Fisher: NFL told me Seahawks got away with a penalty on onside kick

AP

The officials corrected one mistake on the Seahawks’ onside kick at the start of overtime against the Rams on Sunday, giving the Rams the ball after first wrongly ruling that the Rams had committed an invalid fair catch signal. But the officials made another mistake that they failed to correct.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher says the NFL has admitted that the Seahawks should have been flagged for hitting Rams receiver Bradley Marquez after he signaled for a fair catch on the onside kick. In the confusion that began with the officials wrongly flagging Marquez for an invalid fair catch signal, they failed to realize that the Seahawks had committed the penalty.

Fisher says he told the officials after they corrected their first mistake that they also needed to enforce the penalty on the Seahawks, which would have moved the ball from the 50-yard line to the 35. But the officials didn’t listen to Fisher, a longtime member of the Competition Committee who’s well-versed in the rulebook.

“They just said, ‘We’re going to give you the ball right here. We’re not going to re-kick, so let’s go,’’’ Fisher said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I just couldn’t convince them to enforce the penalty because they just wouldn’t put the ball on the 35-yard-line.’’

Fisher said that it was such an unusual play that he’s not surprised it wasn’t officiated perfectly, and he appreciates the league acknowledging the error.

“The thing is, when have we seen that before? It just doesn’t come up,’’ Fisher said. “I talked to [NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino] last night and he explained it and we were right. He said, ‘No, they made a mistake.’”

The Rams ended up kicking a field goal on the first possession of overtime and winning the game by stopping the Seahawks’ subsequent possession, so things ended well for St. Louis. But referee Jeff Triplette and his crew were far from perfect.

84 responses to “Fisher: NFL told me Seahawks got away with a penalty on onside kick

  1. I wonder if he’d be so philosophical if they hadn’t been able to get into field goal range on that drive?

  2. “It would be really great if someone throat punched stinky Pete”

    Uh no, it would not be “great” if someone punches a football coach just because some moron fan doesn’t like him.

    And if that’s how you run your life you’ll be spending quite a bit of it in jail I would expect

  3. I wondered that when I was watching. I figured it wasn’t called because when the Rams cheat, the NFL looks the other way. I guess this confirms it.

  4. Fisher says he told the officials after they corrected their first mistake that they also needed to enforce the penalty on the Seahawks, which would have moved the ball from the 50-yard line to the 35. But the officials didn’t listen to Fisher, a longtime member of the Competition Committee who’s well-versed in the rulebook.
    ======++=+===

    For someone on the rules committee, Fisher doesn’t understand them very well.

    Should there have been a penalty? Yes. As a legitimate fair catch, the receiver can’t be touched.

    But the officials mistakenly thought it hit the ground and should not have been a fair catch. That is why they didn’t throw a flag.

    The rules clearly state you can’t back date a penalty based on a review – whether the review was within the rules or not.

  5. So how should the NFL make restitution to the Giants for blowing 2 calls that cost them the game?

  6. I’m a die hard Rams fan but I wish that for just 1 week during the season Fisher could get by without complaining about a call from the previous weeks game.

  7. It was also said that apparently somebody reviewing the play called down and told the officials that the ball didn’t hit the ground.
    A violation that evidently Fisher forgot as well.
    If that play is handled properly, it should be a penalty against the rams for the improper fair catch.
    Fisher, much like anybody else, turns a blind eye when the ruling doesn’t favor them.

  8. smarterthanyouoryours :

    “I talked to [NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino] last night and he explained it and we were right. He said, ‘No, they made a mistake.’”

    I’ll take Blandino’s word over yours smartypants.

  9. harrisonhits2 says:
    Sep 18, 2015 9:00 AM

    “It would be really great if someone throat punched stinky Pete”

    Uh no, it would not be “great” if someone punches a football coach just because some moron fan doesn’t like him.

    And if that’s how you run your life you’ll be spending quite a bit of it in jail I would expect
    =========

    Niner fan.

    Have you seen videos from every one of their home games?

    Punks who like to take cheap shots and then run away.

  10. For someone on the rules committee, Fisher doesn’t understand them very well.

    Should there have been a penalty? Yes. As a legitimate fair catch, the receiver can’t be touched.

