NFL officials make mistakes. Some of those mistakes cost teams wins, and those extra losses can cost players, coaches and executives their jobs. Yet, the officials don’t receive the same level of job scrutiny.
Bruce Arians would like that to change.
Coaches and players are forced, contractually, to speak to the media. When Arians’ teams struggle, he’s going to have to answer questions about it. If he loses too many games, he’ll get fired. He gets it. That’s part of the job.
He would like to see the same level of accountability for officials. After Arians’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a crucial fumble return nullified because of a quick whistle, Arians wanted to turn the focus toward the officials. Ironically, speaking out on the officials might result in a fine from the NFL.
Bruce Arians wants officials to be accountable
On an ill-advised fake field goal late in Sunday’s game, Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern got hit hard by linebacker Devin White. He fumbled and Bucs safety Andrew Adams had a clear path to the end zone when he recovered. But a whistle blew, and that was the end of the play and any return. The Buccaneers ended up losing 27-23.
You can understand why Arians isn’t pleased with the officials.
“Everybody except one guy saw the ball out, and blew a quick whistle,” Arians said in a news conference Monday. “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 that way for 40 years, and now that we’ve got a new agreement it’ll be that way for 40 more years.”
Officiating mistakes are part of the game, and that will never change. The NFL game is very fast and calls will be missed. But instead of an empty apology for missing a call, which is likely coming from the NFL to the Buccaneers at some point this week, Arians wants something more.
Bucs might have won without quick whistle
Mostly officials get criticized by fans but there isn’t too much accountability, at least not to the level most everyone else in the NFL faces.
And Arians seems convinced that with the correct call in that spot, the Buccaneers would have won that road game.
“Not to beat a dead horse, but an inadvertent whistle ... if we have 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. “So it was more than just a play.”
Officiating has been a big story, and it is most years. Fans complain about missed calls, and there have been some bad ones this season.
Arians just wants to see some more ownership of those mistakes. It’s not unreasonable.
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