Monday, December 17, 2012
Rookie Jeffery catches scrutiny from refs
By Jeff Dickerson
CHICAGO -- Bears' rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery couldn't catch a break from the officials on Sunday who penalized the second-round draft choice three times in the second half for offensive pass interference.
The most critical of the calls against Jeffery came in the third quarter when he got flagged for pushing off Packers' cornerback Sam Shields in the end zone which nullified Jeffery's one-yard touchdown reception. The foul backed the Bears up 10 yards and the club eventually had to settle for a field goal instead of a touchdown.
"It's a physical battle out there but I got to check the film and see," Jeffery said. "I ain't going to put it all on the refs, I have to go check the film by myself.
"That's the way the game is played you're supposed to play physical."
Shields agreed with the officials' view of the end zone play.
"(Jeffery) was looking like why they calling it on me," Shields said. "But you know, everybody seen it. He really pushed me. Matching up with him last time, it wasn’t like that. There wasn’t so much pushing and shoving. But I guess, they game plan and did what they did. I guess he went into the game plan and be aggressive and that’s what he was called for."
"Being a big guy like that, you really see him pushing off. I’m a little guy. He wasn’t sneaky enough. He had long arms. I guess the refs made some good calls."
Jeffery was also involved in two other penalties on the ill-fated third quarter drive that were ruled in favor of the Bears.
After he drew an illegal contact penalty of Shields on the first play of the drive, Jeffery went deep down the left sideline where Packers safety Morgan Burnett got whistled for a 53-yard pass interference penalty.
That play proved to be Jeffery's lone highlight as he finished with zero catches on four targets.
"I'’m feeling real good and refreshed by the referees calling the right things,” Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said. “That’s what I’m really pleased with – the referees calling the right calls. It happens all the time. It happens every game. It gets harder and harder year in and you out for a DB to play because guys know what they can get away with. They came through today. They made the right calls they were supposed to. For that reason, we won the game like we should have.”
“It’s unheard of (three PI calls), but it’s correct. Hopefully, we get more refs to do that.”
Jeffery refused to say that a more seasoned NFL receiver would've received the same treatment from the officials.
"I wouldn't say I was being picked on," Jeffery said. "The ball is thrown your way you got to make plays."