Steelers WR Diontae Johnson rips officers after loss to Jaguars
Brooke PryorESPN workers author5 minutes to learn
PITTSBURGH — Within the wake of a 20-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Deontae Johnson appeared visibly annoyed in regards to the officiating workers he believes price the Pittsburgh Steelers the sport.
The Steelers’ extensive receiver was notably upset by an offside name on proper guard Isaac Simalo — who was whistled for lining up within the impartial zone — that negated Chris Boswell’s 55-yard subject aim. Boswell’s subsequent effort after the penalty went extensive proper.
If the sphere aim had been held, it could have minimize the Jaguars’ result in three at halftime.
“The referees had been killing us the entire recreation,” Johnson mentioned. “The identical refs we had in coaching camp. I did not just like the refs right this moment. On the finish of the day, we won’t maintain complaining in regards to the refs. As coach (Mike Tomlin) says, we won’t fear about them.” Referees, no matter, however everyone seems to be totally different.
“I did not just like the referees right this moment. They will need to have been paid nicely right this moment or one thing, however they missed that subject aim, which harm us within the first half. We wanted that.”
Johnson expressed frustration with inconsistency in dealing with tough passer calls, together with a non-call when Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett was tackled to the bottom by defensive finish Adam Gotsis with 17 seconds left within the first half.
“They had been claiming some silly issues,” Johnson mentioned. “They need to be fined for making dangerous calls and making worse, horrible calls and issues like that. That is how offended I’m. They price us the sport. I do not care what anybody says. They price us the sport.”
Johnson continued: “(The officers) wished (the Jaguars) to win, bro. They had been praying, every part was going their means. They had been taking each little name, however it’s what it’s. However we won’t, like me.” He mentioned: I’ll transfer on from it, and I’m prepared for Thursday.
Within the pool report, referee Alan Ek defined Siumalo’s name.
“The correct guard lined up within the impartial zone,” Ek mentioned. “His head was over the again fringe of the ball, so based on the rule, that is an offensive offside foul. It is a stay ball foul, so we let the play go after which we referred to as the penalty from 5 yards out and put it again on fourth down.”
Though Tomlin didn’t explicitly criticize the administration, he famous the rarity of the decision towards Seimalo.
“I did not get a whole lot of dialogue,” Tomlin mentioned when requested if there was a proof from officers. “I’ve by no means seen that in 17 years of standing on the sidelines. Offsides, offsides on the keeper, on the sphere aim guard. It would not matter what they are saying. I’ve by no means seen that earlier than.”
NFL senior vice chairman of officiating Walt Anderson responded to Tomlin’s assertion that he by no means noticed the decision within the pool report.
Anderson mentioned: “Whether or not gamers are referred to as for offside, that’s the judgment that’s made on the pitch.”
“It was a decisive determination,” Ek added. “It was clear on the pitch, so we went forward and determined.”
Earlier than the sphere aim try, the officers had a collection of calls that infuriated the Actress Stadium crowd. First, Pickett fumbled when he ran out of bounds, and upon evaluation, the officers gave Pickett yardage, however ran a 10-second runoff as a result of he fumbled out of bounds. On the subsequent play, Pickett was hit by Gotsis and the Steelers had been compelled to outing as a result of harm that occurred after the two-minute warning. The group booed loudly after every occasion and reached fever pitch with a “ref, you suck” chant after an offside flag on a subject aim try.
The Steelers (4-3) had been referred to as for six penalties for 52 yards, whereas the Jaguars had been whistled for six penalties that price them 72 yards. A number of occasions, the Steelers had been flagged on essential performs, together with defensive cross interference towards James Pierre on the Jaguars’ first drive on third down.
Whereas Johnson was crucial, fellow Steeler Patrick Peterson was extra reserved in his evaluation of the crew in cost.
“As gamers, all we are able to do is management what we are able to management,” Peterson mentioned. “The referees got the duty and the duty to name the sport the best way it was alleged to be referred to as. That is the best way they noticed it. We will not argue with them. It is behind us now. We simply should discover a approach to make it occur.” Overcoming issues like that and never letting or not it’s an issue.”
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who accomplished 15 of 27 makes an attempt for 138 yards with a landing and two interceptions rather than Pickett, downplayed the ruling’s affect.
“I am not very focused on managing,” Trubisky mentioned. “To me, it is like we’re executing it, the place guys are on the identical web page, and no matter whether or not the decision goes for us or towards us, we now have to be on the identical web page so far as distance and spacing, so we have got confusion and (misunderstanding) ) on our half. I believe that is one thing we are able to get higher at, simply speaking the place we’re on the sphere, the space and getting the suitable individuals within the huddle so we are able to work quicker.”