NFL Nation: NFL referees

Video: NFL, referees need to talk

August, 30, 2012

Adam Schefter discusses what it will take to get the locked out NFL officials back on the field.

Video: Replacement refs may start season

August, 13, 2012

John Clayton on the likelihood that the NFL will start the regular season with replacement referees.

Referee: Ball broke the plane

December, 15, 2008
 Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
 Referee Walt Colman ruled that the ball broke the plane on this Santonio Holmes game-winning touchdown reception.

Posted by's James Walker

BALTIMORE -- In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 13-9 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, our AFC North inbox exploded with tons of e-mail asking for an explanation of the controversial game-winning touchdown by receiver Santonio Holmes.

So here is Sunday night's transcript of NFL referee Walt Coleman, who reversed the call after reviewing the instant replay.

Why was it ruled a touchdown?

Walt Coleman: You have to have two feet down to complete the catch. He had two feet down and completed the catch with control of the ball breaking the plane of the goal line.

So the ball broke the plane in your view?

WC: Yeah, the ball was breaking the plane. He had two feet down. When he gained control of the ball, the ball was breaking the plane and then he fell into the field of play. But to have a touchdown, all you have to have is a catch, which is two feet down, possession and control of the ball breaking the plane.

Why was the original call not ruled a touchdown?

WC: [Paul Weidner] felt like when the receiver gained possession of the ball, the ball was not breaking the plane of the goal line.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin offers his view of the controversial finish and a look ahead to Pittsburgh's next game against the Titans.


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