McCarthy says call to ref was the ‘right thing’

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that he called

the replacement referee who made the call on a final play that cost

the Packers a game against the Seattle Seahawks to offer his

support.

”I felt the phone call was the right thing to do. That’s why I

made it,” McCarthy told Newsradio 620 WTMJ.

A pass to Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate that appeared to be

intercepted by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings was ruled a

touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 14-12 win on Sept. 24. Referee

Wayne Elliott didn’t make the call but he reviewed the play and let

the ruling stand.

Elliott revealed the call in an interview shown Wednesday on

Showtime’s ”Inside the NFL.”

”He called me at my house last week because he had heard I was

having a rough week with all the calls and everything. He wanted me

to know he thought that what I did … maybe he didn’t agree with

it, that I handled it with class,” Elliott said.

In McCarthy’s interview he was reluctant to talk about his phone

call to the referee.

”It was a phone call that I placed with the intent of it being

a personal phone call. Obviously, I didn’t think this was going to

be the outcome,” McCarthy said, referring to praise he’s received

from around the nation for making it. ”I’ve asked the football

team to move on.”

Elliott was asked what he would have called if he had been one

of the two referees in the end zone.

”I’d probably call interception,” Elliott said.

Replacement referees worked the first three weeks of regular

season games, triggering a wave of outrage after a number of

questionable calls. It was the one that cost the Packers a win that

seemed to recharge negotiations between the league and its union

referees, who reached a deal later that week that ended the

lockout.

As for the last play, the NFL issued a statement a day after the

game that the final play was correctly ruled a reception but that

interference should have been called moments earlier on Tate, which

would have given the Packers the win.

In the Showtime interview, Elliott was asked about how officials

are trained to handle the so-called ”hail Mary” plays.

”(For) the deep officials, it was brought up that you don’t

really call interference on a hail Mary… The deep officials were

trained that during a hail Mary, there’s a lot of bodies in there

and you just let it go,” Elliott said.