    But the officials mistakenly thought it hit the ground and should not have been a fair catch. That is why they didn’t throw a flag.

    The rules clearly state you can’t back date a penalty based on a review –
    whether the review was within the rules or not.

    <<<<<<<>>>>>>>>

    there was no review in the sense that they didn’t use replay to correct that call. the refs got together on the field as they often do to discuss a penalty. one ref saw it one way and the other ref saw it another way and they picked up the flag – and they got it right. I’m not 100% positive under those circumstances that they can’t then go a head and enforce the subsequent penalty of hitting a player after waving for a fair catch – i think they can.

  11. You need to the NFL to tell you this?

    I CAN’T be the only one watching this game knowing he was illegally hit the second the Refs reversed the call.

    Don’t the Rams have one assistant coach who noticed this?

  12. Alright, it looks like the Rams couldn’t sell out the home opener, can LA do any better? Probably not, but if you’re going to have a team nobody cares about, at least put it in LA so teams can stop using that excuse when they want a new stadium. Or move the Jags to LA, Florida really doesn’t need 3 teams anyway with all the transplants they have down there that root for out of state teams.

  13. I stand corrected. Fisher did complain about the hit.He was right.

    Very poor refereeing to not know the rules of a fair catch.

    PS

    Just because Fischer’s teams tend to be cheap shot artists and he is a whiner does not negate the poor refereeing.

  14. The league is crooked as baldingers pinky finger the refs didnt want seattle to lose because if the ball had been placed on the 35 odds are the rams would have gotton a td and seattle wouldnt have had a chance at comeback score good thing karmas a bit.h and pete the cheat got his in the end anyway

  15. It was evident Jeff Triplette was a mediocre to awful ref when he stepped in front of a Joe Horn long pass from Brookes back in the day and cost the Saints a TD

  16. smarterthanyouoryours says:
    Sep 18, 2015 9:02 AM
    Fisher says he told the officials after they corrected their first mistake that they also needed to enforce the penalty on the Seahawks, which would have moved the ball from the 50-yard line to the 35. But the officials didn’t listen to Fisher, a longtime member of the Competition Committee who’s well-versed in the rulebook.
    ======++=+===

    For someone on the rules committee, Fisher doesn’t understand them very well.

    Should there have been a penalty? Yes. As a legitimate fair catch, the receiver can’t be touched.

    But the officials mistakenly thought it hit the ground and should not have been a fair catch. That is why they didn’t throw a flag.

    The rules clearly state you can’t back date a penalty based on a review – whether the review was within the rules or not.

    There was no review.

  17. NFL referees make too many mental mistakes. And much reporting indicates that referees don’t listen well when coaches inform them of their mistakes.

    Yet somehow, despite this, according to the NFL, the integrity of the game isn’t compromised by it, given that the NFL Office does little to improve it.

  18. How does Jeff Triplette still have a job. This guy has ended a player’s career (Orlando Brown), and gets many calls wrong. Seems like he fixes games.

  19. Dumb rule. Seems to me if the ball is in the air a defenseless player ought to be able to signal for a fair catch whether the ball came off the ground or not. It’s player safety, right?

  20. Fisher is the worst example of a smug punk that the NFL has to offer…..and he’s a HC. How he’s kept his job is truly amazing. In 20 years as a HC, Fisher has managed only SIX winning seasons. That’s right you heard correctly SIX winning season.

    And over that time period of extraordinary mediocrity, Fisher has managed to cement a reputation of coaching his players to play dirty, and his own reputation of being a serial whiner and complainer.

    During his long tenure on the Competition Committee, Fisher as has time and time again fought for rules to “dumb down” the game, thus making it a lot easier fo incompetent mediocrity to thrive in the NFL. I don’t think there is a HC in the league who can say they’ve had 5 straight losing seasons and STILL have a job.

    Finally after 3 years of high draft picks (thank you Washingto) Fisher has a very talented team in St Louis,. so this “MIGJT be the one year in four that Fisher is the HC of a winning team, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  21. “I figured it wasn’t called because when the Rams cheat, the NFL looks the other way.”

