On Sunday night, Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman made no bones about the fact that he deliberately and intentionally wiped out Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis in order to prevent Lewis from scoring an easy touchdown. Robey-Coleman is now trying to argue that there was no pass interference.
Via Vincent Bonsignore of TheAthletic.com, Robey-Coleman is “adamant” that someone told him the fateful pass had been tipped.
One specific video of the play seems to support the argument, with the flight of the ball changing slightly after passing the left hand of Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers. Another angle, however, shows there was no tip.
Regardless, even though a tipped pass would make pass interference inapplicable, the missed call included a failure to flag Robey-Coleman for delivering an illegal hit to the head or neck area of a defenseless receiver. The fact that the league fined Robey-Coleman for the hit means he should have been flagged for the hit, tipped pass or not.
Rams coach Sean McVay has vowed that the critical non-call won’t be a distraction for the team. The more his players talk about it — and the more they throw out misleading and inaccurate arguments to justify it — the greater the chance it will indeed become a distraction.