While Tom Brady had nothing to say on the controversial roughing-the-passer penalty that helped preserve his team’s 21-15 victory Sunday against the Falcons, practically everyone else in the NFL stratosphere did.
As you read this, many continue dissecting and deliberating the ruling by referee Jerome Boger.
Here’s a sampling of the sound bites triggered by Boger’s call against defensive lineman Grady Jarrett with 2:56 remaining that essentially ended the Falcons’ comeback bid:
Daryl Johnston (former NFL fullback who called the game for Fox)
“I don’t think Grady slammed Tom to the ground. I think he’s coming around and he’s got him by the hips and he’s rolling through the tackle. ... I don’t understand that one. ... There’s no intent to hurt the quarterback right there. ... I just don’t know how you call that. That is not in the spirit of the rule the way it was created, to protect quarterbacks going to the ground.”
Anonymous AFC executive (to NFL insider Jordan Schultz)
“I’ve seen the replay at least 10 times. No way that’s roughing the passer. And unfortunately, that’s probably a no-call in the first quarter.”
Buck Belue (QB of Georgia’s 1980 national title team, Atlanta radio personality)
“Worst NFL call I’ve ever seen. Absolutely no way Grady Jarrett’s sack of Tom Brady was roughing the passer. The fix is in. Absurd. Horrible.”
Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy (on Twitter)
“It was a terrible call. They have to protect all players, including the QBs. But Jarrett did nothing wrong. I believe this call was an over reaction to Tua (Tagovailoa) last week.” (The Dolphins quarterback sustained hard tackles in consecutive games, resulting in the NFL modifying its concussion protocols.)
Rex Ryan (former NFL coach, on ESPN’s “Get Up”)
“Ridiculous...and it cost (the Falcons) the game...and that’s what makes this horrendous. But don’t worry about it. When the coach gets fired, how ‘bout you go there and help him pack, because literally you get fired over calls like this, and nothing happens to the officials when they blow calls like this.”
Andrew Brandt (co-host of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football”)
“(Jarrett) didn’t necessarily throw (Brady) to the ground, he pulled him to the ground. That is what a tackle is: It’s physics and gravity and you pull a person down. I understand when officials miss calls. There’s 22 players, they’re moving very fast, you miss a call, fine. This was not a missed call. (Boger) is standing there looking right at it. Had the vision, had the optics, made the decision to throw it, and then afterwards, the strange explanation. I always wish that there would be something where they just said, ‘Look, I blew it. I apologize to the Falcons, I got the call wrong. I am human. I am sorry.’ They don’t do that.”
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Sports TV/radio personality Dan Patrick (on “The Dan Patrick Show”)
“I just think if somebody who’s a fan now who’s young, who didn’t get to watch in the ‘70s and the ‘60s, watched plays (from that era), they’d think, ‘Oh, that guy’s got to be ejected. Oh, that guy’s going to be suspended.’ No, that’s just the way you play football. There’s an inherent danger when you sign up to play. It’s not like somebody goes, ‘Damn, they hit hard out there.’”
Ryan Clark (former NFL safety, on ESPN’s “Get Up”)
“I need more. (Boger) needs to give me some of the technical things that (Jarrett) was supposed to do that makes that play different. Because you can’t land on him with full body weight, you can’t hit him low, you can’t hit him in the head. What he did was roll over with Tom Brady in his hand and place him on the ground. ... You stole this opportunity from the Atlanta Falcons to win this game. This changes seasons, this changes careers, this changes lives. It’s unacceptable and something needs to be done.”
Jason McCourty (13-year NFL veteran, co-host of “Good Morning Football”)
“It’s a tackle. The only other thing is, (Jarrett) lets him go and Brady remains up and possibly completes a pass. So you have to tackle him. The game of football is, bring him to the ground. And I don’t know how else you would’ve done it.”
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