Rex Ryan on interference penalty: Would Bill Belichick have been flagged?
Rex Ryan was assessed a 15-yard penalty during that bizarre inadvertent whistle fiasco Monday night after an official ruled that he interfered with the play by standing in the white area on the sideline. The Buffalo Bills coach took it personally, because he doesn’t think his counterpart would have been flagged if it happened on the other side of the field.
On Tuesday, a clearly frustrated Ryan told reporters that he was simply running toward the play to tell one of his players to close the gap on Tom Brady.
“I was telling my guy, ‘Come get him, come get him.’ Trying to cut him off. And I’m just trying to get my guy to close the gap on him, and that’s really what happened,” Ryan explained, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “But I wasn’t on the field of play. OK, I was in the white. I got news for you: a lot of times coaches are in the white. I certainly didn’t interfere with the official, I can tell you that much.”
Then came the accusation of unfair treatment.
“And it’s hard not to take it personal because are you going to flag Bill Belichick on this?” Ryan asked. “I don’t know.”
If you haven’t seen the play, we have a video and explanation of it here. The officiating crew basically screwed up all around, as the whistle obviously shouldn’t have been blown and then Danny Amendola probably shouldn’t have been awarded a catch since the inadvertent whistle was blown while the ball was in the air.
But if we’re playing the “what if” card, we should note that fans would be completely up in arms if something Belichick did may or may not have resulted in an official inadvertently blowing his whistle. As you can see in this video, Ryan was very close to the official and shouted something.
Would the flag have been thrown on Belichick? Who knows, but the controversy would last a lot longer if it was Belichick standing near the official who blew the whistle.