Hail Mary ref: Seahawks TD probably an interception


Ten days after the "Inaccurate Reception" heard 'round the world, NFL replacement referees still were in the news.

Replacement ref Wayne Elliott admitted on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" that his crew erred in calling Golden Tate's winning touchdown for the Seattle Seahawks.

"I'd probably call interception," Elliot said, via USA Today, in an interview that will re-air Friday at 11 p.m. ET on Showtime and also is available on demand.

Elliott wasn't in the end zone in Seattle and didn't make the initial call on the play. It was obvious his crew wasn't correctly positioned, and Elliott admits that the replacements' grasp of the NFL rulebook wasn't great.

"I learned a rule by screwing up the rule," he said later. "That's how I learned the two-minute, five-minute -- there's a penalty that the clock doesn't start no matter what the play before was ... by screwing up in a San Francisco-Houston preseason game. That was the best way for me to learn."

It sounds like the refs were devastated after the game, which ended in a controversial Green Bay Packers loss.

"It was quiet," Elliott said. "It was like a losing locker room, very little conversation."

It's surprising that Elliott publicly admitted his mistake. What Packers coach Mike McCarthy did last week is even more surprising.

"(McCarthy) called me at my house last week because he had heard I was having a rough week with all the calls and everything," Elliott said. "Wanted (me) to know that he thought what I did -- controversial and maybe he didn't agree with it -- (but he thought) I handled it with class."

That's an incredibly classy and gracious gesture by McCarthy. It says a lot about him.

"It was something that really personally gave me some finality to the week," McCarthy told Adam Schein on SiriusXM Radio on Thursday. "It was something I felt was obviously the right thing to do."

Fellow replacement ref Jim Core told "Inside the NFL" that all the coaches treated him with respect, except for one: First-year Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano.

"He's college," Core said of Schiano. "The rest of them (coaches) acted at a different level."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.