Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell finally got clarification on the missed delay-of-game penalty in his team’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week and it was not much clarification at all.
Campbell said he did not turn that play in to the league for a written review but did phone the NFL office to get feedback on the call.
“It’s really a subjective call is really what it came down to,” Campbell said Friday. “So, I think they are split on it. Some are — it’s just that you’ve heard the process and I’ll be truthful with you, I don’t even remember it. I’m so done with it now. It’s not something I even consider. “
Officials did not call a delay-of-game penalty on a second-and-10 play just before Justin Tucker’s game-winning 66-yard field goal, when Lamar Jackson took a snap about 1.8 seconds after the play clock expired.
Officials typically allow a brief grace period once the play clock hits zero before stopping play, about the length of time it takes to look from the play clock to the center to make sure the ball is being snapped.
Referee Scott Novak offered little explanation for the no-call in a pool report after the game, explaining the mechanics of how the penalty is enforced but insisting he had not reviewed the play to determine whether a penalty should have been enforced.
Had a delay-of-game penalty been called, the Ravens would have had to try a 71-yard field goal or more likely heave a Hail Mary towards the end zone.
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The play clock on the CBS broadcast was in sync with the play clock at Ford Field.
Campbell said he did not turn any officiating calls into the league for review this week and typically only asks for clarification on decisions that can help him as a coach going forward.
“The ones where it’s like, ‘Should this have been holding?’ Campbell stated that although I am certain I will get the “Yes, it should have held” answer, Campbell did not agree. “Each team will turn them in, and it’s like: Look, that’s just not worth it. It’s the ones that say, “Why would you push the play clock here?” It’s not understandable. It’s not clear to me. Then again, if you do get clarification in one direction or another it will help you move forward.
“I want to use it like not so much, like, ‘I told you, you were wrong.’ It is what I want. Is there anything I have missed? Can it help us move forward? “
The Lions have a long history of being on the wrong end of controversial officiating decisions, from Calvin Johnson’s “process of the catch” game against the Chicago Bears in 2010, to the Golden Tate clock run off in 2017.
Campbell said he understands why some would prefer him to badger the league on the organization’s behalf, but said, “That’s not my place. “
“And look, I came from a place (with the New Orleans Saints) where we didn’t have some great calls go our way either and we won a lot of games,” he said. I don’t use that as an excuse. “I don’t use that as an excuse. “