Jim Harbaugh not fined, Bill Belichick fined $50,000 for contact with replacement officals
Both, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh spared no efforts in relaying their dissatisfaction with the officiating Sunday night as they kept yelling at the replacement officials throughout different intervals of the game. For two coaches who are known to resort to the use of expletives (Bill Blichick) and tantrums (Jim Harbaugh), the contact with replacement officials, who have been struggling to keep the players in line was only the next step to the start of regular-season drama following lockdown on NFLRA officials.
The NFL had cautioned the 32 league teams prior to last week’s games that coaches should maintain proper conduct with the replacement officials, but apparently Jim Harbaugh and Bill Belichick did not receive the memo.
During the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, Jim Harbaugh was flagged with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he kept yelling at a replacement official and bumped into him. Later Jim Harbaugh acknowledged bumping into the replacement official but claimed it was an unintentional action which arose after he tried to get the referees’ attention for a timeout call.
Jim Harbaugh claimed the replacement official misread his actions and profusely apologized for bumping into the referee.
But, what we’re told is to get the timeout where they can see it in front of their face in those situations, Jim Harbaugh stated after the game. "That’s what I’ve been told for five years going into this game.”
“I wanted to call a timeout, so I apologize for bumping,” added Bill Belichick, “but the intent was to call a timeout.”
Bill Belichick is also on the hook after he grabbed the arm of a replacement official following Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tuck’s winning field goal at the final moments of the game. The Philadelphia Eagles’ coach claimed he wanted to find out from the replacement officials whether the field goal was reviewable or not, considering his analysis that the ball seemed to sail over and almost inside the right upright of the crossbar.
In a statement on Monday, Bill Belichick claimed he never intended “any disrespect” to the replacement officials who had been trying to do their jobs and was trying to derive an “explanation” for the verdict that was given at the turning point of the game.
“That's the No. 1 thing between coaches and officials,” said Bill Belichick, “it's always at the forefront, just communication of what's going on and what's happening."
Ray Anderson, NFL executive vice president of football operations revealed on Monday that both Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh’s cases were being reviewed by the league.
The NFL also already fined Washington Redskins coordinator Kyle Shanana $25,000 for infraction in their 38-31 loss t Cincinnati Bengals, but he has already been fined $50,000 by the league for “impermissible physical contact” with replacement officials.