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Mike Shanahan Agrees With Late Offensive Pass Interference Call Against Santana Moss

By ZAC BOYER | | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan acknowledged that the offensive pass interference penalty against receiver Santana Moss late in the team’s loss to New England on Sunday was a correct call.


Moss, who caught a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rex Grossman on the play, was judged to have pushed off from Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who was in as a defensive back on the play.

The penalty moved the Redskins, who faced a seven-point deficit, back 10 yards to the New England 15-yard line, where Grossman threw an interception in the end zone two plays later.

“I agree with the call,” Shanahan said. You can’t extend your arms. You can have that call. I’m not sure how many times you’re going to call offensive pass interference, but any time there is an extension of the arms, there is a pass interference call.”

Moss was much more vocal about the play after the game, citing the rules of the game and a defender’s ability to make contact with receivers within five yards of the line of scrimmage.

“How can I get open if a guy is gonna put his hands on me and I can’t put my hands on him?” Moss asked. “It just is stuff that’s been going on for years. We wrong when we do it, but they’re OK. That’s the rule, I guess.”

That play, Shanahan said, was even more disappointing because Edelman was in single coverage on Moss.

“We had a wide receiver matched on Santana, and any time you’ve got that matchup, you feel pretty good,” Shanahan said. “Disappointed that we couldn’t finish it.”

Shanahan also stood by his disagreement with the call for unnecessary roughness on linebacker London Fletcher, who was flagged when he hit Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with 59 seconds remaining in the first half.

A defender is not allowed to hit a quarterback who has begun the process of sliding, but Fletcher and Brady appeared to have begun their respective motions at a similar time. Referee Jeff Triplette announced the penalty for unnecessary roughness was because Fletcher used a “forearm to the head of the quarterback as he started to slide.”

“I’ll be honest with you – it wasn’t very clear exactly what the call was,” Shanahan said. “My understanding was London’s shoulder went into his chest. That sounds OK to me. But like I said, just one person has to see it differently, and one official saw it differently, and I think the other two guys, as they were talking, I think they came up to him and they didn’t see it that way. One person felt he saw it that way, and that’s what the call was, but you can see it obviously wasn’t the case.”

Brady told WEEI out of Boston on Monday morning that he “thought it was a really clean play by [Fletcher].” Mike Pereira, a former vice president of officiating in the NFL from 2001-09 and current rules analyst for Fox Sports, also posted on his Twitter page after the play that he did not agree with the call.

“He waited until the last minute to slide,” Fletcher said after the game. “He’s considered a runner. At that point in time, the referee thought I hit him in the head. I didn’t hit him in the head. I hit him in the shoulders, but what can you do?”

As for the roughing the passer call against Patriots defensive end Andre Carter, when he was ruled to have hit Grossman below the knees, Shanahan was uncertain.

“It could have gone either way,” Shanahan said. “Any time you go below the knees, there’s always a question mark of safety. But I could see the argument either way with the call.”