The NFL is saying nothing about Eagles quarterback Mike Vick’s recent complaints regarding the late of roughing the passer penalties. (We know this because we asked the NFL.) Former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira is saying plenty.
Appearing on Mad Dog Radio’s Evan and Phillips in the Morning (on SiriusXM Radio), Pereira was pointed in his criticism of Vick’s criticism.
“Well, I thought it was ridiculous,” said Pereira, who now serves as a rules analyst for FOX. “It actually took me back, it took me back to my job in New York when I worked for the league, and it was a constant complaint by the Eagles, whether it was [Donovan] McNabb at quarterback or whether it was Vick. They clearly complained more than any other team.”
Pereira pointed to the statistics from ESPN showing the Eagles get more roughing the passer calls than any other team in the NFC East, and the seventh most league-wide.
“He’s a quarterback that’s on the move, he’s going to get hit more,” Pereira said. “Yes, there are a couple that may be missed but the fact that a ton of them are missed and that he’s hit late all the time is absurd. And he comes out and kind of does the mea culpa yesterday but at the same time what did he say? ‘I was being too candid.’ Well, that doesn’t sound to me like much of an apology. And also the damage is done. I don’t want to be the referee that goes in there now next and works with him. If he calls a roughing the passer penalty for a hit on Vick everybody’s going to say, ‘Well, Vick taunted him into that.’ If he doesn’t [call it] there’s going to be more criticism. So I think it was a bunch of bull and it didn’t sit well with me and it still doesn’t.”
That’s a great point from Pereira, and that’s why Vick should have said nothing to the media. These are issues that need to be handled privately and discreetly. As NFL spokesman Greg Aiello pointed out via email, “We do have a long-standing procedure that gives our teams the opportunity each week to receive a full explanation from our head of officiating about any call that they wish to question.”
No one wants to be called out publicly about their performance on the job, especially not NFL referees, who already are the targets for criticism. And so whenever Vick plays next, we’ll all know who the referee is — and we’ll be constantly reminded after a hit on Vick whether he’s getting the calls that, when speaking candidly, he thinks he should be getting.