NFL coaches closing in on boiling point
NFL: New England coach Bill Belichick was confused about a decisive field goal he thought was off-target. Detroit’s Jim Schwartz couldn’t understand a 27-yard penalty walk-off for unnecessary roughness. Philadelphia’s Andy Reid felt ignored while trying to decline a penalty.
The furor over the work of replacement officials reached something of a fevered pitch during Week 3 in the NFL, when even deciphering downs and distance became a challenge.
In Sunday night’s Ravens- Patriots game, shoving matches followed even insignificant plays. One TV analyst called it the substitute-teacher syndrome: See how much you can get away with before the real thing returns.
“Nature says for us that we’re going to go out there and push the limit regardless,” Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said. “If they’re calling a game tight, if they’re calling a game loose, it’s going to be pushed to the limit. You are pushing it to the brink. If things are going to be called easier, and in some situations I feel like they’ve been less lenient, too, you’ve just got to play and see how (it’s being called).”
Broncos coach John Fox was fined $30,000 Monday and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 for verbal abuse of the officials during a Monday night game against Atlanta on Sept. 17.
More fines are likely for Belichick and Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and perhaps others.
Fox and Del Rio were hit for their sideline histrionics, particularly when Fox was told he couldn’t challenge a call of 12 men on the field – he was correct that he could challenge, although replays showed the Broncos were guilty.
Before grabbing the arm of an official, Belichick wanted to know why Justin Tucker’s field goal was called good in Baltimore’s 31-30 victory Sunday night. He couldn’t tell from his angle on the sideline, he said.
“So when the game was over, I went out and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether the play was under review,” he said, “and I did try to get the official’s attention as he was coming off the field to ask that, but I really wasn’t able to do that.”
Most confusing was the mark-off for a Lions penalty in overtime at Tennessee. Officials wound up penalizing Detroit from its 44-yard line rather than from the original line of scrimmage, the Titans 44.
The league and the officials’ union met Sunday without reaching any agreement on ending the lockout that began in June. The players’ union also called on the 32 team owners to end the lockout because it is compromising the integrity of the game.
• Revis has torn ACL, will likely miss season: Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that will require surgery, likely meaning he’ll miss the rest of the season.
A somber coach Rex Ryan won’t definitely rule Revis out for the season, saying he just found out about the results of the MRI exam. He calls it a “horrible” thing.
Revis’ injury was a non-contact injury, and he wound up covering his face with gloved hands in obvious pain.
• Heyward-Bey released from hospital: Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has been released from the hospital after being knocked out by a helmet-to-helmet hit.
The Raiders say Heyward-Bey went home after spending the night in the hospital under observation. The team says he has a concussion and neck strain and is expected to make a full recovery.
• Bush says he gets ‘great news’ after knee issue: Reggie Bush sent out a tweet saying he had good news, and privately told teammates he expects to be fine.
Tests performed on Bush’s left knee showed no serious injury, meaning the Dolphins may have their top offensive player available this weekend. His last carry came just before halftime of Miami’s 23-20 overtime loss against the New York Jets on Sunday, when he limped off the field and clearly was in pain.
Daly hopes NHL talks resume this week
NHL: Deputy commissioner Bill Daly hopes negotiations with the players’ association will resume this week as the sides seek to end the nine-day lockout.
Daly spoke to reporters after meeting with union officials about last year’s hockey-related revenue. There were no negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.
Commissioner Gary Bettman and union head Donald Fehr sat out Monday’s meeting.
Furniture Row hires Kurt Busch for ’13
Miscellany: Furniture Row Racing has hired Kurt Busch to drive for the Colorado-based team in 2013.
Busch will replace Regan Smith in the No. 78 Chevrolet.
Busch was the 2004 NASCAR champion, but he split with Penske Racing at the end of last season because of his many off-track incidents. He spent this season driving for Phoenix Racing in the Sprint Cup series and his brother’s Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, where he won twice.
The 34-year-old Busch has said his goal this season was to prove he deserved a chance with another top-tier team. With so few seats available, Furniture Row became the best option.
• Lakers’ Blake out with punctured foot: Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Blake will be sidelined for at least three weeks after puncturing his left foot on a spike strip in a parking garage.
The veteran point guard will be held out of any impact exercises for about three weeks. Los Angeles opens training camp next Monday, with its first preseason game Oct. 7.
Blake is expected to be Steve Nash’s backup this season.