Who Screwed The Jets Harder Yesterday: The Officials, Or The Jets?
The Jets did a very Jets thing yesterday and called a timeout moments before Geno Smith threw a beautiful, game-tying touchdown pass against the Packers late in the fourth quarter. The 37-yard TD to Jeremy Kerley was called off and the Jets went on to lose by seven points. Here's the replay:
Ouch. Nothing like nullifying your own touchdown. It was offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg who signaled for timeout, but it wasn't until Sheldon Richardson stepped up and "whispered" in the referee's ear that time was called. BI Sports has a great look at it:
But it doesn't matter if it was Mornhinweg or Richardson -- neither of those guys are allowed to call timeout from the sidelines. Only the head coach can do that, and Rex Ryan didn't. Why didn't the referee check to see who exactly wanted timeout? That's not something they do often, according to FOX rules analyst and former ref Mike Pereira:
If you get a last second timeout request (like in jets game), you grant it. You don't have time to turn around and see who is calling it.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) September 14, 2014
This stance was corroborated by NFL spokesman Michael Signora after the game in a statement: "...when a snap is imminent, game officials are instructed not to turn their attention away from the field to verify who is calling the timeout. A game official should not grant the timeout only if he is certain it is not being requested by the head coach."
So who screwed the Jets harder here? Was it the referee, who technically granted an illegitimate timeout that nullified a perfectly good play? Or was it the Jets -- specifically Mornhinweg and Richardson -- who should know their place on the sidelines, i.e. not doing the head coach's job? Richardson in particular seems to know it wasn't his place to do what he did (via NJ.com, emphasis ours):
“I saw Marty calling the timeout and I was into the game. I knew it was crunch time. I didn’t know if he wanted the timeout or not. I just knew he called it. I helped him out a little bit. I whispered in the referee’s ear ‘timeout,’ and he called it before the ball was thrown. It’s just bad timing on my part. I feel like I let the team down. It just happens when you’re into the game like that, though.”
We're going to let the Jets take most of the blame on this one. "I didn't know if he wanted the timeout... I just knew he called it" is arguably the most Jets thing ever uttered.
Photo via Getty
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