    That’s just pathetic. I’d like your explanation of when the Rams “cheated” and when the league “looked the other way”

    America used to be a strong country full of strong people the respected innovation and hard work. Now its become a country of whiners who are so entitled they want to work for nothing and whine endlessly that the world is not handed to them.

    Its the coward’s way out too. Oh waaaa you cheated. How about taking responsibility for not playing well enough to win ?

  22. I figured that out sitting on my couch during the game as did literally thousands if not millions.

    Also, we didn’t need the replay to know the ball went up not down.

  23. But it wasn’t an onside kick according to Pete…and we should believe everything Pete says because he has a great track record of not lying. Those Inappropriate USC benefits days and Seahawks PED reports were also nonsense, since Pete said they were.

  24. Funny I sat there and told my wife the refs are screwed up. You can’t tackle a guy who signals fair catch, where,s the 15 yard penalty. Looks like us arm chair guys do know a little football. At least as much as the refs.

  25. This is entertainment, not a real sport. Goodell and his henchmen have demonstrated the lengths they will go to mold the product anyway they see fit. Selective enforcement of rules. Sting operations against teams that win too much. Refusal to accept a referees recollection of gauge use.
    ESPNFL doesn’t care about legitimate contests….all that matters is squeezing commercials in and creating 24/7 drama.

  26. Why don’t receivers just call for a fair catch on EVERY onside kick??? Seems like teams should be teaching this to all special teams players.

    None of it matters anyway. Rams won. Good game for them. On to Green Bay.

  27. It was also said that apparently somebody reviewing the play called down and told the officials that the ball didn’t hit the ground.
    A violation that evidently Fisher forgot as well.
    If that play is handled properly, it should be a penalty against the rams for the improper fair catch.

    If the play is “handled properly” the legal fair catch is treated as a legal fair catch, right? My understanding is that the replay official wasn’t the only one who saw that the kicked ball didn’t hit the ground.

    How the officials didn’t call the penalty for interfering with a fair catch is beyond me. I’m sure everybody watching the game understood that if the fair catch was legal, the tackling afterward wasn’t.

    Jeff Triplette really has earned his retirement.

  28. Triplette appears to be the Seahawks personal referee. The Steelers had Bill Leavy who helped them beat the Seahawks in the Superbowl and Triplette is now part of the Seahawks. Triplette is simply doing his job–I mean he wanted to give the Seahawks a do over on the over time kickoff but the replay booth wouldn’t let him. Can you blame him for not wanting to enforce the roughing penalty? Now, if the Patriots had been involved, rest assured the refs would have reviewed, re-reviewed, and found a couple of more penalties to call and probably gotten the ball down around the 20 yard line. Go Rams and Go Patriots!!!

  29. You can’t flag a penalty after the fact. Their was no penalty on Sherman because the WR stepped out of bounds. People love to call penalties but don’t know the rules.

  30. How do Triplette, Jerome boger and ed hochuli still have jobs in the NFL?

    Then again, how does Roger Goodell still have a job in the NFL?

    Let’s face it: the NFL is becoming a banana republic.

  31. I would agree by the letter of the rule. However the spirit was that this was an onside Kick which it wasn’t. The seahawk players for all intensive purposes thought it was and reacted as if it was. which if it was you go after the ball . and a fair catch isnt aloud in that case. Give it to the Rams to even recognize that the ball didnt hit the ground first and that it went straight up off Haushka’s foot.

  32. Marshawn Lunch says:
    Sep 18, 2015 11:36 AM
    Why don’t receivers just call for a fair catch on EVERY onside kick??? Seems like teams should be teaching this to all special teams players.

    None of it matters anyway. Rams won. Good game for them. On to Green Bay.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The reason that all receivers don’t call for fair catches on onside kicks is that if the ball hits the ground first, which most onside kicks do, it is a penalty, like was mistakenly called in this game.

    In this particular instance, the ball was a poorly hit squib kick that popped up and traveled a shorter than anticipated distance. Because it was never hit the turf, you are allowed to call for fair catch and hitting him afterwards should have been fair catch interference, which is a penalty.

