Marty Mornhinweg, Sheldon Richardson teamed up for fateful Jets timeout


There was a brief moment in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ 31-24 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field when it looked like the Jets had tied the game on a Jeremy Kerley touchdown catch.

It wasn’t to be. The play had been blown dead as the line judge called timeout.

Replays showed offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg gesturing for a timeout and the Jets said that was the case after the game. Mornhinweg, who didn’t speak to the media per the usual Jets routine, apparently didn’t like the play call, which led to shouting and gesturing for a timeout. The official didn’t grant the stoppage, but defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson did notice Mornhinweg and leaned forward to tell the official. Richardson said after the game that he got the impression that Mornhinweg had changed his mind again, but it was too late.

“I saw Marty calling the timeout and I was into the game,” Richardson said, via “I knew it was crunch time. I didn’t know if he wanted the timeout or not. I just knew he called it. I helped him out a little bit. I whispered in the referee’s ear ‘timeout,’ and he called it before the ball was thrown. It’s just bad timing on my part. I feel like I let the team down. It just happens when you’re into the game like that, though. By the time I was yelling to help them call timeout, I guess they were fine with the play. They wanted to go on with it. It just happens like that. A miscue on my part.”

It goes beyond Richardson. The normal protocol is for Mornhinweg to inform Rex Ryan that he wants a timeout on the headset rather than start gesticulating wildly on the sideline with the collective voice of Lambeau Field making it tough to hear on the field. Richardson also says that players have helped Ryan get timeouts in similarly loud situations so it’s not the most unusual situation.

NFL rules state that only a head coach or a player on the field can call time, but the league said Sunday that officials “are instructed not to turn their attention away from the field to verify who is calling the timeout” late in the play clock and should only refuse to grant it if he’s certain it isn’t coming from the head coach.

Ryan should know the potential pratfalls of assistants calling timeouts. He did it when he was the Ravens defensive coordinator on a key defensive stop against the Patriots in 2007, giving the Pats life that they turned into a first down and a win that helped them to an undefeated regular season. Sideline chaos is going to lead to mistakes of one kind or another, whether it was Richardson or someone else who pulled the lever this time.

35 responses to “Marty Mornhinweg, Sheldon Richardson teamed up for fateful Jets timeout

  1. As a lifelong Bears fan it’s tough to comment on a Green Bay win, but I actually like to see the Jets lose. Especially when it involves clown-like stupidity by the players and coaches. No team is more deserving than that group of blowhards.

  2. Lack of discipline and mental sharpness will get you every time. Rexy needs to be more like an angry nun with a wooden ruler and less like Bluto the frat brother.

  3. Classic. I distinctly remember Rex calling an unwanted timeout as DC of the Ravens that cost them a win against the Patriots in 07. The best part was Rex and the a Ravens bench pretending they never called it and Brian Billick having to begrudgingly admit on TV that he did.

  4. Why blame anybody,nobody at the time knew the play was going to result in a touchdown,if the ball had been intercepted or fumbled away on a sack both of them would have been considered heroes by the Jets faithful for stopping the play before bad happened but its still great they did it if you are a Packers fan.

  5. I’m sure “Fireman Ed” took that well — he was always very composed, stoic and subdued.

  6. So a player on the bench can call a timeout? The ref should know the difference between Rex Ryan and a player.

    Any ref that doesn’t know the difference between “player du jour” and Rex Ryan shouldn’t be on the field.

  7. Just the Jets being the Jets. They had the road upset in hand until a big defensive letdown and terrible game management on the 2nd half.

    And by the way, Geno Smith is not good.

  8. Timeout-Gate. In his presser, Rex said Marty or Geno may have called it; yea, Rex, Geno called it, then threw the bomb for the TD! Jets = utter chaos.

  9. This game showed a dysfunction on the Jets sideline, as the tying TD was called back on an unauthorized timeout.

    The other thing I saw in this game was that the Jets have no professional WRs except maybe Kerley. Geno has no chance with that set of receivers.

  10. I’m sure “Fireman Ed” took that well — he was always very composed, stoic and subdued.

  11. The Jets did the right thing, except Rex didn’t make the call. Perhaps its time for Rex to kick some butts. Bill

  12. So only the head coach can call time out but the officials are instructed not to look to see who is calling time out. So in other words, anyone can call a time out. A fan in the stands can call a time out, as long as he yells it loud enough for the official to hear.

  13. It sure was fun to watch that highlight video this morning.

    That was a character victory. Shows you can fall behind by 18 to AFC East team and not just pathetically fold up. #Guts&Class #Warriors

  14. Yet more reason why absolutely everything should be reviewable for instant replay …

    Wouldn’t matter in this case since the whistle blew. Play is dead right there, and understandably so. Best they could do is replay the down and give them the timeout back.

    But this was not an issue with the referees, anyway.

  15. This is Marty’s fault. How can you blame Richardson when Marty’s seen running up the sidelines with his hair on fire screaming for a timeout. Richardson just reacted to what he thought his coach wanted.

  16. So jets fans want the refs to have their backs toward the field with the play clock under 10 seconds?

    Offenses vary their snaps to keep defenses off guard – an encroachment penalty or a false start would go undetected if the ref has to keep his eyes on the head coach…

    How about you blame your GM for drafting a bust at corner and a bust at safety – who both got torched by Jordy.

    How about your oline & halfbacks for sucking against a crappy Run Defense.

  17. The irony list is Marty did not like the call that was a touchdown. Marty always over thinks everything. Even a loyalist like AR said enoug of this guy.

  18. That’s great to get to the bottom of this, now the Vikings fans can quit whining… they were more sour about this than the Jets true fans that mostly handled it with class and understanding… and they were the only ones with the legitimate gripe about it.

    Not someone who cheers for the Jets once every 4 years when they play vs. GB.

  19. This wasn’t even Morningweg’s biggest goof of the day. You’re up 21-9 at the end of the half and you have the ball 1st and 10 inside the opponents 30 with under 5 minutes and you call a deep ball to the 3rd string TE!?!?!? Chris Ivory was running all over the place and you pull him for Chris Johnson who can’t get more than 2 yards? Richardson did nothing wrong. He saw a coach calling a timeout and helped him get it. I’m still confused how Richardson leaves a brawl with his helmet in a Packer player’s hand and only the Jets get personal fouls?

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