsbro says: Feb 1, 2016 6:49 PM

    No he’s not. He’s one of the worst analysts on TV. He’s in my top five.

    -Him
    -Charles “I love everyone and everything” Davis
    -Michael Irvin
    -Trent Dilfer
    -The rest of the NFL network stooges

  27. suncawy says: Feb 1, 2016 7:04 PM

    Officiating 100 percent ? Not likely. Although, I would like to know what the difference is between the no-call of Ryan Shazier on Bernard of the Bengals in the Steelers-Bengals playoff game, but in the Broncos-Patriots game, the safety, Keo, takes the same hit on Edelman and he gets flagged for 15 yards for a helmet to helmet hit. Face it, officials are making the game worse and nobody knows what these officials are calling.

  28. eagles512 says: Feb 1, 2016 7:06 PM

    Right or wrong the bigger problem is his awful delivery that brings a broadcast to a halt.

  29. juice08 says: Feb 1, 2016 7:12 PM

    Mike Carey is the guy that also refused to do his job if assigned a Redskins game simply because he was offended. Yeah, no respect for him.

  30. orivar says: Feb 1, 2016 7:50 PM

    I like Mike Carey. I disagree with that he’s always wrong if anything the NFL have no idea what they’re doing.

  31. kd75 says: Feb 1, 2016 7:55 PM

    Isn’t the ability to explain complex concepts succinctly and accurately to lay people sort of a prerequisite for this job?

  32. vikinganswer says: Feb 1, 2016 8:45 PM

    Glad I am not the only who thinks Carey is clueless.

  33. youknowiknowitall says: Feb 1, 2016 9:10 PM

    The linked article talks about the Manning backward pass. The telecast did not show a decent replay til after the fact. So if Carey relies on the same, he shouldn’t be blamed. I initially thought it was a forward pass or at least so close as to not merit a challenge.
    ———————
    But Carey didn’t even consider the possibility of a backward pass. He said something more along the lines of “no question, it was a forward pass” when during live action, it was quite obviously a close call.

  34. dexx57 says: Feb 2, 2016 12:06 AM

    Carey is so bad he makes Simms sound good.

  35. blackandbluedivision says: Feb 2, 2016 12:41 AM

    To be fair half the time they throw to Carey at random times. Like right after the play happens and we don’t even know what he’s looking at. He always sounds like he’s still thinking when they ask. That and come on! He’s a ref. You expect the guy to be right? When the rest of them aren’t?

  36. blackandbluedivision says: Feb 2, 2016 12:44 AM

    youknowiknowitall says:
    Feb 1, 2016 9:10 PM
    The linked article talks about the Manning backward pass. The telecast did not show a decent replay til after the fact. So if Carey relies on the same, he shouldn’t be blamed. I initially thought it was a forward pass or at least so close as to not merit a challenge.
    ———————
    But Carey didn’t even consider the possibility of a backward pass. He said something more along the lines of “no question, it was a forward pass” when during live action, it was quite obviously a close call.

    ——

    You’re right. It was a close call. But the other person is also right. He didn’t consider the possibility of a backwards pass because he wasn’t shown a proper angle in time. He was asked his opinion almost immediately, before they found a better angle, after the break. More often than not, he’s watching the same telecast we are…until he gets a replay. He didn’t have time.

  37. blackandbluedivision says: Feb 2, 2016 12:53 AM

    tridecagon says:
    Feb 1, 2016 5:45 PM
    Carey’s problem is that he thinks his job is to guess what the replay official is going to call. It isn’t. His job is to explain to the TV viewer how the relevant rule works, how it relates to the play in question, and what specifically the referees are trying to determine. Carey is very, very bad at doing this with anything approaching a confident and professional delivery.

    ——-

    That’s the analysts job. They pull a former ref in to get insight into what’s going on under that hood. What they’re thinking and seeing. To basically figure out what the call will be. The game ref announces what they’re trying to determine and the analysts should know the rules and be able to explain them (been doing it long enough) to the audience. The guy isn’t confident because he’s not in the discussion. They should just put a microphone under the hood. I never get why they don’t do it. They’re going to publicly announce the decision anyway. Why not just let the world know how they came to that decision?

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