  33. Fisher should know that he wasn’t going to get that call, because, that wasn’t what the call was for on the field.

    The initial wrong call was for the incorrect fair catch. After they corrected that, the play was over.

    It doesn’t matter then that the player was hit illegally because the refs didn’t throw a flag for that infraction.

  34. “Marshawn Lunch says:
    Sep 18, 2015 11:36 AM
    Why don’t receivers just call for a fair catch on EVERY onside kick??? Seems like teams should be teaching this to all special teams players.
    ============================================

    This is legit question. Perhaps, coaches don’t want the player to be distracted by waving his arm and then trying to catch the ball as you have a sea of Roided up humanity bearing down on you.

  35. “luckyjim1980 says:
    Sep 18, 2015 12:27 PM
    How do Triplette, Jerome boger and ed hochuli still have jobs in the NFL?

    Then again, how does Roger Goodell still have a job in the NFL?
    =========================================

    Goodell still has a job because he makes the owners a boatload of money. They can deal with his PR disasters and court fights with the NFLPA which would happen with or without Goodell. Remember, it was the owners who granted Goodell the final say on appeals. He’s not some dictator who makes up his own rules. He’s just the puppet for the multi billionaires.

  36. bpurd says:
    Sep 18, 2015 12:19 PM

    You can’t flag a penalty after the fact. Their was no penalty on Sherman because the WR stepped out of bounds. People love to call penalties but don’t know the rules.
    ———————————————————
    You must be new to the game. Never saw a QB throw away the ball to avoid a sack and after a lengthy discussion the official pulls out his yellow hankie and tosses it 20 feet in the air for not throwing past the line of scrimmage? It happens all the time. Refs confer and toss a flag. Sometimes they even pick up a flag which according to your logic can’t be done “after the fact”. Triplette and crew along with Fisher blew the call. Move on.

  37. Players safety is the most important thing….unless it’s overtime. By the way, many fans were saying the call should have been made when it was happening. It really isn’t that difficult of a call. So many errors by the refs that everything should be review able. If ya get it wrong as a coach no more challenges for your team. Get it right and you can keep challenging.

  38. Pretty serious blunder by the officials, moreso than allowing s teams equipment managers to influence the outcome. The officials are influencing the outcome in person, now.

    This whole pack is incompetent and disgraceful. They are assisting in Goodall’s dismantling of the game by calling a penalty when a defender knocks the ball loose from a receiver, and they are complicit in fixing games, knowingly or not, when someone is allowed to alter the equipment. Now this.

  39. Said the same thing from the couch. Should have thrown a flag for that hit when he signaled fair catch. Could have discussed after the fact if it was a valid signal.

  40. bartpkelly says:
    Sep 18, 2015 9:01 AM

    I don’t think you can throw a flag on a penalty after the play is dead – based on a review of a different call.

    Anyone know?
    ————-

    People are downgrading this, but it is a great point actually.

    The refs were playing it like an onside kick (incorrectly) and would have been in error to throw the flag for someone hitting the returner.

    Or, are they correct to throw it at the time because regardless of the returner’s ability to signal a fair catch, he still did and that needs to be respected by the kicking team.

    But, they didn’t call it. I agree that they aren’t supposed to be able to add a penalty post review.

  41. I completely agree with Fisher on this play.

    But I’d like to see the rule changed to remove the fair catch inside 20 yards from the kick so there’s no chance of a fair catch being called, or a penalty of this nature being a problem.

    Onside kicks need to be just as they are, a chance for both teams to recover the ball. The kicking team needs to be able to try to get that ball, and the receiving team shouldn’t have the chance to get a penalty because the ball hit the ground or not (because it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be able to see that in the moment).

    Who wants to see a fair catch happen on such a crucial play?

    And more importantly, who wants to see a flag come out because someone was sure (but after found to be incorrect) that the ball didn’t hit the ground?

    Let’s just remove these elements altogether and preserve the onside kick as it should be.

  42. Word from another article is that the information that the ball did not hit the ground came from an assistance in the replay booth.
    That is a violation of protocol. As the play is not reviewable, it should have been a re-kick.
    Honestly, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome.

