Mike Pereira, the NFL vice president of officiating, conducted his last “Official Review” segment (video) of the season on the NFL Network today. Periera is retiring at the conclusion of next season.
Pereira did acknowledge the controversy about not having Kurt Warner’s fumble on the last play reviewed:
Looking back at it now after the fact, you know, it was close enough, although it wouldn’t have changed anything whatsoever. … Had [replay official Bob McGrath] stopped it, it would’ve stayed a fumble. But, again, looking at it, at that big of a play at the end of the game, I would’ve sent it down and given [head referee Terry] McAulay a chance to look at it. …
You learn and … next time it happens, at this point of the game, this big of a play, let’s go ahead and [call for a replay review].
Pereira stated that McAulay had a chance to see the play after the game and concurred that the ruling would stand. The ruling on the play was that, although Warner had the ball in his hand while it was moving forward, he did not have control of it. I don’t think that will be enough to satisfy conspiracy theorists.
However, it appears the replay guidelines will be amended to state controversial calls at pivotal points in the game will get a review.
Also in the segment, Pereira backed up the assessment we had on James Harrison’s interception return. He also said that Santonio Holmes’ celebration on the game-winning touchdown should have been penalized, but since it happened so long after the play, the officials’ attention was to set up for the point-after attempt.