Officially speaking: Rookie ref racks up reversals
September, 23, 2009
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Three more replay reversals in Week 2 left rookie referee Don Carey with five, three more than any other referee and 4.1 more than the average for the 16 other refs.
Carey suffered two reversals working the Cardinals-49ers game in Week 1. He worked the Panthers-Falcons game in Week 2.
Replay reversals can be telling because they provide documented evidence of mistakes deemed egregious enough for a head coach or replay official to challenge the call. Gerry Austin led the league in reversals for the 2007 season. The league replaced him in 2008. Bill Leavy had the most last season. He has none through two games.
The chart breaks down replay reversals by officiating crew.
Head coaches have challenged Carey five times, winning four reversals. Replay officials have challenged him twice. Falcons coach Mike Smith won two reversals against Carey in Week 2. Panthers coach John Fox won one. Two of the three reversals involved whether passes were completed on third-down plays. One reversal sustained a Falcons drive that ended in the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter.
Elsewhere in the NFC West, Arizona benefited when Gene Steratore's crew did not call pass interference against Cardinals cornerback Bryant McFadden. The Cardinals then returned a blocked field goal try for a touchdown to produce a 17-3 lead.
At Washington, Jerome Boger's crew did not penalize the Redskins' Albert Haynesworth for landing hard on sliding Rams quarterback Marc Bulger. Defenders were already converging and within striking distances when Bulger initiated his slide, but I've seen lesser offenses penalized.
Leavy's assignment to work a Seahawks game for the first time since Super Bowl XL came and went without incident.