Referee for Seahawks-49ers game of interest

Jan 15, 2014, 12:53 PM | Updated: 12:59 pm
LISTEN:

By Brady Henderson

The referee assignments for this weekend’s conference title games were among the subjects discussed in Tuesday’s edition of “Cold Hard Facts” with John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle.

Welcome to championship week, where the analysis leading up to each game is such that no storyline goes uncovered. This one, though, certainly seems worthy of some attention. Referee Gene Steratore has been assigned to the Seahawks-49ers game, which is significant from both teams’ perspectives given one of his crew’s notable tendencies.

“He lets them play,” Clayton said, noting that Steratore’s crew called only 13 pass-interference penalties in 15 regular-season games.

It should be noted that the championship-game crews will be comprised of the highest-rated officials from the regular season, so Steratore won’t be working with his usual crew. Still, his assignment to this game is noteworthy.

A more loosely called game in terms of contact in pass defense would seemingly benefit the Seahawks given the physicality with which their defensive backs play. And the last time these teams met – a 49ers win in Week 14 – officials didn’t let the Seahawks get away with some of that contact. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell were penalized for holding (another holding call on Sherman was declined). Receiver Golden Tate was flagged for offensive pass interference as well.

“I’m sure there was a lot of complaining about the pass defense from their end of it, and I think some calls went that way,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said afterward.

According to football-refs.com – which keeps track of assignments for NFL officiating crews – Steratore has worked one Seahawks game this season, which was their Week-8 win over St. Louis. Ten penalties were called against the Seahawks that game, including two for holding by their cornerbacks. None of Seattle’s penalties were for pass interference.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

Wyman & Bob

Brady Henderson

Rees Odhiambo, a 2016 third-round pick, will compete with Matt Tobin to start at left tackle. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Tom Cable: Rees Odhiambo, Matt Tobin are Seahawks’ preferred LT options

Tom Cable brought a bit of clarity to the Seahawks' plans at left tackle in the wake of George Fant's season-ending knee injury, saying Tuesday that Rees Odhiambo and newcomer Matt Tobin are the top two options.
5 years ago
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks injury updates: George Fant set for surgery, K.J. Wright returns

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that left tackle George Fant is expected to be back by next season from the knee injury that will sideline him in 2017.
5 years ago
Matt Tobin, 27, started 21 games over seasons with the Eagles. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks acquire OL Matt Tobin in trade with Eagles

The Seahawks have acquired offensive tackle Matt Tobin in a trade with the Eagles, making another move to shore up their offensive line after losing left tackle George Fant for the season.
5 years ago
Luke Joeckel played left tackle for his first three NFL seasons. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Luke Joeckel? Rees Odhiambo? A look at the Seahawks’ LT options with George Fant out for the season

The Seahawks need a new plan at left tackle with George Fant out for the season. Moving Luke Joeckel there is one option, writes Brady Henderson.
5 years ago
Michael Bennett on Justin Britt standing by his side during the national anthem Friday night: “I ...
Brady Henderson

Justin Britt stands by Michael Bennett during national anthem: ‘A very emotional moment’

Seahawks center Justin Britt showed his support for teammate Michael Bennett Friday night, standing by him as Bennett remained seated during the national anthem.
5 years ago
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks’ George Fant needs ACL surgery, likely out for season

The Seahawks' offensive line was dealt a massive blow with left tackle George Fant suffering a knee injury Friday night that will likely keep him out all season.
5 years ago
Referee for Seahawks-49ers game of interest