TAMPA — York High grad Bruce Arians is not a big fan of NFL officials at the moment.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach said NFL officials blew a quick whistle and then the game as they ruled a Titans punter down by contact and erased a fumble recovery for a touchdown Sunday.
One day following the Bucs 27-23 loss at Tennessee, Arians ripped officials for not seeing Titans punter Brett Kern, who was the holder on the 46-yard field goal attempt, lose the football when he was tackled by linebacker Devin White.
Safety Andrew Adams scooped the football up and returned it for a touchdown. which would’ve given the Bucs a 30-27 lead with 3:41 remaining. But line judge Mark Stewart ruled that Kern was down by contact despite replays that showed he had lost a fumble.
"Not to beat a dead horse, but an inadvertent whistle, if we had those last three minutes and change with a three-point lead and win the game,'' Arians said. "I think everybody is writing different stories, talking different things. So, it was more than just a play. You know, everybody except one guy saw the ball out and blew a quick whistle.
"My biggest thing is, you know, referees aren’t held accountable. Coaches get fired, general managers get fired, players get cut. Referees aren’t accountable and it’s a shame. It’s been that way for 40 years and now that we’ve got a new agreement, it will be that way for 40 more years.''
Instead, Stewart ruled that Kern was downed by White as Adams ran toward the end zone.
Arians also upset with call in Saints game: The Bucs had another call go against them in a loss at New Orleans last week when tight end Antony Auclair forced a fumble, Arians said. Tampa Bay recovered. But replay review determined that there was no clear recovery.
Arians said officials are supposed to let the play continue on a potential turnover rather than stop play.
"That’s the emphasis. Now two out of three weeks, for us, we get turnovers that we don’t get,'' Arians said. "We get the ball. Now we still should’ve taken the ball and scored a touchdown and won the game. But instead, we should’ve won the game already or had a chance to win it.
"In New Orleans, I was told to challenge it because they knew we had the ball. But when you go back on replay, it wasn’t a clear recovery. So it’s like, again, it was an inadvertent whistle. So why does it continue? Since the Rams-Saints game the second week, when the Rams got to the touchdown they didn’t get, there’s been an emphasis to let the plays go. If you can answer why it’s happening? I don’t know?''
Arians' wife also upset: Arians also got some support from his wife, Christine, who also weighed in on social media.
"NFL officiating needs fundamental fix," said Christine Arians, who is also from York. "It does not need a poorly-trained part-time officials who suffer no consequences for not doing their jobs. Instead, we get new collective bargaining agreement. Shame on you Roger Goodell.''