Will Torbert be suspended with pay or reassigned?

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With the NFL reportedly planning to admit that referee Ronald Torbert failed to acknowledge that Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel had properly reported as an eligible receiver during Monday night’s game against the Cardinals, the next question becomes whether the NFL will take action of any kind against Torbert.

Mistakes are made all the time by officials. But the NFL has developed a new habit of taking action against officials who make mistakes in prime time games. Three weeks ago, back judge Greg Wilson failed to penalize Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright for batting a loose ball out of the end zone against the Lions on a Monday night, and Wilson was later reassigned away from the Week Six Sunday night game between the Patriots and Colts. Two weeks ago, side judge Rob Vernatchi was suspended one game with pay for failing to notice that 18 seconds had ticked off the clock near the end of the Steelers-Cardinals game on a Monday night.

If the mistake had happened in one of the various 1:00 p.m. ET games on a Sunday, it may have been no big deal. The fact that it happened on a Monday night could prompt the league to act against Torbert in a way that doesn’t take away any of his pay — which means that there won’t be anything the NFL Referees Association can do.

The reassignment of Wilson and the suspension of Vernatchi sent a clear message to all officials: If you screw up in a prime-time game, the consequences will be more prominent than getting a bad grade from the league office.

67 responses to “Will Torbert be suspended with pay or reassigned?

  1. So where’s all the ****** calling Harbaugh a whiner instead of recognizing there are serious issues with the officiating to be corrected?

  2. The biggest mistake made was allowing Johnson to get up and run after his progress had been stopped.

    Someone should be fired over that one.

  3. Dean Blandino should be punished for this at some point. Obviously whatever sort of offseason program they have isn’t working.

    It is apparent that this is a league wide problem, and if they were provided the adequate resources, each should not be penalized individually for their boss not doing their job properly.

  4. iammrbinky says:
    Oct 27, 2015 3:52 PM

    So where’s all the ****** calling Harbaugh a whiner instead of recognizing there are serious issues with the officiating to be corrected?


    Harbaugh’s a Whiner. Always been one. Always will be.

    Next question!

  5. Torbert’s failure on the ineligible receiver call was just one of many inexcusable decisions he made during the game.

    Suspension without pay is reasonable. Show some accountability.

  6. Lolz the Ravens and Crybaugh love anything they can whine about.

    I don’t think I’ve ever once in the entire time Crybaugh has been the Ravens coach accept responsibility for a loss, nor have I ever heard a Ravens player do so.

    Its always the refs, the weather, the mean names the fans of the other team are calling you, calling perfectly executed legal plays illegal, never ever your own fault.

    How about coach your team competently so they don’t make mistakes ?

  7. bbfe says:
    Oct 27, 2015 4:07 PM

    suspended with pay = Vacation

    My thought exactly. How is that really a punishment? You get paid to sit at home and think about what you did wrong?

  8. So the league is basically saying “We won’t be too harsh on the refs if they screw up on a regular Sunday game and not primetime.” Seriously, how does Goodell sleep at night?

  9. “Yes, we’re pleased to get a ref assigned to our lesser-profile game as punishment for mistakes he made in a so-called ‘important’ game.”

    Said no team, ever.

  10. What about all the other mistakes? What about the BS pass interference call in London? What about all the bad holding calls? What about all the missed facemasks and QB roughing?

    What this tells me is that on any given week, 26 teams dont matter. And thats insulting to the teams that dont play night games as often.

  11. Urschel still needed to be covered, and that was what they called. They didn’t say he wasn’t eligible.

    Johnson wasn’t down nor was his progress stopped. They did right there.

    Where’s the suspension or reassignment for saying Steelers-Cardinals when it was Steelers-Chargers haha

  12. Not only are the officials inconsistant in the way each calls a game and all the huge mistakes of bad calls but the clock operators have been the next biggest problem. Look at the Eagles game and last Monday nights game was a complete joke!



  13. “I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion, I’m just telling you, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule number one of business.”

    Cuban looking more and more like a prophet everyday. Hog on, NFL.

  14. The real issue is why aren’t the refs full time freaking employees, the nfl rakes in billions of dollars and they can’t employ people that decide right and wrong at the cost of a few million.

  15. “If the mistake had happened in one of the various 1:00 p.m. ET games on a Sunday, it may have been no big deal.”

    So if I’ve parsed this correctly:
    – if it happens in front of a national audience, it’s a problem
    – if it happens regionally to the Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys, etc, it’s a problem
    – if it happens regionally to the rest of the league, it’s not a problem

    And the League Office wonders why people don’t like them…

  16. If Jeff Triplette can end up getting selected to ref a playoff game last year, I’d say Torbert still has a better chance of being in the playoffs than the Ravens.

  17. So that means week 9 the incompetent refs will be assigned to the Packers Panthers game at 1 instead of the “primetime” Philly Dallas game. That seems like it will fix things

  18. I’m not sure who’s tripping over their own lies, whining and mistakes more, the Ravens or the league office.

    Thumbs up the Ravens, thumbs down the league office

  19. Damn, football is so stupid. This is literally a male soap-opera at this point…. and, I’m not holding up any other sport. They are all glorified WWE at this point…

  20. To fix the ref problems, they need to hire 13% african american, 20% hispanic, 5% asian, 50% female, 10% LGBT. That would eliminate all but the 12% of the bad calls(by the white males) and would be politically correct.

