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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Mike Williams on crucial call: 'I didn't bobble it at all'



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Bucs QB Josh Freeman lofted the ball up to WR Mike Williams, who gracefully snatched it against CB Justin Tryon, and Tampa Bay looked to be in business.

Attempting to pull off the seemingly impossible, the Bucs were attempting to score a tying touchdown despite taking the ball with 25 seconds left in today’s game against the Giants.

And when Williams appeared to haul in 29-yard pass to the Giants 16, the odds no longer seemed so long.

But the call on the field, a catch, was challenged by the replay assistant and overturned after review by referee Jim Core. It was ruled that Williams did not make a “football move” before losing the football out of bounds (it was jarred loose by S Antrel Rolle).

The decision derailed the Bucs’ comeback efforts and left Williams wondering.

“I guess I have to get three (feet) down,” Williams said. “I didn’t bobble it at all.”

Williams said during the review, he consulted with one of the officials near the call and got a surprising response.

“I said, ‘It’s a catch. I got two (feet) down,’” Williams said. “He told me, ‘If you got two down, it’s a catch.’ But it wasn’t a catch (after the review).”

Former NFL supervisor of officials Mike Pereira, now an analyst for Fox Sports, said Williams needed to make “an act common to the game” before losing control. He defined such an act as “maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it or avoid or ward off an opponent.” In this case, Williams was hit immediately by Rolle, though he didn’t lose the ball until he was out of bounds.

“I look at it like I guess I have to go all the way to the ground with it,” Williams said. “That’s a situation I have to learn from right there. (Rolle) kind of popped up in my view real late. I couldn’t get it all the way up to my chin and it bobbled out. One thing I have to do is hold it more.”

[Last modified: Sunday, September 16, 2012 6:44pm]


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