NFL referee Tony Corrente was asked about the controversial interception call that occurred on a Josh Freeman-to-Michael Clayton catch that resulted in an interception at the Tampa Bay 15-yard line instead of a first down:



(On why the play which was ultimately ruled an interception by Jason Taylor was initially ruled an incomplete pass) – “One of the officials on the field felt the ball had touched the ground after it left the possession of the receiver.”


(On why was the play not ruled a completion upon review) – “Because the player in question, the player who was possessing the ball in the air, as he started to come down, was hit. As he is coming down, he is now going to the ground to complete a catch and by rule, if he’s going to the ground to complete a catch, he has to maintain possession of the ball completely through the entire process of hitting the ground and thereafter showing control. As he went to the ground, basically right when he went to the ground, the ball popped out, and went right into the arms of the Miami player. The ball had never touched the ground.”
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(On if the play was ever whistled dead) – “The play was never whistled dead, not until the player [Taylor] got into the end zone.”
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(On why Taylor was unable to advance the ball) – “Because by rule, in the replay rules we can give the ball to the team, but we can’t allow the advance thereafter.”
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(On if they are unable to allow an advance even if the ball is not whistled dead) – “Unfortunately, that’s just the replay rule because it was ruled as an incomplete pass.”
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(On when the play was ruled an incomplete pass) – “It wasn’t ruled incomplete until there was a discussion in the end zone well after the touchdown was ‘scored.’ And so at that point, the officials got together and one said ‘I felt the ball hit the ground,’ and of course any doubt, it’s incomplete.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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