Cam Newton doesn't understand why the Saints weren't called for a personal foul on a potential late hit during the Panthers' 27-22 win Sunday. And he really doesn't understand the explanation he got from official Ed Hochuli after the play.
"The response I got was: 'Cam you're not old enough to get that call.' . . . I didn't think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that," Newton said in his post-game press conference.
Newton added that he was "ticked off" at the explanation. He went on to say that everyone has to be accountable, and pointed out that a personal foul on a similar play was called in favor of Saints quarterback Luke McCown earlier in the game.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora defended the call.
"The officials make decisions based upon the play on the field, and no other factors. On the play in question, there is no roughing the passer because the quarterback is out of the pocket and a runner, and no unnecessary roughness because the contact is not late," Signora said in a statement.
NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino echoed that stance Monday on NFL HQ.
"Cam was outside the pocket and he threw the ball on the run," he told NFL Network, adding that Hochuli told him he didn't say anything of the sort to Cam. "There's different protections for a quarterback that is running outside the pocket versus inside the pocket. Outside the pocket, you don't get the two step protection. When you look at the play, Cam threw on the run. There was some contact; it wasn't late and it wasn't a foul."
Whether it was a bad call or not, Newton said the explanation bothered him more than anything.
"Heaven forbid (Hochuli) get any rookies," Newton said. "They are going to have a long day, man."