Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said Tuesday the replacement referees are doing their best, and that they have not been the reason his team lost either of its games in the past two weeks.
"Part of my job is not to worry about the officials, so I hate spending time talking about them," he said Tuesday morning on Boston sports radio station WEEI. "I never have spent time talking about the officials. The reason why we lost our particular game was certainly not the officials, that goes for all three of our games, the outcomes of those games."
His comments came just hours after a controversial call at the end of the Seahawks-Packers clash awarded Seattle a touchdown and last-second victory, a call that generated explosive reaction from players, media and fans alike.
Brady says that he did not see the call, and also that he has not personally been in a situation where a "totally obvious" call had been missed.
He also added that he has not addressed his offense about the officials during the course of a game.
"I have yet to talk about the officials to our offense when I'm out on the field," he said. "When you're in the course of a game, it's very much like a normal game, you get a call, then you see the call the next day and say 'wow, should we have been called for that?' It really feels like for us it's balanced out over the course of a game. They always miss calls, and they get some right and they get some wrong, and these guys are getting some right, and getting some wrong. I haven't been in one of those situations where it was totally obvious that every single person could tell. These guys are dong the best they can do."
One difference Brady has noticed with the fill-in refs is more pre- and post-whistle skirmishes among players.
"I see more pileups and punching and all that crap that goes on before and after plays, and pileups and stuff like that then there would probably normally be, and maybe guys are taking advantage a bit of the guys," he said. "From my standpoint, for me it's been business as usual. I know for our offense, that's the way it's been, we've gotten calls, we haven't gotten some calls. We're sitting at 1-2, I don't think there's really anyone to blame but ourselves."
Brady was asked his thoughts on the Ravens' game-winning kick on Sunday night, which has been a central topic of conversation since the conclusion of the game.
"It was close. I obviously thought it was very close," he said. "My attention was raised greatly when I saw the ball come off the right here. But from the angle I have, I can't tell. I looked at Vince (Wilfork) and Vince didn't think so. But it's hard, like I said, those guys are standing at the uprights. If those guys can't get it right, then nobody can."
A couple of other quick-hits from the Brady interview:
On finding tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had just two catches on Sunday night, as a receiver.
"I've got to do a better job finding him. He's obviously a big target for us and someone that is a huge part of every game. I wish I had got him the ball more the other night, there's no question about it."
On the reverse play to Julian Edelman that lost 13 yards, and what went wrong on the play.
"He (Ravens defensive end Courtney Upshaw) made a good play on it. The plays before, he's crashing down on the end of the line of scrimmage and we felt like we had a great look to run it, and he kind of surprised Julian there, and Julian tried to make him miss. That was disappointing, because you hate to go from whatever it was to long yardage situations, but that's part of the risk/reward of that play. When it works, it's great, when it doesn't work, it's not so good. You could just hand the ball off at the line of scrimmage and gain three yards. We tried to make some plays we could take advantage of. That was just a good play by him, by Upshaw."