Bruce Arians: “Referees aren’t held accountable”

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The Buccaneers were on the wrong end of a bad call on Sunday against the Titans, losing what should have been a fumble return for a touchdown because an official blew the whistle before the fumble recovery. Bucs coach Bruce Arians is understandably not happy about that.

Arians said the NFL should fire underperforming officials just like everyone else is fired for underperforming. But Arians doubts it will ever happen, especially after the league and its officials just came to a new labor agreement.

“Everybody except one guy saw the ball out, blew a quick whistle,” Arians said. “My biggest thing is referees aren’t held accountable. Coaches get fired, General Managers get fired, players get cut. Referees aren’t accountable. And it’s a shame. It’s been there 40 years and now we’ve got a new agreement and it’ll be that way for 40 more years.”

Arians believes the 2-5 Buccaneers would be viewed very differently if the apparent touchdown late in the fourth quarter hadn’t been waved off.

“If we had those last three minutes and some change with a three-point lead and win the game, I think everybody is writing different stories, talking different things,” Arians said.

Arians is right about that: His team got a raw deal.

71 responses to “Bruce Arians: “Referees aren’t held accountable”

  1. Just playing devil’s advocate, they aren’t held accountable because it’s a thankless job. People only point out your mistakes while players, coaches and GMs are heavily rewarded for being right.

  2. People boycotted cause players were kneeling, why not boycott til the nfl fix this ref issue. Ijs if kneeling was disrespectful why isnt the blatant screw jobs not disrespectful to us fans as well

  3. The referees are in a no-win situation. The league needs to have LESS rules instead of piling on more and more every year due to knee-jerk reactions (See last years NFC Championship game). Make the game less complicated to officiate and perhaps the game will become quicker and more enjoyable to watch. Every game has everyone waiting for the inevitable flag after each play.

  4. Ever think that this is a test season before gambling becomes legal to see how badly referees can impact a game and swing the result? How many have we had so far this year? How about the “we’ll do whatever we want” pass-interference challenge rule? Or am I just too much of a conspiracy-theorist?

  5. He didn’t seem to have a problem with the obvious offside miss that allowed them to get a sack instead of a penalty…funny it only works 1 way.

  6. Not a huge Arians fan, but I fully agree with him on this one. The refs have been unbelievably bad this year.

  7. leroyquimby says:
    October 28, 2019 at 1:28 pm
    Just playing devil’s advocate, they aren’t held accountable because it’s a thankless job. People only point out your mistakes while players, coaches and GMs are heavily rewarded for being right.

    A refs job is to get the calls right. Just because they make less than the coaches and players doesn’t mean they get the right to do their job horribly.

  8. He is right!
    The NFL decides the out comes of the games.
    Look at the Raiders game … leading for 53 minutes and then the refs decide to extend the Texans drives with Raiders penalties for the Texans to take the lead. Raiders get the ball back driving for a score refs move them back plus no PI call on the Texans. Total joke.
    Raiders 100 yds in penalties … Texans 50 yds

  9. The difference between 3-4 and 2-5 is pretty vast. Yet, it’s just welp, sorry….the whistle blew, our mistake, its all in the nature of protecting punters/kickers/QBs.

  10. reLeroyquimby ‘its a thankless job’
    then dot take it and receive full time pay for part time work.
    If a ref is worried about it being a thankless job he or she has no business being an official at any level of any sport.

  11. Something has got to change. Every week another team sees their hopes of staying competitive go down the toilet in gut wrenching fashion, and nobody is doing a damn thing about it. The Lions literally went from first place to last place in the North after the Packers snafu. Now, these guys fall to 2-5 instead of 3-4, which is a hole to dig out from. Fix it now.

  12. he is right.. they should have a percentage cut from their pay for every bad / wrong call they make.

  13. Ever think that this is a test season before gambling becomes legal to see how badly referees can impact a game and swing the result? How many have we had so far this year? How about the “we’ll do whatever we want” pass-interference challenge rule? Or am I just too much of a conspiracy-theorist?

    People will call you a tin-hat conspiracy theorist, but anyone with eyes knows you are spot on. Some of these calls are virtually impossible to justify any other way – and in a lot of cases the ref is five feet away staring right at the play in question.

  14. While Arians is absolutely correct that the refs blew this call and need to be held accountable, he also needs to hold himself accountable. He is routinely out coached and his team is often unprepared. He was right to call out this horrible error by the refs but now he needs to focus on his own locker room, particularly the QB.

  15. I don’t know how much money is placed on an average NFL game bet but if a placed a bet of $100 million on the Titans that fumble would have been rules a Bucs TD. Sorry Bruce I did not place that bet … you can blame me.

  16. How about here’s an idea: worry only about that which you can control! Stop playing a sorry QB and play a winner and you won’t have to rely on refs calls to hope for wins…
    Nothing is ever on Arians, is it..

  17. Officials being graded on every play does not mean they are held accountable…. When TB gets a QB that is not a turnover machine many of the problems will be gone but for some reason they do not play the backup when we all know Winston is adios at seasons end anyway.

  18. Or better yet: since you are not coaching but delegating, get a whistle, get certified, and get yourself out there as ref and see how good you do… I bet many peoples attitude will change if they were brave enough to try it!

  19. Arians is not wrong. The Bucs got hosed by the officials. That was the fastest whistle all season,and the play wasn’t over. The ball was coming out way before forward progress was stopped.

  20. kissbillsrings says:
    October 28, 2019 at 1:08 pm
    There’s a fine waiting to happen….. some just never learn
    Yeah I’m sure Belichick never complains about the refs because they usually cater to the Patriots.

