Pool Report: Clete Blakeman on Tracy Walker roughness call, Trey Flowers illegal hands penalties

Getty Images

The head referee is available to a lone pool reporter after each NFL game if there are questions about the application of the rules in a given contest.

Well, there were questions Monday night in Green Bay.

Via the pool report with head referee following Monday night’s game between the Packers and Detroit Lions, head referee Clete Blakeman answered questions about the personal foul call on Tracy Walker on the hit that knocked Geronimo Allison from the game and Trey Flowers‘ two illegal hands to the face penalties in the fourth quarter.

Via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, the Q-and-A is as follows. Also of note, the umpire referenced for the game was Jeff Rice.

(On the helmet-to-helmet contact with Tracy Walker, it appeared he was going for the ball. Does the defensive back have the right to go for the ball? Does that offset any incidental helmet-to-helmet contact?)

Blakeman: “That’s a good question, but the reality is, it is a strict liability for a defensive player. In this case, he may be going for the ball and not intending to hit the helmet, but when there’s helmet contact, it is a foul in that situation.”

(Even if he had come up with the interception, that doesn’t change the ruling in any way?)

Blakeman: “Even if he did impact the helmet and then intercepted the ball, it would still have been a foul.”

(On the two hands-to-the-face penalties on Detroit defensive end Trey Flowers. I don’t know if you were the one who actually threw the flag there, but when discussing with the crew, what did you guys see on those calls?

Blakeman: “The umpire threw both of them. The last one was really the only one I’ve discussed with him. Basically, it’s for illegal use of the hands, hands-to-the-face foul. To be a foul, we basically need some forceful contact that’s prolonged to the head and neck area of the defender, So, in his mind he had pinned him back, it was prolonged, and that’s what created the foul.”

(You said head or neck area?)

Blakeman: “Head or neck area, yes.”

Walker was not attempting to level a hit on Allison. Instead, he was obviously trying to intercept a pass from Aaron Rodgers that been thrown in front of Allison.

Flowers’ two illegal hands to the face penalties came on third downs that enabled the Packers to score a touchdown to close the gap to 22-20 with nine minutes remaining and the game-winning field goal as time expired.

32 responses to “Pool Report: Clete Blakeman on Tracy Walker roughness call, Trey Flowers illegal hands penalties

  1. “So, in his mind he had pinned him back, it was prolonged, and that’s what created the foul.”

    Yes, in his mind. That was the only place a foul occurred.

  2. So I’m to understand that if an offensive player and a defensive player are both going for the ball and their helmets collide, it’s an automatic penalty on the defense?

  3. No one wanted to ask him about the TD on 4th and goal that some people arent sure that got in ????including the official, that was on the side the ball was ran to vs. The guy that had to see the play through a dozen people from the fair side???

    The officiating is getting worse and worse… and even though their was a short lived football league at least theybhad mics on people some could at least TRY to understand their thinking
    .. and while it may have not been hands to the face is it possible to bebdefnedivr holding ifnyou are steering and OLiNe man by his collar vs. A true bull rush

  4. The NFL has really become unwatchable. This is no longer hyperbole -I have seen 1 game this year, and I turned it off after my Bears were gifted a second chance on a play where that scrub Daniel Chase threw an awful interception but it was negated because a horsecrap roughing the QB penalty was called on Hurst of the Raiders.

  5. This game is in real trouble because as a neutral watching from the UK that looked an awful lot like big team home advantage bias.
    Offence football is fun to watch but not when is is given away cheaply at the expense of a good defensive performance.

  6. So he wasn’t asked about the obvous DPI? The one that the Lions couldn’t challenge because of Riveron’s mutiny against the rule?

  7. The two calls for illegal hands to face were the impactful type that were so obviously wrong that it begs the replay option be expanded to include these.

    In fact, I’m starting to agree with Belichick that replay should include any play. As shown by the lack of successful challenges to Pass Interference, expansion would help in these types of awful game changing calls, but not be used frivolously.

  8. They both happened on third down in the clutch on failed plays…. Interesting.

    You can bet that he had his hands in a very similar place on first and second down as well. Why didn’t they throw the flag then?

    am I wrong or did it seem like he waited to see the incompletion on the first one before throw in the flag.