  21. Harbaugh is a baby… A whiner can be right when they cry just like A broken clock is still right twice a day….

    Ravens are 1-6 !!!

  22. It seems as though an entire offseason of Deflategate and in-season has soured me on the NFL a little. Maybe it has for others as well. I seem to be watching less NFL games this year and really only following my team.

  23. Hey, I have an idea. Why doesn’t the NFL spend the money and review these from a central location like say… New York?

    College reviews all kinds of plays to make sure they get them right BEFORE it even gets to the coaches challenge.

    Fire Goodell!

    Go Pats!!!!

  24. This is a good policy. Officials that aren’t as good can officiate unimportant games for teams like the vikings and Jaguars who don’t play in prime time.

    The big games deserve the best officials.

  25. The WR on that side of the field lined up off the ball. That means Urschel was the outside player lined up on the ball – a valid receiver position.

    Urschel signaled to the ref he was eligible by rubbing his hands up and down his chest. This was a valid alignment all around.

    But if the ref had seen the sign, he would have had to notify the Cards D that Urschel was an eligible receiver. This did not happen.

    The ref is most at fault, but Urschel should have been coached that if the D is not notified he is eligible, then to be more visible in notifying the ref.

    The ref is in the wrong, but the Ravens are not blameless either.

  26. “Transparency,” right roger? A favorite buzzword right after “integrity.” Anything to shove incompetence that is in plain sight into a corner so that the majority won’t notice is the way they go about their business. Laughable how they throw those buzzwords around while practicing the opposite. Sad though that a lot of people actually believe it but not surprising since so many media outlets carry the NFL’s water and control the agenda.

  27. Oh, please. The NFL is a joke – Jeff Tripplette has been fabricating calls for years and still has a job. Ed Hockuli still fubars the game and has perfected this act over a decade hiding behind being a lawyer.

    Either we make all plays and calls suspectible to review with the same limitations of having two challenges per game and a third if you are correct, then let’s just do it.

    Also, if a penalty that was not called should have been called, let’s do that too.

    Let the coaches choose how to use their two challenges and the smart coaches will get a third by knowing the rules and the game.

  28. Interesting how when it comes to officials, the league seems to view missing games with pay as discipline, when on player matters they don’t view it as such.

  29. bigbenh8tr says:
    Oct 27, 2015 3:54 PM

    Dean Blandino should be punished for this at some point….
    …because it is more probable than not that Blandino is generally aware of a ref problem.

  30. Just get a decent team to ref the game on
    Thursday night. We don’t need any drama or cheating in that
    game, thank you!! Patriots v Dolphins!!!

  31. Don’t criticize your hero Roger Goodell about the refs. You all wanted him fired until he framed the Patriot’s then he became your hero. Under Goodell, the refs have decided who wins games and not the players! I’m sure you will agree. What you won’t agree with is that the refs, and retired refs have confirmed this in a NY Times story, hardly ever measured PSI! Enjoy your boy Roger and stop criticizing him because you supported his frame job on Brady! You got what you asked for.

  32. 2since96 says:
    Oct 27, 2015 4:35 PM

    “I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion, I’m just telling you, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule number one of business.”

    Cuban looking more and more like a prophet everyday. Hog on, NFL.
    I predict the downfall will be fantasy leagues. Yes, people enjoy them and the league caters to them with all the rule changes. At some point, fantasy players will start arriving in gambling rehab and that will get the ball rolling. Add the greed of going to Europe and key players getting hurt playing on Thursday without sufficient time to recover and finally going to the internet which many people still can’t get, will lead to the downfall! The 32 biggest morons are the owners that pay $40 million a year to do a job a monkey could do and probably better. I will thoroughly enjoy watching Goodell go down in flames!

  33. It wasn’t that long ago you watched any NFL game and enjoyed. Sometimes you were pissed at a bad call and once in a while that call was talked about after the game. But there were no delays for what has killed the pro game, The Review.

    Get rid of the review and get a new commissioner. Allow teams to play the game not refs to control the game. Stop all the investigations of players private lives.

    The billionaires that own these teams could bring back rough tackle pro football and still make tons of money. Do not allow lawyers to run the commissioners office. Hire ex players with earned business degrees. It can be done.

  34. League officiating is getting worse. That phantom pass interference call against the Bills at the end of the game was horrendous.

  35. Anyone notice that these “Phantom” calls never go against the good teams in the league CONSISTENTLY?? The bad teams get them weekly.
    Almost like the league is deciding who wins & who loses each week….wait, no…..the National GODdell League would never do that???

  36. The owners who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars whether it is a prime time game or not should the BEST officiating possible.

    Part time officials had never really made sense. Hire former pro or college athletes as full time officials who work year round.

