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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Rams won't blame costly call for loss

    Rams won't blame costly call for loss
    BY JIM THOMAS Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:10 am

    As Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe sees it, it would've taken a super-human effort to track down quarterback Troy Smith's third-down pass Sunday in overtime at Candlestick Park.

    Atogwe, who collects action figures of super heroes, knows better than most. "I don't believe 'The Flash' would've got to that one," Atogwe said, forcing a smile.

    The Flash is a character from DC Comics known for his 'super speed."

    Apparently, referee Ed Hochuli's officiating crew believed San Francisco tight end Delanie Walker was going to get there. The result was a critical 22-yard penalty for defensive pass interference against Atogwe, setting up Joe Nedney's game-winning 29-yard field goal in a 23-20 San Francisco victory.

    One official could be seen signaling incomplete on television replays. But when the penalty flag came out, Atgowe was as surprised as anyone.

    "I was just like, I can't believe he's calling it," Atgowe said. Then he shrugged and added, "I mean, he called it."

    On the play in question, Smith was under heavy pressure from the Rams' pass rush. In fact, he was in the process of being knocked to the ground by defensive end Chris Long when he got the ball off.

    The pass still traveled about 25 yards down field, but because of the hit by Long, the trajectory was significantly altered. The ball fell incomplete over the middle, about 5 yards or so inside of where Walker was running his pattern.

    When Walker saw the off-target pass, he turned suddenly to head inside, initiating contact with Atogwe, who was trailing but still close to Walker.

    "I didn't believe it was a catchable ball," Atogwe said. "But (the official's) job is make calls, mine is to play the game. It happens."

    Atogwe said he wouldn't change anything about the way he covered Walker on the play. "I covered him the way I was covering him," Atogwe said. "I believe I was in good position. And if I were to do it again, I would do it the exact same way, so ..."

    Had the play been ruled incomplete, the ***** would've been faced with a fourth-and-2 from the St. Louis 45. San Francisco coach Mike Singletary probably punts, hoping to pin the Rams inside the 10, and the overtime continues.

    It was only the 13th penalty of Atogwe's six-year NFL career, and just the fourth pass interference call against him. To put that in perspective, offensive tackle Alex Barron averaged 15 penalties a season during five years with the Rams through 2009.

    "To my understanding I was at no fault," Atogwe said. "But (the official) was doing the best thing he could do. He thought he saw me knock him down, so he called pass interference. We've got to live with that call and move on."

    But should a game, in effect, be decided by a call like that?

    "I don't believe it should," Atogwe said. "You know, they always want the game to be decided by the men playing it. But at the end of the day, (the official) has to do his job to the best of his ability. And I believe he was doing that, so it happens."

    In his opening remarks at his Monday news conference, before he took questions, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo tried to defuse the issue.

    "We're never going to use officiating as an excuse," he said. "We're not going to do that."

    When asked if he would send in tape of the pass interference call for review by the league office, Spagnuolo replied: "We would always send those in, and there's nothing wrong with that. The league allows you to do that, and then they correspond back. Again, I'm not going to go there. I have my own thoughts, but the play was called a 'DPI,' and that's what we've got to live with."

    It is not uncommon for pass interference calls to be waved off because the pass was deemed uncatchable.

    "When the ball is uncatchable, there should be no pass interference," Spagnuolo said. "Now that's a judgment call, and the officials have to judge that and make that call. They didn't judge it that way."

    In talking about the Rams' growing list of near-miss losses on the road, Spagnuolo said the road woes are nothing more than a play here a play there.

    "Let's take the last two road games (Tampa Bay and San Francisco)," Spagnuolo said. "I'll pick out one play from each game and we've got two road wins."

    The pass interference call might be considered one of those plays.

    In San Francisco, Singletary was asked Monday by Bay Area reporters for his thoughts on the pass interference call.

    "You know what, it's like this," Singletary said. "Whether I agree with them or disagree with them, or understand them or whatever I'm not sure how much I understand these days in terms of the penalties. But I think the bottom line is the call was made and obviously I'm going to support that one and we just kind of go from there."


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    gap's Avatar
    gap
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    Re: Rams won't blame costly call for loss

    I appreciate and respect Spag's response, but I totally disagree. The NFL is NEVER going to clean up their act when it comes to lousy and/or biased officiating until teams and coaches start poking them inthey eye for it. At the very least, the team should be fining the NFL for lost revenues due to these bad calls.


    gap

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    Re: Rams won't blame costly call for loss

    Right now Spags has more class than wins. This may always be the case, but then the old saying goes, "one awe shucks can wipe out a lifetime of attaboys!".

    I know it has taken longer than most of us woulda liked but considering the hand he was dealt there has been significant progress, IMHO.

    There were 2 PI calls against the Rams which I felt were unjust as well as an (I thought) obvious holding call on the TD pass to Crabtree to bring the whiners within 1. But then there were, what, 3 whiner TDs called back? So regardless of bad calls our we could be considered lucky to be in it and should of won.
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams won't blame costly call for loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Rams won't blame costly call for loss
    BY JIM THOMAS Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:10 am

    In San Francisco, Singletary was asked Monday by Bay Area reporters for his thoughts on the pass interference call.

    "You know what, it's like this," Singletary said. "Whether I agree with them or disagree with them, or understand them or whatever I'm not sure how much I understand these days in terms of the penalties. But I think the bottom line is the call was made and obviously I'm going to support that one and we just kind of go from there."
    Oh c'mon....this from the guy that has been teaching his team for the last few seasons that playing in the NFL is a mans game. SO MAN-UP!!!!! What a cop out for an answer. That call saved Singletary's job for another week!!
    You can take the horseshoe out now!

    Sincerely,

    AGGRAVATED!

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