By Brady Henderson
Coach Pete Carroll wasn’t in apology mode a day after his Seahawks beat Green Bay on a disputed last-second touchdown pass.
Far from it, actually.
“Yeah, I don’t care. I could care less about all that stuff,” a chuckling Carroll told “Brock and Salk” on Tuesday when asked about all the national pundits discounting Seattle’s 14-12 win because of poor officiating. “The game’s played, they called it, we played with the officials that they set out there, we played with the team that they put out there, and at the end of it we throw the ball up and Golden [Tate] makes an extraordinary effort.
“It’s a great protection, it’s a great throw, it’s a great attempt at the ball and he wins the battle.”
That last point, of course, is the source of all the dispute.
On the final play, with the Seahawks trailing 12-7, quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a pass from Green Bay’s 39-yard line into the end zone, where Tate, teammate Charly Martin and five Packers defenders were waiting for the jump ball.
Tate got away with a blatant shove in the back before he and safety M.D. Jennings both jumped and got their hands on the ball. The Packers argued that Jennings landed on the ground with both hands on the ball, which would have given Green Bay a game-winning interception.
“It was pinned to my chest the whole time,” Jennings said.
Instead, one official signaled touchdown after determining that the two had simultaneous possession, which counts as a catch for the offensive player. The call was upheld after a review.
Pete Carroll laughed when he said he doesn’t care about the sentiment that bad officiating gave the Seahawks a win. (AP)
On Tuesday, the NFL issued a statement saying the call should not have been overturned because there was no indisputable evidence while acknowledging that officials should have flagged Tate for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game and given Green Bay the win. Pass interference calls cannot be reviewed by instant replay.
Carroll conceded that officials “obviously” missed Tate’s shove but said even regular officials often missed those calls as well.
While the NFL’s statement said there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call, that doesn’t necessarily amount to confirmation that the correct call was made on the field.
Carroll thinks it was.
“It was simultaneous when they got to the ground,” he said. “There was a little bit of an edge for [Jennings] up in the air, but it’s not over then; you’ve got to get to the ground and finish the catch, and when we finished the catch we had the ball. They had the ball, too, so it’s simultaneous.”
Not everyone agrees with that assertion, either.
Carroll was asked whether Tate should have been awarded simultaneous possession even though Jennings appeared to have full possession in the air before Tate got his hands on the ball while the two were on the ground.
“They said that the call was correct and the [subsequent] review was correct because it was a simultaneous catch,” Carroll said, “so that’s it.”
While his Seahawks benefited from the highly disputable call, Carroll reiterated on Tuesday what he told reporters after the game: he’d like to see the regular officials back on the field.
That could be closer to happening. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the league and its locked-out officials met in an attempt to resolve their labor dispute.
“It’s time. There’s enough evidence out there. These guys have done everything they could to do the best job they possibly can, these guys are great guys, they’re working their tails off,” Carroll said. “… But it’s time to get it right, and so I just hope that that’s what happens here.”