Some quick thoughts that are running out of control in my mind about the Redskins and the NFL -- and bad officiating.
**The officiating is horrendous, across the board. We know this. Nothing that I say is going to dispute that. Many games have been affected to some degree or to a large amount. The last two Redskins games have been complete debacles, and just about everybody saw the end of the Monday Night Football fiasco last night/this morning.
The comments and opinions from Kyle Shanahan, Mike Shanahan, Robert Griffin III, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, many other NFL players, former officials and analysts tell you everything you need to know. This isn't about bang-bang defensive pass interference calls, this is about getting relatively easy calls horribly wrong and not knowing the rules, or confusing them with college rules.
Lorenzo Alexander, the Redskins NFLPA player rep spoke on Monday to a few reporters about the NFLPA's efforts to get the regular officials back and said what the world feels, "They see the type of job that's going on right now, as far as the games being out of control, guys taking cheap shots -- a lot of chippiness. They're trying to get that ratified (rectified) as quickly as possible. Especially since the NFL has really put out a big campaign about player safety, concussions and all that."
Besides teams losing games because of terrible officiating, the larger overall sub-plot is player safety. Wins and losses can be made up, health and injuries are another thing. We've seen several (including Fred Davis in St. Louis) defenseless targets go un-penalized. By now, most have probably viewed the hit in the Oakland-Pittsburgh game that Ryan Mundy laid on Darrius Heyward-Bey.
This is un-healthy to say the least. For the quality of the game, for the integrity of the game and for the players that ARE the game.
**Josh Wilson's fumble recovery for the Redskins on Sunday, that was forced by Richard Crawford on BenJarvus Green-Ellis first career fumble lost, should have probably counted for a touchdown. As the DC Sports Bog laid out on Monday, http://wapo.st/RTIeHE, Wilson was never touched down nor was there any Bengals player even close. The still pictures do not show the story as well as the NFL.com video does, in my opinion - http://bit.ly/VD9gqB - that Josh Wilson truly did not recover and have full possession of the fumble/football until he was getting up or already fully up. If you watch the video, you see # 42 of the Bengals flat on his stomach and fighting for the ball, but that's a scrum and it certainly does not show any conclusive touching of a downed Wilson, AFTER, he recovers the fumble. Mike Shanahan could not challenge, because the play was called dead.
I asked Shanahan in his weekly news conference aired live on ESPN 980 every Monday about the play & apparent wrong call. "Yeah, those are the things that disappoint ya. I'm not going to go into detail on that, but instead of getting a touchdown, all of a sudden you have a turnover, that's part of the game. Sometimes it goes your way, other times it doesn't."
***A few things to defend the defense on, and specifically Jim Haslett (Satan) as most over-the-top and completely irrational Redskins fans have no balance in their viewpoint.
Jim Haslett has not done everything right, but there are many other factors at play, that fans don't always know about.
For instance, on the first play touchdown out of the wildcat for the Bengals, London Fletcher changed the defense, when he recognized a wildcat look out of the opponent, with Andy Dalton split wide and Mohamed Sanu lined up in the backfiled. It was probably the correct call, but it left the defense with absolutely no safety help over the top, because FS Madieu Williams was motioned toward the line of scrimmage. This was not Jim Haslett being unprepared, as a matter of fact - quite the opposite.
Another example of how things change, based on the orignal call was on Rob Jackson's interception and touchdown. Jackson, told me on "Monday Night Live" at Velocity 5 in Lansdowne, that he was originally supposed to rush the passer (Dalton) on the set. Instead, London Fletcher audibled and Jackson was expected to drop out in coverage on a ten-yard drop or so. Jackson, said he recognized Ryan Kerrigan's pass rush and pressure on Dalton, and then he broke his drop off and squeezed his coverage to intercept the ball.
Again, was that Jim Haslett's brilliance or a defensive adjustment by London Fletcher based on formation that allowed Jackson to be in the right spot at the right time?? Two plays, 14 points, 7 for the Redskins, 7 for the Bengals -- that had overall less to do with Jim Haslett than he is getting blame or any small amount of credit for.
There are more examples which I will expand on throughout the week.