Cassius Marsh says Tony Corrente hip-check was “incredibly inappropriate”

USA TODAY Sports

The taunting emphasis of the NFL struck again in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s 29-27 victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Chicago Bears.

Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh was called for taunting the Steelers bench after he had jumped up in celebration after a seemingly critical sack of Ben Roethlisberger. Marsh stared down the Steelers sideline and was flagged by head referee Tony Corrente.

First of all, keep in mind that taunting is a point of emphasis this year.,” Corrente said in the pool report, via Adam Hoge of NBC Sports Chicago. “And with that said, I saw the player, after he made a big play, run toward the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.”

As to the taunting specifically, Marsh said he was unaware of the penalty being called until he returned to the bench area.

“I think that that one was just bad timing,” Marsh told reporters after the game. “I think it was pretty clear to everybody who saw it that I wasn’t taunting. I’ve been doing that celebration my whole career and it’s just sad to see stuff like that happen in a close game like that. It’s just rough, man.”

But as Marsh was retreating to the sideline, Corrente appeared to initiate contact with his backside with Marsh as he jogged by toward the sideline.

Corrente said the contact between him and Marsh after the gesture did not contribute to the penalty being called.

“No, not at all,” Corrente said. “I didn’t judge that as anything that I dealt with. … That had nothing to do with it. It was the taunting aspect.”

But Marsh was not at all pleased with the actions of Corrente.

“On my way to the sideline, I got hip-checked by the ref. It’s pretty clear,” Marsh said. “If I were to do that to the ref or even touch the ref, we’d get kicked out of the game and possibly suspended and fined. So I just think that that was incredibly inappropriate.”

Marsh said he didn’t think anything of it in the moment. However, he has since seen the play and thinks Corrente was completely out of line.

“I thought it was accidental,” Marsh said. “You bump into people on the field. It’s football. I didn’t even think about it. I was happy. I got a sack. We’re in a good position to come back and get the victory so I didn’t even put any thought into it at the moment.

“It’s upsetting. I just think that it’s unfair that he has the ability to do that with no consequence.”

In addition to the Marsh penalty, a Bears touchdown was negated by a low block call against Bears right guard James Daniels on a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham. Chicago would eventually settle for a field goal on the drive.

Daniels’ block attempt on Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt looked like an almost complete whiff in addition to it coming right on the edge of the tight end box, which would make it a legal play. Corrente said he didn’t view it that way.

“Once again, the new rule this year is there should be no contact below the waist to any player outside of the tight end box. And this player initiated contact to a player outside the tight end box.”

Corrente was then asked if contact has to occur for the foul to be valid.

“I have to judge that there was contact, and that’s what I judged,” he said.

16 responses to “Cassius Marsh says Tony Corrente hip-check was “incredibly inappropriate”

  1. Yes, Chicago committed way too many penalties tonight but there were a few that were not called against pittsburgh and a few that were not penalties called against Chicago. Sucks to lose a game like that. Corrente should be fined and suspended. Did not throw the flag until Marsh was running off the field and Tony stuck his ass out to make contact with Marsh.

  2. Amazing Corente thinks you’re taunting the other team when you’re 30 yards away from the sideline. That’s a total joke

  3. Even after being proved wrong 3 times he triples down and says he didn’t do anything wrong. Unbelievable. There’s no accountability for these guys at all. The worst refs come back every year and they never seem to get any better. Can’t think of a single good referee in the NFL. It’s a broken system. They should all be fired including the officials in the booth (and league office) who can’t ever seem to get it right.

  4. Notice how Marsh also runs directly into the ref? When Marsh turns back to his bench he’s at the 34, then runs right towards the ref at the 35 (yes he’s running to his bench but did not have to run along the 35). Here’s the simple explanation, the ref was in the middle of reaching for his flag while turning his body. His body weight shifted slightly resulted in his butt moving 2 inches backwards. The ref was posted up at the 35 for like 15 seconds and its his fault?? I think he was surprised that Marsh was so close to him. This miniscule bump literally affected nothing (the taunting flag was for the 9 second staredown and 15 second celebration directed at the opposing team). Did anyone get hurt? Fall down? Refs and players make incidental contact almost every play. As Marsh said, he didn’t think anything of it. Of course he changed his tune to deflect blame and it seems to be working.

  5. Full disclisure, Bears fan here and I’m used to my team both playing poorly and getting hosed by refs but on the 2nd point, last night was the worst I’ve ever seen. Even Steeler fans and media were commenting real time on it. That crew had to be on the take. And then the arrogance of Corrente defending the calls afterwards.

    It was also disheartening to see Nagy not sack up, unload on the refs postgame and take the fine. He actually did the opposite, putting it on his players. His beta “leadership” has permeated the team and is keeping them from playing to their potential and it’s beyond time for him and the test of the staff to go. But as tough as last night’s loss is to take, Bears fans take comfort it is one more step to regime change.

  6. Marsh did something stupid that cost his team and now needs to blame someone else. It’s the not me generation. Be a leader and say you messed up and it happen again.

  7. Saw Corrente do everything in his power to come into contact with Marsh. Very odd and unprofessional. At least with billions on the line now that gambling is legal, the NFL is doing all they can to show that they’re not shady af…

  8. It’s unbelievable! Did Marsh dump his daughter or something?! It seemed personal! The league MUST do something about Corrente!

  9. Corrente and his crew are the worst officials in the NFL. It’s amazing that he had the nerve to say that he saw a low block outside of the tight end box but he can’t see DEs coming off the edge of any game and be in a head lock by the OL. He’s a liar through and through.

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.