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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Bill Belichick: Jets pushed on FG, too

By Mike Reiss

Tuesday media conference calls with Patriots coach Bill Belichick usually look ahead to the following week's opponent, but there was a minor twist today.

Belichick
When Belichick was asked by Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram about reports that the Jets tipped off officials about the Patriots' field goal push penalty, Belichick responded by saying: "Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves, I don’t even know about all that. But basically we’re just moving on here." =

Belichick appeared to be referring to Stephen Gostkowski's 44-yard field goal that tied the score 27-27 with 16 seconds remaining in regulation (the Jets won 30-27 in overtime).

On the play, Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples lined up to the left of teammate Muhammad Wilkerson, looped behind him, and then pushed him, as Coples' right arm/hand pressed against Wilkerson's back. Wilkerson then flipped over Patriots long-snapper Danny Aiken and guard Logan Mankins.

There was no penalty called on the play.

After the game, referee Jerome Boger explained that the rule is intended for any type of pushing.

When NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino addresses this new rule during his weekly segment on NFL Network, it would be interesting to see him match up the two plays to explain the difference.

Since this is a new rule, the clarification from Blandino would benefit coaches from all 32 NFL teams as well as media members who report on it.

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: This discussion should not take away from the fact that the Jets made the critical plays to win the game. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides. At the same time, when a never-made-before call plays a part in deciding the outcome -- and there is a similar-yet-less-egregious play in the game that wasn't called -- it is important from this view that the NFL's officiating arm addresses the discrepancy so there is clarity on what is a penalty and what isn't. In the end, our feeling is that just as it is said holding could be called on every play, this rule probably falls in the same category. The push by Patriots defensive tackle Chris Jones was more decisive than Coples' push. But according to the letter of the rule and the ensuing explanation from Boger, Coples also could have been penalized.