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NewsPanthers’ Smith trashes ‘garbage’ official who doesn’t cover wide receivers

Panthers’ Smith trashes ‘garbage’ official who doesn’t cover wide receivers

U Dan Ferrell blamed for calls outside his keys

Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith has a complaint about a specific official he would like everyone to know about. As Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported:

I was told by the referee — whatever judge he was — number 64 … 

This would be Dan Ferrell, the umpire. He is generally working around and between the hashmarks.

He told me on my route [Cardinals safety Patrick Peterson] grabbed my jersey, [that] he saw it, but he didn’t think it was enough that changed the course of the route.

Obviously we are pointing a finger at the wrong guy. The umpire’s duties are mainly centered around the offensive and defensive lineman. Need a little more to figure out who the whatever judge is.

When I dove for the first down, he was standing right there, he didn’t even acknowledge — he received a check that day and I hope he feels good. He was terrible. He was garbage.

Person says this was on a spot that was marked short of the first down. After a challenge by coach Ron Rivera, the Panthers got the first down.

So this appears more likely to be the head linesman, number seventy-four, Derrick Bowers. (Also, back judge Perry Paganelli wears 46.) Although pass interference is generally a deep official (side judge, back judge, or field judge), the head linesman does assist on these calls, particularly on short passes. Smith continues:

It was pass interference in Mexico, Europe, rugby — in pretty much every other sport but in Arizona yesterday … But then when I pushed off it was pass interference.

I will give Smith credit for not singling out the referee for scorn, but actually tried to identify the correct official. From the published comments, I see nothing worthy of a fine until Smith gets to “he was terrible; he was garbage.” For that, Smith will likely draw a fine, but Smith isn’t worried:

To be honest, I make enough money where if [commissioner Roger Goodell] wants to fine me he can. But I really think that referee probably was the sorriest referee that I have ever met.

John Parry was the crew chief.


Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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