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Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson believes an extra official on the field would prevent receivers from pushing off as much as he claims they currently do.
Peterson made the claim after the Cardinals’ 12-7 win against the Tennessee Titans, standing in front of his locker. While the topic clearly had been on his mind for some time, a third-quarter play sparked his words.
With 4 minutes, 16 seconds left in the third quarter, Peterson felt Titans receiver Eric Decker pushed off at the top of his route after using his hands to “manipulate” Peterson near the line of scrimmage. Decker went on to make a 29-yard catch, and no penalty flag was thrown. After Peterson felt Decker pushed off, he turned to field judge Eugene Hall while still in pursuit of Decker to complain about the perceived push-off.
“I said, ‘Why didn’t you call it?'” Peterson said. “He said, ‘I didn’t see it.'”
And that was the tipping point for Peterson.
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“I’m tired of hearing that same response: ‘I didn’t see it,'” Peterson said. “Why are you on the field then if you didn’t see it? I’m not criticizing the ref at all. I’m just saying, if he didn’t see it, we need to have somebody else out there seeing both sides.”
Peterson’s suggestion was to add an official to help monitor both receivers and defensive backs. He likened it to how back judges and umpires watch both sides of the offensive line.
“Why don’t we have somebody watching the receivers and the defensive backs?” Peterson said. “I just think they have to find a way to even it out for sure, because, at the end of the day, if they’re going to call tit-for-tat calls, it should be a [pass interference] every time the receiver is on a breaking route. They’re pushing off and gaining leverage.”
He continued: “I just think, for the most part, if we want to the game to be clean on both sides, we got to add another ref because I’m tired of getting the same response when you go to the ref about when someone’s pushing off [and are told], ‘Oh, we don’t see it.’ That’s not the response I’m looking for. If the game’s going to be called both ways, we need to have eyes on both defensive backs and receivers, because that was a B.S. call. But he caught the ball and got the first down, and luckily we got the interception to finish off that drive. But we got to add another ref to the field.”