    Work the games, watch film just like they did as athletes and analysis the game from an officials stand point.

    Then we the fans, NFLPA, and owner would have extremely qualified officials who don’t negatively impact any game!

  37. The question I haven’t yet seen asked / answered is whether Torbert even knew what was happening when the guy made the eligible sign. As far as I can tell all of the conversation is centered in whether Torbert saw him. I’m suggesting that the ref simply didn’t know what the guy was doing when he made the signal. On the one hand it’s ridiculous to even suggest he didn’t know but with officiating off-the-charts bad and only getting worse I can’t rule anything out.

    Oh and I’m a Cardinals fan by the way.

  38. This wasnt a blown call, it was just a ref who didnt realize someone gave the signal to be eligible. Maybe its the fault of the Ravens for not making sure because the refs are suppose to announce eligibility over the mic and he never did. So that would be a cue to the Ravens that the ref didnt see the eligibility signal.

    But who cares, Cards have been shafted almost every week by bad calls. Look at the Rams game where their RB clearly fumbled right after he got hit and Cards recovered, only for the refs to say whoops, we blew the whistle too early and dead ball means you cant challenge. Its just part of the game.

  39. So basically these incompetent refs are just going to get reassigned to the Buffalo game? They cant be any worse than the ones already assigned to Buffalo

  40. The Patriots batting a loose ball out of the end zone and not one word about it,no penalty ,nothing.
    I guess the rules only apply to other teams.

  41. Bad grades from the league office result in not getting a post season assignment. Which results in less pay.

    Isn’t it time we stopped pretending that a mistake by officials comes with no consequences?

  42. So players and coaches need are expected to have perfection on every play and failure to do so may and often does cause them to lose their job…But an official blows an obvious call and the worst thing that happens is reassignment or paid time off.

    Seems fair

  43. It makes no sense how this official missed this. It was obvious and the player was right in front of him. The officials are getting too old and can’t keep up. With all the money the nfl makes, they need to consider full time officials and run their season just like an nfl team does. It is pretty ridiculous when you see an overweight 60 year old principal with glasses on the field with the best athletes in the world. It makes no sense and I am tired of the nfl and others making excuses for these old geezers on the field.

  44. When do Pats fans get to know if that ref in the 2006 AFC Title game was fined or “reassigned” for that bogus “faceguarding” call on Ellis Hobbs, setting up Indy 1st and goal at the 1 yard line?

    The NFL sent a letter to the Pats apologizing, but that was it.

    Whoever that ref was, he had to be on the take for making an NFL rule that did not exist, during a championship game.


  45. How long has Torbert been a ref? I don’t think I’ve ever heard his name called in a game I’ve watched.

    It’s nice to not know the name of a ref unless it’s mentioned during the broadcast when he announces a penalty, but this kind of attention is unwanted. We all know the Triplettes and Hochulis, but this guy seems anonymous.

    And didn’t PFT mention that some refs would be gone this year and some new ones showing up this past summer? Did we ever find out what the changes were?

  46. If refs were ever actually reprimanded for repeatedly making bad calls (or non-calls), then maybe there’d be less of them

    But no, the worst you ever see happen to an NFL ref is them being suspended with pay (what most people refer to as a vacation)

  47. Here’s the problem. “Suspended with pay” is like saying we know you screwed up but we don’t care. These Ref’s are never punished severely enough for their mistakes, therefore they will continue making them. What if these refs are throwing games? A player gets suspended without pay for 4 games just for smoking weed. These guys screw up costing teams playoff chances, drafting position, Wins & Losses etc. They need to be held to a higher standard because they are the ultimate power on the football field and can determine the outcome of any game!

  48. edmerckx says:
    Oct 27, 2015 11:15 PM

    The Patriots batting a loose ball out of the end zone and not one word about it,no penalty ,nothing.
    I guess the rules only apply to other teams.

    Umm, did this happen recently or are you forgetting this happened with a Seattle player this year?

  49. I don’t like to defend poor officiating, so I’m not going to. But the referees nowadays are subject to whining and arguing on just about every play. Every time there’s an incomplete pass, the WRs are motioning to the refs that they were interfered with. Every time a runner goes out of bounds, the coaches on the sidelines run over and point to a spot where they want the ref to mark the ball. Every time a guy gets called for blatant holding, he throws his arms up as if the ref is crazy. So at some point the refs start tuning out all the communication between players and refs. On this play, the ref might have figured that Urschel was protesting something, so he just ignored him. Maybe if the refs start throwing flags every time somebody argues with them, things like this won’t happen. If the refs can just be allowed to concentrate on their jobs, they’ll do them a lot better. It’s not just Harbaugh. He’s actually right most of the time. It’s everyone.

  50. How come there were no articles in the national media calling out those officials for their blunders? Yeah, wrong complexion. By the way, WHATEVER happened to Ed Hochuli and his “you’re not old enough to get that call, but I’m not man enough to tell the truth” thing? Yeah, the NFL QUICKLY squashed it by dumping all over Cam Newton, even though EVERY journalist agreed Hochuli was lying.

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