  43. I’m sitting there repeatedly yelling that at the TV: “They roughed him! They roughed him! The penalty is on them!” Amazing that no one on the staff communicated that. OR even the player who had the presence of mind to make the signal.

  44. Can’t fire the hapless Triplette as long as Bill Leavy still has a job. Triplette only horribly botches regular season games, Leavy has botched two playoff games, including a Super Bowl.

  45. How do Triplette, Jerome boger and ed hochuli still have jobs in the NFL?
    *************************
    For Hochuli, it’s the stupid carnival he’s created because of his stupid biceps and his lengthy explanations of calls. “Oooh, look at his biceps, and oooh, he took 45 seconds to explain his call, so he must be good!” I wrote off Hochuli several years ago when he flagged Suh for shoving a scrambling Jay Cutler to the ground with “an excessive amount of force” or whatever exact words Hochuli used. Cutler was scrambling, Suh caught him and gave him a shove to the ground for the ages. Not dirty at all, just a helluva shove. And Ed “I make up new rules on the fly because I’m an attorney and I’m smart Hochuli blew it.

    As for the other guys there is no excuse. And you left out perhaps the worst of all, Bill Leavy.

  46. “It would be really great if someone throat punched stinky Pete”

    *******************************
    The best time to throat punch him was after that Fail Mary TD a few years back. He had that stupid grin on his face, knowing the call was wrong. His face was never more punchable than that evening.

  47. Of course they got it wrong Jeff Fischer. But they can’t retroactively add a penalty like that. It would be the same as adding a PI call after determining a ball wasn’t tipped when no flag was thrown on the play. It doesn’t work that way.

  48. There is no instant replay on penalties, other than the Refs getting together and discussing what they saw, which in this case, was to discuss the flag thrown on the kick for illegal fair catch.
    They can’t go back after correction and then flag Seattle for an illegal hit.
    That would be like watching a replay for a catch in bounds and then spotting the pass interference and calling it after the fact.

  49. themikegun says:
    Sep 18, 2015 9:01 AM

    I wondered that when I was watching. I figured it wasn’t called because when the Rams cheat, the NFL looks the other way. I guess this confirms it.
    =====================================
    Really?I guess you have the Rams confused with the Patriots

  50. Refs were awful in this game! Quinn’s roughing the passer with contact to the head when he clearly hit him in the shoulder and could make a better tackle. On a 3rd and 15. How do you miss a clear facemask on Foles in the end zone on his td run on a solo tackle. And a flag was thrown for an illegal fair catch, there should have been 2 flags thrown because illegal or not you cannot hit a player after he gives himself up. Flag on the RAMS gets picked up, and Seattle’s penalty is enforced. Period. Terrible

  51. Just another glaring example of how inept the refs are. The ref knew Fisher was right but he chose to not call the obvious penalty against the favorite Seahawks. I know lots of people who think the NFL is rigged, after watching the league make sure Ice Bowl 2 happened last year by the refs rigging the Lions vs cowboys game and now hearing this it’s pretty obvious. Watch the playoff game in Dallas last year and see for yourself. The Cowboys got every call in the 4th qrt and the Lions well they just got screwed. Not just the flag that was picked up on the obvious interference but the non call on Suh being tackled on a third and long while the ref in the backfield watched. The play resulted in a first down for the Cowboys and gave them the win. The league is a joke, I wouldn’t spend a penny betting on a game. It’s all rigged.

  52. Your all wrong by the way, if while in a huddle the official who made the initial call is corrected by another official he is obligated to make the correction and apply the correct penalty. A fair catch was called and the player was hit early, initial call was wrong because the ref thought the ball bounced off the ground, people who don’t think they can enforce a penalty after a group discussion have no idea what they are talking about. The ref chose not to make the call because he wanted the Hawks to win. He certainly had no problem flagging the rams for an illegal fair catch. How could he miss the kickoff not touching the ground first. He needs to go, he is the worst ref in the league. You know why he is still working these games? So the league can control the outcome of the games! Prove me wrong NFL and fire Tripplette.

  53. I don’t understand why Fisher making such a big deal out of this, this happens all the time in the NFL games…”Be nice to people on your way up, because you’re going to meet them on your way down…”

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