NFL: No flags on officials

The Baltimore Sun

Mike Pereira, NFL senior vice president of officiating, agreed with all the controversial calls made by the officials during the Ravens' 27-24 Monday night loss to New England.

In addressing Samari Rolle's accusation that head linesman Phil McKinnely repeatedly called the cornerback "boy," Pereira said McKinnely's "interpretation" of the situation was different from Rolle's. He also found no fault in how McKinnely handled the situation.

"Phil, in my mind, acted as he should," Pereira said on the NFL Network. "We'd like to walk away, but there is a point where it's very difficult to do that."

On the last-second timeout by the Ravens in the fourth quarter, Pereira said the NFL might have to tweak the rule to say any coach on the sideline can call a timeout.

By rule, only the head coach or a player is allowed to call a timeout, but according to an NFL spokesman, officials are instructed to grant a last-second request from the bench area for a timeout.

Pereira said an official can't recognize whether it's the head coach or an assistant asking for a timeout if the official is watching the snap of the ball.

"Common sense says we're going to grant it to whoever calls it," Pereira said.

With regard to Jamaine Winborne's defensive holding call on fourth down on the Patriots' game-winning drive, Pereira said it's clear the Ravens defender had an arm around Benjamin Watson's chest.

"To me, it is contact well beyond the 5 yards, and it is a call that needs to be made," Pereira said.

Pereira also supported the officials' decision on Jabar Gaffney's game-winning touchdown catch because replays didn't definitively show that the Patriots' receiver lost possession of the ball.

"Sixty percent say it's a catch. Maybe some say it's 40 [percent]," Pereira said. "That's not conclusive enough to change the ruling that has been made. The hand never came off the ball. He maintained control."

'I stand by my calls'

Without prompting, defensive coordinator Rex Ryan began his weekly news conference by defending his decision to call a timeout just seconds before the defense stopped New England quarterback Tom Brady on a sneak on fourth-and-one late in the fourth quarter Monday night.

"It's my job as the defensive coordinator to put our players in the best defense possible to stop what we feel is going to happen," Ryan said. "In most situations, Tom Brady is a master of that. You can do your work, you can go back and study like I did, spend as much time as I do, and know the tendencies of a football team, and if you do that, you'll see why I called the timeout.

"We had our speed team on the field at the time, which is only one defensive tackle, then we have all linebackers and defensive backs filling out the other 10 spots."

Later, Ryan said: "I have nothing to hide. I stand by my calls. I'd do the exact same thing again in the future, so you can start ripping me all you want."

Injury update

Chris McAlister missed practice for the second consecutive day, but the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback said he is hopeful that he will be ready for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.

McAlister said he didn't know he would play against the Patriots until he ran on his strained right knee just a few hours before the game. He said he'll employ the same test Sunday.

"We'll see what happens," he said. "Most likely, I'll be out there Sunday morning running and seeing how it feels."

Defensive tackle Justin Bannan (sprained knee) and wide receiver Demetrius Williams (high ankle sprain) also did not practice for the second straight day. Free safety Ed Reed (hip) and fullback Le'Ron McClain (illness) did not practice.

Rolle (shoulder), tight end Todd Heap (hamstring), fullback Justin Green (thigh) and safety Gerome Sapp (hamstring) were limited.

Practice-squad QB

A day after coach Brian Billick said the organization would not add a third quarterback, the team signed rookie Cullen Finnerty to the practice squad yesterday.

"I thought you were referring to the active roster. I'm sorry," Billick said. "At some point, you need another arm. Cullen was with us in the offseason and showed some promise. It's nice to have him back."

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