    Ever since there has been this mysterious New York office that these guys communicate with I’ve felt that they have tried to manipulate games for better ratings.

    They didn’t set that up to help these refs call better games. They set it up so they can manipulate the ratings.

    With all the money being put down on the games you would think somebody would be getting pretty mad by now.

  9. As a Saint’s fan I truly feel bad for Detroit. It was obvious that it was a pass interference against Green Bay that stalled a potential score and then be hit with 3 bad calls. The receiver was the one that initiated the helmet blow to head so if a penalty was required it should be against the receiver, and those two penalties to the face on crucial last downs leads me to believe these games are rigged

  10. These guys don’t get it, no one wants to see a flag after every play.

    Tracy Walker- guy was playing the ball, what more do you want?
    Illegal hands to the face. These were borderline and tricky tack, stop calling Ricky tack penalties.

    I don’t think the NFL understands how pissed off the average fan is with the terrible officiating.

  11. Head and neck area, not shoulders, the calls were bad, he admitted it. The Packers get all the calls from the NFL, Aaron Rogers would be mediocre if not for the refs.

  12. The league trying to defend this is utterly embarrassing. Take the L and find a way to fix the problem.

    Fans are tired of seeing flags every other play. Let football players play football.

  13. The officiating is no worse than it was 20 years ago. The difference is that with all the “tweaks” to the catch rule and now trying to protect the players for their safety, there is a significant increase in judgement calls which magnifies the incompetence of the officials. They should have addressed this with full time officials back in the day, so that they can be trained properly. They didn’t want to spend the money at that time and now that the safety issue is in the forefront, the NFL is at a crossroads in that people like myself, season ticket holder for 40 years, are ready to walk away. It’s just unwatchable.

  14. Refs Suck. They always will suck. Unless they are officiating a game involving the patriots, Then they just throw flags on the other team.

  15. Why, at this point, would you not have a Sky ref or two for each game that can buzz the head official and let him know that the call was not appropriate and overturn it. The refs get together, discuss calls and pick up flags all the time . . . so how would actually seeing it again in slow motion not add value to the game?

    Also it is absurd to state that a defender making a play directly to the ball and helmet contact is made is automatically a defensive penalty. What if the WR is the one making the helmet to helmet contact, the DB has a direct line on the ball, the WR wants to prevent an interception so he levels the DB with helmet to helmet contact . . . under this lead officials explanation that would be a penalty on the Defensive Back . . . like I said absurd interpretation of the rule and just a weak weak weak excuse.

  16. “So Blakeman just made up his own penalty”


    It’s written in rule for illegal hands to the face.

    -*Hands above the frame of the opponent that contact him on the head, neck, or face.*-

    Even had the penalty not been called the Packers kick a FG and take the lead.

    You could go over every call in every NFL game and play the “what if” game.

    “What if” the officials had given the Packers defense the 4th down stop that they claimed the Lions scored on?

    Just stop crying and enjoy looking up at Green Bay in first place. You are very used to it in your life.👌

  17. Ask any Saints fan about Clete Blakeman! Guy has been screwing us over for years. He’s definitely on some mafia payroll.

  18. Tracy Walker did appear to be going for the ball, but according to the NFL rules that’s a textbook personal foul for the helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless receiver, whether you like the rule or not. On both hands to the face penalties Flowers had his hands on the cusp between the OL’s shoulder pads and neck. Both times, the OL’s head was pinned back so I can see why they called it in real time. Honestly those were both 50-50 calls that could’ve gone either way.

  19. freefromwhatyouare says:
    October 15, 2019 at 11:48 am

    It’s written in rule for illegal hands to the face.

    -*Hands above the frame of the opponent that contact him on the head, neck, or face.*-

    Even had the penalty not been called the Packers kick a FG and take the lead.

    What about the first one that turned a 4th and 20 into a touchdown drive? The second one wouldn’t have even mattered if not for the first one.

    I’m so glad every team’s fans will now get to see how arrogant and entitled Packer fans are now.

  20. Half the problem is is it’s a good old boy network. Google 2019 NFL officiating roster. There are 8 sets of brothers refereeing. Two families have three brothers. So just by coincidence these are the best out there. I doubt it. It’s not how good you are its who you know.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.