  21. Titans got some lucky calls late in the last 2 games.
    Both the Chargers and the Bucs have legit gripes.

  22. A flag use to surprise me, Now after every play I’m waiting to see if a flag is going to be thrown. Refs are deciding games now.

  23. It’s been that way for years;there are favored teams who only get costly penalties in the first half [to show there’s no favoritism] and in the second half the calls go against the non favored team and especially when the play is over.

  24. Yes Bruce, they’re not held accountable, their incompentence changes games, and it won’t change because Vegas likes it that way.

  25. The problem is that the refs can conference and pick up a flag. They can’t un-blow a whistle. Similar play happened with the Saints stripping a quarterback and running back for a touchdown just a month ago.

  26. There’s a fine waiting to happen….. some just never learn

    I know the NFL just can’t make good decisions how to handle their Refs

  27. I’m so tired of this let’s blame the ref’s we got screwed song.Every team gets bad calls in every game. Every play someone is holding someone, or has a hand in someone’s face mask! Everyone on tv has 6 different angles of replays in slow motion. The ref has to make a split second decision of what they saw. GET OVER IT. If they fire officials for making bad calls, then they would go Thu 1000 of them every season. How about back in the 70’s before all this technology. Everyone just accepted it and all was fine. Why don’t all of you go apply to be an NFL ref, so we can see how perfect you are.

  28. smcgaels1997 says:
    October 28, 2019 at 1:05 pm
    Neither is Winston but you’re still starting him


    Who else on the roster would you start? And would it guarantee more wins? I don’t think so. None of the Buc’s QB is NFL starter worthy. Arians was dealt this hand and he knew when he took the job but can’t blame him 100%.

  29. Het Bruce. Many of your problems stem from your so called OC, bad playing by many on the team and you social justice crap when choosing your staff.
    Stop griping about the officiating. You stink as a coach and Crab legs Winston is and has been a joke

  30. How Walt Anderson and his crew are still employed is beyond me. Colts-Broncos game was ridiculous, both teams got screwed over.

    They missed a PI call so bad that Al Riveron actually reversed it! That’s all you need to know about how incompetent they were

    You’re preaching to the choir, Bruce. The NFL has a serious problem

  31. The posts above tell a clear story, the fans are angry about the refs poor performance, and we strongly suspect that it is not by accident. I’d bet on it!!!

  32. Name one major sport that has as many impossibly bad calls as the NFL. And it is only getting worse. My wife was pestering me to go to Madagascar for 3 weeks in the middle of next season. I refused. After watching yesterday’s games, and even though I’m totally addicted to football, I told her this morning to book the trip. If I could force myself to stop watching, I would. But at least this way I can make a gesture.

  33. the NFL is slowly killing the Golden Goose with the ref problem. As a fan of 60 years i now care less because of the apparently rigged games. The Saints Rams game comes to mind and any Pats game.

  34. Sure, it’s fun to blame the refs. Hell, it’s the it thing these days. But when your QB turns it over 4 times, who are you going to beat?

  35. The poor old refs routine is lame. They singed up for this gig. This a multi billion dollar a year industry and they still haven’t figured out a way to get some of these calls right? I have no skin in the game with Bucs, but BA is 1000% correct. Until it starts affecting the leagues bottom line its business as usual in the No Fun League.

  36. First of all, the refs do have a tough job. No matter what they do one side will complain about it. However, this exact situation occurred in week one (Saints-Rams) and after that officials were told to wait to blow the whistle and that has happened several times when the whistle ordinarily would have been blown. So why did it happen this time? I’m sure the NFL, or the referees union, will ever offer up an explanation.

    Arians is right though. Referees can be worthless and nothing ever happens. He’s also right about calls like that can cost coaches their jobs. The problem is, what can you do. I’m sure the refs’ union wouldn’t allow any sort of discipline against one of their members. That’s a problem. How can the problem be fixed when there are no repercussions.

    I’d like to see the ref’s union get more officials and when you make a stupid call like that you get a few weeks off without pay. Maybe that would provide some incentive to these guys. The average salary for an NFL ref is over $200k. You’d think they would be better than this. They may get a lot of calls right but when you make a mistake that determines who wins the game something needs to change.

  37. You have no running game, you refused to upgrade o line, and you’ve passed off all play calling to others. How about looking in the mirror for accountability coach

  38. I bet a lot of you guys still complain about the referring in pro wrestling matches as well…

    The NFL is now “sports entertainment”. Want to see actual football, go to a college game.

  39. Refs make mistakes every game as do coaches and players. If one quick whistle was the only glaring mistake in the Bucs game yesterday then Arians shouldn’t be complaining. His QB made 3 more mistakes than the Refs, did Arians bench, cut or fine Winston? Tired of hearing players and coaches blame Refs for a mistake or two and yet forget their teams other 45 plays they ran during the game. Like the Saints Rams game in last years playoffs. Everyone forgets all the Saints screw ups in that game they lost, which were many.

  40. The NFL needs to adopt a ‘common sense’ rule. No more stupid ‘football move’ type judgements which serve to confuse more than clarify the situation

  41. College is also as crooked as they come. You really believe these 18-20 year olds don’t know the spread in advanced before they play each other? Billions on the line week in and week out. No refs ever get punished, they get a raise if anything!!

    NFL and College football are notorious cheats. College football is no different when you see a spread on the games.

  42. He’s not wrong. Myles jack wasn’t down in the AFC title game two years ago. If they didn’t blow that down and let it play out New England wouldn’t even have had the chance to lose that Super Bowl.. but then again, the jags don’t fit the NFL narrative so it was.

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