On Wednesday, NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira admitted that the officials in the AFC Championship Game blew it by not calling a late hit on Colts safety Melvin Bullitt when he tackled Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez after a handoff.
On Friday, the league fined Bullitt $5,000 for the hit. The hit sent Jets coach Rex Ryan into a rage on the sideline and he later called the hit a “cheap shot.” Bullitt denied that there was malicious intent on the play, but told the Indianapolis Star that he understood why Ryan was upset.
“Five thousand dollars, that hurts,” Bullitt said. “I understand [Ryan]
being mad because that’s his quarterback, but I didn’t try to hurt him.
I was just playing football. I didn’t know if he had the ball or not. I
was coming from behind.”
Bullitt plans to appeal the fine. Pereira’s admission will probably work against him in that process, which won’t hurt much if Bullitt picks up a winner’s share next Sunday.